Monday, March 17, 2008

888 Nest Update:Charlotte and Junior Do Bark and Is It Hot in There? Plus What Happened to the Third Egg on the Briarwood Queen's Nest Last Season?

Brett Odom who has the best seat possible for a view of Junior and Charlotte's nest, sent in these wonderful photos. Charlotte has just entered the nest and here comes Junior with a rather large and unwieldy piece of bark. As they came in together, and I've seen female Red-tails strip bark, let it dry and retrieve it for their nest lining, I'm wondering if Charlotte, feeling somewhat hormonal or gravid perhaps, may have "asked" Junior to do the heavy lifting on this one.

Notice Charlotte's tail in the air as she works on the nest. Junior on the other hand is still doing his best to get the bark into the nest. Another instance where Junior tries very hard to "please" Charlotte. A few season's ago when he was doing another task on the Trump Parc nest, Charlotte watched carefully and when he was done, she went up to leave a few feet and then touched beaks with him on her way out. A Red-tail kiss. (Jeff Kollbrunner reports that he has seen Mama and Papa "kiss" as well.)

A zoom closer, in order to check the condition of the bark. See the thin dry strips on the edges? Either they found the perfect piece or it was stripped some days ago and allowed to dry before bringing it to the nest.

Charlotte comes out into the sun and checks the territory. Now I've always wondered if the hawks on this nest might get extremely hot in that recessed compartment out of moving air with the sun streaming through the glass. I'm supposing it comes to mind, as those of you who were around for this pair's double clutch hatch on the Trump Parc in 2005, saw Charlotte and the eyasses do quite a bit of panting under the afternoon's very hot westering sun for many days.
I asked Brett what he thought--

From what I understand from talking with the management of 888 7th Ave., the floor of the building that the nest is on is a storage floor. There are louvres on the walls of this floor. I wouldn't be surprised if the floor was slightly air-conditioned and some of the cooler air escaped from the louvre slats, cooling off the area of the nest somewhat.
Also, last year, I noted that the eyass would change her position frequently during the day to always stay in the shade. When the sun would move and reposition the shadows, the eyass would move from one area to the next, staying in the shade. The Trump Parc nest obviously had no shade during the afternoon when the sun was in the west. So, I'm not so worried about the parents or eyasses overheating. The nest is very well ventilated.
Brett Odom

That's a relief. And Brett also mentioned that the residue on the windows also helps cut some sun penetration into the nest space. Just another handy use of baby hawk poop.

I also asked Jeff Kollbrunner of if he knew what had happened with Mama and Papa's third egg last season. The other two eggs produced nice strong eyasses and I knew that shells are removed from songbird nests but what happens to an egg that doesn't hatch or remains more or less complete on a hawk nest? ---


The third egg may have hatched. I'm not sure, when I saw the egg the eyass's were about four weeks old. The third egg had a small oval shaped hole at the top side about the size of a half dollar. I could not tell if it hatched and died or it didn't hatch and the eyass's broke it open, or maybe the parents. The egg was otherwise intact. Mama picked it up and flew off with it when the eyass's were about a month old.

(I do like getting those loose ends tied up.)
Donegal Browne

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