Monday, May 19, 2008

Urban Hawk Update: Fordham & Tulsa nests Plus Part I of Cranes vs Red-wings

Photograph by Christopher Lyons

Rose, head cocked watching her little ones, and a precocious eyass at the-- I'm-an-alien-from-a-UFO stage, giving Chris the eye. Here is Chris Lyons update on the Fordham nest of Hawkeye and Rose--

All seems to be proceeding as it's supposed to, over at the Fordham nest. I'm still having a hard time getting decent photos of the chicks, but they are gradually becoming more cooperative about sticking their heads up far enough for me to snap them from the ground--I don't have the kind of equipment that yields very good results from the greater distances when photographing them from the roof of Dealy Hall, where it's easier to see what's going on inside the nest.

There seemed to be a rat's tail sticking out of Rose's mouth this evening, as she stood on the nest. As I've mentioned, there's a new construction project on the campus, which is disrupting the lives and homes of many rats, and probably making it easier for Hawkeye and Rose to catch them. Hopefully these rats aren't carrying any significant quantities of man made toxins in their tissues. Hope to get some better shots in the near future.


An update from R. in Illinois on the Tulsa, Oklahoma, Red-tailed Hawk nest on the TV tower--

Here are aerial shots of the TV station tower where the Tulsa RTH is about to fledge. The nest is under the "ball" on top of the tower, behind the satellite dish seen to the left and under the ball. These shots were posted on the Tulsa Hawk forum by one of the forum contributors. Very helpful.

Thunder has not yet fledged, but is doing a lot of practicing and dozing. Hard work, learning to fly.


I do hope Thunder comes down on a roof. There aren't many trees handy. Though beyond the block with the nest, in another view Blogger rejected, there looks to be some green spaces of some kind. I suspect her parents may try to lead her that way with food eventually. I also hope that there are watchers on the ground who will rescue her from traffic if necessary. Though the roof looks very good if she goes off that side.

I had errands in another town and so found myself trundling down country roads, avoiding large farm equipment on it's way to other fields, and watching the male Red-wing Blackbirds on the verges attacking Red-tails, Killdeer, Turkey Vultures, farm cats, and just about anything else that moved.

When what should I see but two very large birds circling above a pond in the middle of an as yet to be plowed for the season cornfield. I pull the car off and grab the camera.

No sooner have I gotten out of the car when an old blue pickup parked in front of me, an older man in his flannel shirt and cap got out and asked if had car trouble. "Sorry, no, I was just looking at the cranes."

He said, "Oh, they're back are they? That's Bette and Bob." And off he went in his truck. Bette and Bob? Bette and Bob it is.

2:39:12PM Well, Bette and Bob are center. The geese who seemed interested when they landed have now gone back to their goose business.

2:43:47PM Bob and Bette wade in. I think Bob is the pale one and Bette the rusty. A Red-wing scrutinizes Bob from his perch on a stalk.
Ah, one goose, head cocked like a theatre patron, is still interested. He likes to watch Sandhill Cranes? They do look pretty strange. Or does he know something we don't?

2:43:23PM Goose did know something we didn't. Look! The Red-wing males have staged on the stalks and are mobbing Bette.
2:43:53PM Bob barges over and the Red-wings retreat. He glares for a moment and then satisfied he's daunted them, he turns toward Bette.
2:44:08pm And the Red-wings were just waiting for him to turn his back. Here they come again. Goose is still mesmerized by the sporting event.
2:44:36PM Bette watches Bob's back and the goose audience increases. My guess is things aren't over yet. Or perhaps the geese have ulterior motives themselves and plan to join the fray as they seem to be getting closer.
(BLOGGER is being temperamental and will only allow a certain number of photos per post the last few days.)
PART II of the Sandhill Cranes vs the Red-wings plus Red-wing Attacks Human is in the next post down.

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