My family has some new guests on their property: A couple of red-tailed hawks. They seem to spend the better part of the day squawking at each other over and over. One will be on a tree near their house, the other a hundred yards away near the woods. They regularly get up and fly around, then perch again and resume squawking.
The mating ritual is supposedly an elaborate affair of birds circling each other and locking talons and descending downward. I haven't seen anything like that. We mostly hear the squawking back and forth all day. Once I saw the two of them on the same branch together, but only momentarily. Does anyone know what to make of this behavior?
I can't tell if they are courting or fighting, but I guess there's really only a fine line between--for people as well.
UPDATE: See this post for continuing coverage.