I'm usually alerted to the hawk's presence by three freaked-out parrots who fall off their perches, screaming and flapping wildly, whenever it dives steeply into our backyard for an unsuspecting dove. I've witnessed the hawk's shadow pass over their cages only once, normally skidding onto the scene moments after the hawk has risen with a dove in its talons, a drift of breast feathers settling onto the patio and grass, while the parrots continue to flail about until I soothe them down. I don't begrudge them their panic one bit.
This morning, though, the screams I heard were coming from a hawk back behind the trees across the road in the front of our house. I threw the newspaper on the table, grabbed the binoculars from the secretary, and went back out to determine what the commotion was all about.
There were three hawks, and best I could tell, the red-tailed one was being subjected to some tag-teamed bullying. Once he'd been led to the decision that he didn't really want to incorporate this area into his own territory, he flew east and the other two reconnoitered in a tree for awhile before lazily heading east themselves.
I'm assuming there may be some baby hawks hatched nearby in the spring.