Thursday, April 30, 2009

NYBG Hawk, Franklin Institute Red-tail Nest Cam, and Courting Snakes in Texas

More photos of the hawk in the New York Botanical Garden. Here is a great shot of the birds belly band. Many watchers use belly bands to discern one Red-tail from another.

The attached photos were taken by my friend John Santiago on the same day I took the photos of our mystery hawk (Tuesday, April 28th). His photos, were taken in the morning around 10:15 am.

We were both taking photos of our friend when she/he took off from the nest on the library building. Unfortunately our fine feathered friend flew directly into the sun right overhead and try as I might, I couldn't see anything through my lens. John was standing at a different spot and has a much faster camera. I've cropped his photos in the hopes that maybe one of you can better recognize the features of Hawkeye or rose. Will these help?

Every observation and photograph helps because it has the capacity to add another piece to the puzzle.

Thank you John and Pat!

Courtesy of
The Franklin Institute Triplets, Screen Captures by Robin of Illinois
This nest is outside a window at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The camera looks out through the window to view them and there is no artificial lighting of the nest provided so the nest can only be viewed by the video during daylight hours.

(While the other two tussle, number one on this end looks to be considering taking a bite from mom's bloody foot. D.B.)

Unnervingly, there can be seen traffic (perhaps a freeway), in the near distance below the nest.

I don't want to even think about branching and fledging and there seems to be nothing on the web site about plans to deal with the human and architectural and automobile hazards below the nest.

(I went to graduate school in Philadelphia and if I remember correctly and it hasn't changed since, there are indeed multiple lanes of rapidly moving traffic in front of the Franklin Institute. But I expect as so many people watch this cam that some at least will be on the spot for fledge days with their towels and boxes, perhaps including employees of the Franklin Institute. We'll hope that many have read Marie Winn's book, "Red-tails in Love" and will know exactly how to deal with the situation. Fingers crossed. D.B.)


All three had hatched by April 17th. The video shows unbelievable close-ups of the damp feathered eyasses as they are emerging from their shells, as the mother nestles down over them to keep them warm, with her talons curled gently under.

(Betty Jo of California discovered this beautifully erotic sequence of courting snakes but without attribution, if anyone knows who deserves the credit please let me know.)
Ahhhhhh, Spring in Texas and love is in the air.
Photos taken in South Texas , while going for a WALK!
(Original narration in bold.

Note the angle of their heads.


Is that gorgeous or what?

Fascinating that in any number of species, including some reptiles and birds, that a form of synchronized movement or vocalization precedes copulation.
These are diamond back rattlers. Well, I didn't want to take a walk anyway...
From Brett Odom in answer to my questions concerning his latest report on Junior and Charlotte--

I never noticed a food drop yesterday [April 28 D.B.] and I was in my office all day. Nor did I ever see Junior. Yesterday was also a very warm day. It was in the upper 80s. If the glass acts as an insulator it could have been even warmer on the nest. Charlotte was panting for most of the time she was at the nest so it was probably pretty warm back there.

Coming Soon--Cheryl Cavert of the Tulsa Hawk Forum reports on Tulsa's Billboard RTs and 51st&Peoria Pair!
Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Those snakes are amazing. Who knew...

Donegal Browne said...

Exactly! They're reptile version of dancing cranes/