Saturday, May 21, 2005

Red Tailed Hawks

The nest was about 30 feet in the oak tree at the V-shaped junction of four branches. When we first arrived, there was no movement or sign of birds. I thought they had either succumbed to the hail storm from the night before, or maybe the babies were grown and out of the nest. But, William and I had to wait for Lauren's one hour piano lesson, so we settled down in the truck to watch with our binoculars and lunch.

Finally, I saw the flash of a wing and wondered how the mother bird had gotten in there without me seeing her arrive. The answer came shortly after with the sound of the mom approaching. The wing I saw was one of the two immature hawks, almost full size now but still sporting a fuzzy hairdo. A shadow circled overhead as she continued to call. Was she looking for danger or simply calling "hello, I'm back?" I whispered to Will that the mommy was coming.

She landed, but then turned that unblinking eye directly toward me. Though I was in the truck with binoculars, I could swear she knew I was there and was looking at me. She immediately took off, landing again only one more time in the next few minutes. The two young birds ran back and forth a bit in their nest. I wondered if they get in trouble for running around too much. Did they ever get in arguments and try to push each other out? Occasionally, the mom would fly into the area, calling. Was she saying, "I see you are okay, I'll be back soon with food" or was she saying "I can see you from up here, so you better behave?" I would imagine the former, her reassurance that all was well.

One youngster leaned over the edge of the nest to uh, not mess the nest, and nearly fell out. He flapped his now three foot or so wingspan and I heard him "eek". I am sure he thought he was going to fall.

I look forward to seeing if they are out of the nest next week.

1 comment:

gr8daneluvr said...

I love how you can take an hour of idle time and spend it doing something eduactional, or at the very least, just not vegetating. A lesson for all of us to be sure... if we need to kill some time, we don't have to do it walking around a mall or staring at the t.v.


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