Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tulsa Red-tails--Kay Attacks Food, The Nest on M

Capture by Tulsa Hawkwatcher BobDMac &
(This is the photo you'll get with Bob's first link just after Tulsa Sally's report below. Her report relates to Bob's screen captures.)

Tulsa Hawkwatcher Sally reports--

Jay brought food-looks like a rodent-to the nest at 7:30 last night. Kay must have been famished-she mantled and stood up before he arrived and pounced on it as he landed then took off with it. Bobdmac got a nice video and captures of it. She was screaming nearly all day yesterday, even after she had a 40+ minute break and came back looking fuller. This is the first time that I recall Jay coming to the nest so late.
Forum thread link

When the tiercels can't come up with pigeons or other prey during the bulk of the day and sometimes just because they are bountiful, the breadwinner goes for rats. And rats come out most often in the evening so the tiercel will come late to the nest.

Wasn't there far more pigeon coming to the nest during the day last season? Has something happened to the pigeon population?



I think these screen caps from this afternoonillustrate just how ferocious the red tails can be.First, she spots Jay with food and stands up, her beak wide open:

She spreads her wings slightly as Jay nears the nest

She prepares to leap

The prey arrives

She lunges the instant that the prey hits the nest

Before Jay can bring his wings in, she's on the prey

She takes it in her beak

And leaps off

Jay follows her flight before settling on the eggs


Wow, Bob, we're talking a hungry formel who isn't taking any prisoners. It doesn't look like she is getting enough food often enough. Does anyone know if there is a problem with the prey depth this year? I do wish I knew what going on? Was last season similar?

Have you folks ever had the chance to see food delivery by a parent to a fledgling off the nest? Very similar. Sometimes the adult will just drop the food from the air if the fledge is in a safe location and where they are is big enough to "catch" the prey. But if the food is being brought to say a limb with a new fledge, the adult brings it in, and then must leap away into flight in order not to be leapt upon by their progeny.

When the formel is being fed, say twice a day and isn't ravenous with hunger, the tiercel will bring in food, lay it on the nest, and when she comes off the nest, the male keeps his head down (there is some thought that the spot of the backs of RTs heads is a cue that the bird shouldn't be attacked), the female comes over and picks up the prey and slowly takes it to another part of the nest to eat it. On the Fifth Avenue nest, Pale Male will most often l just watch Lola eat as opposed to taking the bowl if she's chosen to eat on the nest. If she takes the food and leaves, then he will incubate the eggs.

Is that the way it works in the Tulsa nest?

When I first got her in my sights the M, N1 formel was sitting at a right angle to her current position.
5:36PM Because of the anchoring branches she is very curved into the bowl of the nest as opposed to her usual end to end position, where at times she completely disappears except for an eye.
5:50:06 PM See how her tail is laying on the branch behind her.
5:50:19 PM
5:58PM I'd been watching from a distant thicket but the hawks had spotted me so there were no switches, no preening on the nest, none of the usual behavior that would go on without an observer or with hawks habituated to humans. Eventually I get back into the car and drive away and I'm sure the Ms give a deep sigh of relief.
From Robin of Illinois and the Blackwater Eagle Blog
Yes folks, way up there is the Blackwater Eagle Nest.

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