Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thunder Rolls Out! And Here Comes a Tornado Towards Tulsa.


THUNDER DOES IT! AN UPDATE FROM R. IN ILLINOIS--

At 6:06 AM CST Saturday, May 24, with no drama at all, Thunder spread her wings, and flew away, straight into her future. Observers who witnessed the fledge write that she "just did some air lifts..hopped to the corner ledge facing the street, fully extended her wings, and flew off, straight ahead....no hesitation at all, just launched herself.."An observer on the ground, walking the area and searching and asking folks, said that no one has seen her since.

Russell Mills of KJRH TV in Tulsa is posting the video of the fledge on their Hawk Page. He wrote: "We'll keep a sharp eye out in the neighborhood and try to spot her, but if you know the topography then you know the area's heavily wooded, especially over by the Arkansas River, and she'll be very hard to find."

Another observer wrote: "Thunder hatched march 3/1/08, Thunder fledged on 5/24/08 - 54 days is my estimation."


4:45 PM Saturday. Tornado on the ground currently heading toward Tulsa. Are we freaked? Of course we are! Hawk spotted on a telephone wire at the far stretch of a parking lot at the station. ? Thunder ? Hard to feed a baby on a telephone wire. Parents have been bringing food and greenery back to the tower nest site, and facing that direction and calling, maybe telling him - If you want it, come and get it"? More later.

And from Judy in MA, who watched Thunder fledge--

4:45 PM Saturday. Tornado on the ground currently heading toward Tulsa. Are we freaked? Of course we are! Hawk spotted on a telephone wire at the far stretch of a parking lot at the station. ? Thunder ? Hard to feed a baby on a telephone wire. Parents have been bringing food and greenery back to the tower nest site, and facing that direction and calling, maybe telling him - If you want it, come and get it"?

From long time blog contributer and hawk watcher Betty Jo in CA--

I am so glad that you mentioned there is a network in Tulsa; I was getting really worried, esp. when that film clip played with someone saying people should come out and yell jump and that she should have left a week ago.

I was afraid no one who was there understood baby hawks. For some reason, I can't post to that site-I really wonder why the parents are now on the nest, with prey. I can not believe they don't know where she is. Our urban hawk here in Camarillo (Red Shouldered) sure let her parents know loud and clear where she was at all times--they led her to the local Heatlh Food Store where the concerned clerks put out hamburger. I was chuckling because I am sure there were rats in their dumpster. The RS did not re-use that nest, sadly; but it was in the same vicinity of a very large crow roost.

Betty Jo

I'm very surprised that the very loud almost gull-like piercing begging sound that fledglings make hasn't alerted the parents to Thunder's presence as well. These seem to be young parents but not spotting their eyass or attempting to get her back to the nest with prey is, in my experience, very unusual. Do they know where she is and we just don't know it? If they are spending a lot of time on the nest, instead of tending to Thunder in various ways something seems out of whack somehow.

Some Cues For Local Watchers Looking for Thunder
1. Listen carefully as you walk for the begging call. Fledglings on a maiden flight rarely go further than a block or two. In fact often it's no further than just across the width of a street.

Though Thunder had a good bit of height going for her so she is may well be further than that but not by grand lengths. We're not talking miles.
2. Listen and watch for the many smaller birds, often Crows, Jays, Catbirds, even Robins that will mob young Red-tails with abandon. It's noisy and active. Go towards that activity.
3. Watch the parents and attempt to get cues from their activity. They will try to evade you but keep trying.

P.S. Don't be alarmed if you see the parents bringing prey and Thunder eating but she continues to beg piteously afterwards. She's not likely starving but eyasses are wired to beg, particularly as the days pass and they spot a parent.

Donegal Browne

2 comments:

Karen Anne said...

I found video of Thunder fledging at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUCI1eg0ecE

She seems to be well under control as she left the nestbox. I couldn't tell if she was in the remainder of the video, which pans over the area, or not. Too bad, as that would have given us an idea of how well she was flying.

I noticed in their forum
http://community.kjrh.com/forums/122/2873496/ShowThread.aspx#2873496
that they now think the parents are not actually spending a lot of time on the nestbox, so let's hope they are off feeding Thunder. If I remember correctly, the San Jose parents did continue to visit their nestbox area as did their fledglings for some time after fledging last year.

Donegal Browne said...

Thanks Karen Anne. It looks like at this point that Thunder didn't come down all that far from the tower and Kay has been possibly up there keeping an eye on her. That way in case an intruder comes by Kay has the muscle and the high ground to dispatch it post haste.