Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fordham's Vince and Rose, the Queen's Ravens, and the New Kids on the Block

Photograph by Richard Fleisher
And here we have a grand shot, including belly band, of young Vince of Fordham. Also note how dark his wrist commas are. See the dark line of feathers towards the top of the inner wing? His head color continues down rather farther on his shoulders and chest than some other hawk's do.

Right now his very light eyes will be an obvious difference between he and Rose but they will darken gradually over the next three years until they'll be no help at all in discerning which bird of the pair one is looking at. Hence the reason for getting into the practice of looking at the other marks of possible difference that may help in identification later.

Photo by Richard Fleisher
Rose's very fluffy bottom bookended by her two very alert and healthy looking 2010 eyasses. Hawkwatcher Christopher Lyons suspects there may be a third.

Photo by Richard Fleisher
And beautiful dark eyed Rose herself.

Here is what Richard Fleisher, photographer, and one of the major watchers of the Fordham nest had to say--

Hi Everyone,

I finally got around to shooting the Collins nest and processing some of the photos.

The shots dated 5-5-10 are of Vince. Today's shots clearly show Rose and two frisky eyases. I have attached one of the shots of Vince, one of the nest with the two chicks and a close-up of Rose.

I have located additional photos on my flickr site -


Photograph by Francois Portmann

A Queen's Ravens Update from professional photographer, Francois Portmann--

The Ravens nestlings are growing fast.

Heads of only two of the three Raven chicks were visible this past weekend, reaching a little higher out of the nest. They were unattended when I arrived on site. Soon one adult flew in with food, dropped it on the metal beam and started to “prepare” it for the chicks, going back and forth between food stash and nest.

For more go to

An Update from Sally of Kentucky, who keeps tabs on the Sutton Eagles and the Portland Fire Escape Red-tail nest--


I guess you haven't heard, but the 2nd of the two sooner lake eaglets of "Fred and "Ethel", "Ponca"-named for a kind and avid nest watcher and animal lover who passed away in January, has perished. It fell from the nest the night of May 4th and was discovered missing the morning of the 5th. Sutton Center staff went out and found it dead on the ground beneath the nest tree, no apparent injuries. The initial thought was that it was predated as the adult was seen taking a threat defense posture and then taking off from the nest, but apparently not. Anyway, so goes life in the wild. Sutton Center is planning to put transmitters on one or two eaglets this year so we are watching for that news.

The RTH fire escape nest in Portland has lost one eyass of the 3, hope is that it is not a frounce problem again this year.


Today I looked out and there was Doorstep Dove and Friend's first set of this years fledglings puttering around in the feeding area. Doing what they are supposed to be doing at this point, feeding themselves.

Do not think they still aren't being overseen by a parent. I looked up and there was Friend in the guardian spot of the Maple tree, alternately attempting to preen his feathers dry and surveying the area for possible predators. Doorstep, I suspect, is already sitting on another set of eggs.

If something dangerous should appear, Friend will take off like a shot from the tree. No, he isn't abandoning his two fledglings to fend for themselves. His rapid retreat has two important advantages for the fledglings. First it warns the youngsters that it is time to take to their wings, and second his noisy Mourning Dove flight will draw the eyes of the predator, distracting it from the kids who will be busy taking off to follow him.

And so it goes, Spring comes round on the gere once again. We loose some birds that we have watched intently, with wonder and held great affection for, but new ones are hatched or come to our attention that we may learn to hold in their own special esteem as well-- if we continue watching with fresh eyes of wonder and as intently as we have watched before.

Donegal Browne

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