We moved into our home in July 2004 and never noticed the large nest atop a towering sycamore tree directly behind us. It wasn’t until the following April that a guest pointed out the nest and said, “You’ll have babies soon.” I was blown away. I had never even noticed the large hawks in the months leading up to that. They fly between that tree and two others, the three sycamores forming a triangle. Soon after, we had our first chick, Spike. He was named after an infant character in the now long-cancelled soap, All My Children. Since then we’ve had as many as three chicks survive.
Every year, the same nesting pair returns in December. They shore up the nest, using twigs broken with their beaks. They hang out in the Sycamores, and we see many hawks throughout the region flying high, searching for the prey they would swoop down to catch for dinner. The tree sits in the middle of a busy place, next to a guard house in a gated community in northern Los Angeles County. It is a suburban location with lots of hills and a natural oak preserve.