This is why the pedestrian bridge at Urfer Family Park in Sarasota is temporarily closed: red shouldered hawks are nesting. Children playing loudly on the playground nearby don't bother the hawks at all. But, apparently, they get upset when people walk over the bridge, which is quite close to their nest. The hawks actually become defensive and have been known to swoop down and smack people across the head. (I met a woman who told me her personal account of being swatted in the head by one of the hawks.) The hawk in this photo, I believe, is the female. Even from a distance, Henrietta (as I've nicknamed her) looks quite substantial. I certainly wouldn't want to mess with her. The entire time I was there, she was quite vigilant, standing guard over her nest, staring into the distance (no doubt wondering where her mate (who I've named Henry) had disappeared. Occasionally, she glanced down, presumably to check on her eggs. They should hatch anytime...with the little ones learning how to fly within 6-weeks. I cannot wait to catch a glimpse of them! In the meantime, I'm enjoying my hawk behavioral observations from a safe distance. By the way, a huge tip of the hat to SDP follower (and MSU Spartan fan) Daniel, who emailed me about this nest. Thanks!