"Hey Everyone - Big exciting news! A friend, biking home from work at around 5:30 PM, heard a hawk call, looked up and saw two red-tails on the corner of the FI and they started mating!!"
Immediately, the questions - discreet and otherwise - started flying, and roughly in these categories: how, where, when and how often.
So, as always in times of hawk ignorance, I turned to John Blakeman for his wisdom about the sex lives of hawks.
John writes, "It was pleasing to learn that the haggards were 'mating.' But that's not so, in a proper way. The two haggards -- properly -- mated when they came together, started to defend their territory, and began building a nest last year. They mated last December or January (or before). Mating is the social process where two birds decide to share a territory and cooperate in defending that territory, and then build a nest and attempt to produce offspring. Mating is a long-term social process, similar to 'marriage.'
(Note to self: Think I might like to come back as a hawk....!)