The gray hawk is found from Costa Rica north into the southwestern United States. Gray hawks feed mainly on lizards and snakes, but will also take small mammals, birds and frogs. It usually sits on an open high perch from which it swoops on its prey but will also hunt from a low glide. The gray hawk is monogamous. The males court the females by rising and falling flight, calls, and nest building. The male and female together will build their stick nest in tall trees. The chicks will begin fledging in 6 weeks, but they will not reach sexual maturity until they are least 2 years of age.
Several years ago, our daughter found a gray hawk chick on the ground, a rattlesnake moving its way. She stopped the snake’s forward momentum by picking up the chick. About six weeks later after Joy’s tender nursing and weeks of feeding it mostly rattlesnakes we had killed, lizards, trapped mice, and some canned cat food, a healed and hungry hawk chick started to fly and was soon calling out for food. Fairly quickly an adult hawk approached and fed the chick. We were grateful to see that the hawk chick started flying with the adults and when it came time for Southbound migration, he went with them. We like to believe he came back with family. We now have many gray hawk families living near the Church.