Eastside Hawks

Chances are you’ve seen them flying in the sky, ever so high, so high that it hurts your eyes to stare into the sky that high. It’s hard to miss them when they’re circling in the air, holding down their turf like sky like vatos locos. Picking off pigeons whenever they get hungry and no one can stop them. Up there, they have no equals. Except maybe the ghetto bird or planes that fly over the Eastside, but that’s about it. Walking to Primera Taza this past Monday morning down First st., by happenstance, I was lost in my train of thought walking under the freeway bridge, when my doughy eyes lay sight to a marvelous scene that seemed like something out of a day dream. A hawk perched on a chain link fence post, wrapped in barbed wire, in-front of a now defunct clinica. Next to it, a mural depicting the American and Mexican flags side by side in harmony. The last time someone was walking, minding their own business and saw a bird like this, perched with a bunch of symbols next it, Tenotchtitlan was founded. But at the same time I’m probably making too much of my sighting, but it was still a sight to behold. Watching that 12 inch plus bird stand there, looking at me as I try to walk up to it. With it’s gold,brown feathers and long tail end, flying away, spreading its wings more than 3 feet apart, flying of into the distance. It looked a little something like this …..

(Pic courtesy of Gallery 727. “Sky Shark” by William Acedo. All Rights Reserved.)

It’s safe to say that there’s a few of these Hawks patrolling the skies from as far as Pershing Square, to Atlantic Blvd. I tried looking up some info and trying to identity what kind of Hawk it is, but no such luck. Because their feathers change color with age and I didn’t have any other defining characteristics, it’s hard to find a match. Maybe someone else whose seen them will chime in with a little help. None the less, it’s pretty cool be sharing the Eastside with these birds of prey. How they got here ? I have no idea, but how they survive is understandable. They are the top of the food chain here. No equals in the skies, plenty of churches, house and buildings for them to nest in and chill and a smorgasbord of pigeons, sparrows and other common birds for them to feed on. If you pay attention to the skies next time your out and about, I’m sure you’ll see one of the Hawks patrolling the skies, keeping all the other birds in check. tru-cha.

8 thoughts on “Eastside Hawks

  1. I love seeing the hawks in the sky. I especially like the Spring when the baby hawks are learning to fly high above the 5 fwy around Elysian Park.
    This past summer I was driving by Hollenbeck park and was stopped at a light. I looked over at the park and there were some tourists taking a pic by some bushes. All of a sudden right behind them a hawk dove into the bushes to get this or her lunch. It was faster than if it had fallen from the sky. The tourists heard the noise and jumped, but before they could turn around the hawk had flown up with a creature in its claws. Powerful.

  2. I love the synchronicity of the bird sitting next to the image! You were at the right place at the right time indeed. I would also like to know the specifics on these hawks.
    I see them frequently in my Atwater backyard…what drama goes on back there with the animals! I have a yard of fruit trees and my neighbor feeds the birds and has a fountain, so it seems that we are on a bird stopping point on their migration patterns. Flocks of birds come through, land on a tree and pick it clean then fly off. The hawks are also regular visitors. The hawk will sit still and silent and wait for the birds to come to the feeders and as they fly away swoosh, in midair, you suddenly see a flutter of feathers come from the sky.
    The hawks are the same color as the trunk of my trees and often I will be hanging out my laundry only to turn and discover a hawk sitting inches from me and waiting for his prey. He sits so still and silent. He does not bother with me and ignores me as I pass.
    But the drama has increased over the years.. I now know when there are hawks nearby because of the crows/ravens. The hawks must attack the nests of the crows because they become irate. I usually will hear loud cawing and then look up to find 2-3 crows circling the sky.
    Suddenly, high above in the sky, I see the hawk and every time he tries to come down to roost in the yard, the crows become louder and more aggressive and will not let him come down! Amazing! So if you see crows/ravens causing a ruckus and circling, look to see if there is a hawk nearby!

  3. As William Acedo prepared for creating his hawk print at Self Help Graphics & Art he became quite the expert on these hawks. Maybe he can chime in?

  4. I can’t remember if I asked William about it, but I know we did talk about it when I was with him at the Self Help print sale this year and when he showed me a mono-print of the same hawk. The man has a talent with wood. Thanks for helping me identify what kind it was Rebecca 🙂

  5. from my window in Echo Park I once got to watch a mother hawk on top of pine tree tear off bits of prey to feed her youngster, a juvenile red tail. I see hawks all the time circuling above Elysian Pk. Hear their screams too. Once got to see a Cooper\’s hawk sitting close by, smaller greyish bird.

    Best bird story for me was when I was out in yard gardening one day — heard a screaming song bird, absolutely screaming bloody murder. I looked up to see a mockingbird being chased by a hawk, all in a flashing moment. The songbird was trying to escape, flying like a human flailing in water escaping a shark, it was clawing at the air in a panic — the hawk was diving on it from behind, eyes intent like a killer. They disappeared over the buildings in a flash. I’m sure that bird got taken.

  6. It looks a little small for a red shouldered hawk, although it could possible be a juvenile. I think it might be a Cooper’s Hawk because of its size and its long tail with horizontal bands. Cooper’s Hawks are already known to nest in urban Los Angeles, where they mostly feed on other smaller birds. It’s difficult to say for sure from the photo.

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