Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hawk Watching Again

Yesterday afternoon I went back to the Red- shouldered Hawk nest on Louetta.

The two young hawks were clearly visible - and audible - on the nest.

I sat down and waited, hoping that I w
ould get to see a parent return to feed the young birds.

One of the youngsters spent most of its time hunkered down in the nest while the other stood and looked out.

After a while, it started practicing stretching its wings.

Wing exercises over, the bird backed carefully up to the edge of the nest and pooped over the side.

It wasn't long before the second bird decided to show that it, too, was potty trained.

Then it looked over the side as if it was checking to see it had performed the maneuver correctly.

Suddenly, before I had time to react, one of the parents flew in and perched on the nest.

The young hawks were very excited - until they found out that the parent had not brought in any food.

After a couple of minutes, the adult flew off, circling the nest several times before disappearing into the distance.

What beautiful birds they are!

BTW, keeping a constant eye on the nest wasn't as easy as I expected. It was clearly visible but there were plenty of distractions around. Purple Martins and Great Egrets kept crisscrossing the sky above the nest. The small tree that I was sheltering form the sun under was visited by a succession of Cardinals and Chickadees. Off to my right, a line of trees was busy with several Red-headed Woo

I would have thought that birds living next to a hawks' nest would be much more careful about making themselves too visible, but maybe birds are not on the menu for Red-shouldered Hawks.



Birdwoman said...

Birds are seldom on the menu for Red-shouldered Hawks. They prefer small mammals and reptiles, and birds seem to know this. I've seen our resident Red-shouldereds and songbirds sharing the same tree with equanimity.

Jeff said...

That's what I thought. However, as I will post (with photos) tomorrow, I found out yesterday that they do also take birds.