Black Hawks Make Whoopee

March 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm (Big Bend National Park TX, Birds - Big Bend TX) (, )


The Common Black Hawks have returned to Rio Grande Village from more southern climes, and were busy today adding to their nest and making whoopee.

Although it’s hard to tell the sexes apart, I’m assuming it was the female that stayed at the nest to arrange the large twigs brought by the male.  I could hear him snapping them off the cottonwood trees.  

Then the female left to perch on a snag, and in a little while the male joined her for some love-making.  This happened twice, each time the activity was initiated with a wild hawkish cry. 


Then he went hunting and brought her back a small food offering.  

After awhile it was back to nest-making.  It is well hidden in the leaves of the tall cottonwood, but careless visitors could cause them to abandon the nest. 

That’s why we have these nifty new signs warning visitors to keep their distance.  Another nest, perhaps last year’s, is in a more visible location, but was passed over in favor of one more secluded.

Despite the name, black hawks are not common at Big Bend.  So give these lovebirds some space, so they can make whoopee.  And babies.


  1. bobzeller said,

    >Cindy, I am the guy that visited with you at Sam Neal's ruins. I followed your directions and found the site of the Black-hawks. One of them was sitting on a branch and I was able to obtain some photos and I have published one on my blog. I was limited on time as the people we were with were not birders and we were just showing them around. I am anxious to get back there very soon, on my own.I am very impressed. You didn't tell me that you were a ranger at BBNP. I checked out your website also. You do some awesome photography. Maybe we will meet again.

  2. Anne McCormack said,

    >Awesome photos! Big Bend is the best!

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