On Thursday, Nov. 3, through gray clouds, threatening skies and occasional drizzle, Hawk Blind presented the Telemetry Team with an absolutely beautiful juvenile Red-tailed Hawk! When we asked the blind, "Fritos or Chocolate?" The response was "Always Chocolate!". (As a thank you for giving us such a handsome bird to track, we provided chocolate in exchange to the banders).
Now, if you remember, we name the birds alphabetically, and this was our "C" bird. On the Name Board were such suggestions as Charlie, Claudius, Clyde (in deference to Bonnie last year), and even Citi-group (never!). Hm.... chocolate is a "C" word, but hard to keep saying over the radios. How about cocoa? So the bird was named, "Coco". Now if you think about chocolate, it comes in white, milk and dark forms.... just like Coco. His head was a little light, and he had beautiful milk chocolate eyes. His white chest medallion was actually surrounded by hearts..... really! And, of course, he had feathers of all three varieties, including dark. Silly isn't it! Although we try to be very scientific in our approach to tracking and data, we do have a little fun, when we can.
Anyway, in addition to being beautiful Coco was very mild mannered and cooperative. Larry and Barb affixed the transmitter and the Hawkwatchers (rained off Hawk Hill) were able to see him before release. We released Coco near the base of Hawk Hill above Kirby Cove. It was drizzling lightly and we wanted him to be able to find cover; so Kirby Cove with its assortment of eucs and pines, was our choice.
The skies remained mostly gray with occasional drizzle. Coco moved through Southern Marin county. He was actively moving around even as the sun set. The teams had his last location at Ring Mountain (east of Hwy 101, near Mill Valley/Tiburon). And, on Friday morning he was relocated there.
Will he be a Lean Mean Flying Machine? ...... maybe today will tell.