Saturday, May 06, 2006

Little, one of the eyasses of Palemale Jr. and Charlotte's second clutch, shortly after fledging ,
July, 2005

Yes, Red-tailed Hawks do lay second clutches of eggs and they can be successful. But experts say they do so only if there are no longer eggs from the previous clutch in the nest.
In the last few days both courtship and egg tending behaviors have been displayed by the Trump Parc hawks.


Anonymous said...

Do the hawks remove the old eggs themselves?

Donegal Browne said...

That is the 64,000 dollar question this season. Some other avian species have been known to kick out "old eggs", and start over. We haven't found that behavior noted in the Red-tail literature but we haven't found it stated that they absolutely don't do it either. We do know that RTs will lay again if the eggs disappear for whatever reason.

Currently I haven't found anyone who actually saw the moment last year's first clutch eggs came out of the nest bowl. The theory at the time, as the corbel nest had been unstable in previous years and vulnerable to various stages of destruction from wind and weather, was that those forces had caused the eggs to roll out of the nest on their own. But as we didn't see it, we can't positively know for sure what happened either way.

Once again we must sit and watch and wait to see what happens.

Though I must admit, that I wouldn't mind at all if a scavenger bird happened along shortly after the hawks had given up nest tending for this go round and "tidied it up" in time for a second clutch this season.