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Watson Woods-July 72014-Hawks 037

Watson Woods Temporary Trail Closure

Prescott Creeks has placed two temporary closure signs on the west side of the North Loop Trail within Watson Woods Riparian Preserve.

After receiving multiple reports of nesting common black-hawks along the trail, it seemed a prudent course of action since they are a listed as a Wildlife of Special Concern (WSC) by AZ Game and Fish Dept.

For at least the past two years we’ve had a pair of common black-hawks within the Preserve, nesting on the west side the creek and closer to the Prescott Lakes Parkway Bridge, but this year they’ve chosen a nest site above the trail on the east side of the creek. Both years they’ve fledged two chicks.

According to a volunteer referencing the Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas by Corman and Wise-Gervais, “Both parents share in the incubation of the 1-2 eggs which hatch between 37 and 39 days.” It also states that “Occupied nests were reported by 22 April, suggesting incubation. The Atlas noted nests with young from 25 May to 25 July and the first fledgling was observed by 12 July. The last confirmed record was of an adult feeding a fledgling on 13 August.” Thus, it appears that if they are successful the full cycle could extend from now to late July or early August. The copyright of this Atlas is 2005 so there may be more recent data available.

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