Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Redtailed Hawk Update: Chris Lyons at the Fordham Nest, Stella Hamilton oat the Cathedral Nest on St. John the Divine Plus Francois at the Raven's Nes

Photo by Chris Lyons\\
The three Fordham eyasses seem to be doing very well, and I'd guess the first fledge will happen this week. First fledge ever out of Collins was on 6/8/06, and subsequent fledges have happened around that time.

Photo by Chris Lyons

Today, for reasons best known to herself, Rose was spending some quality time with her young, instead of the more typical "Here I am, here's your food, gotta fly" routine you see this late in the nesting cycle, with both parents working overtime to feed the almost adult-sized youngsters.

Photo by Chris Lyons
She was there resting on the ledge when I arrived, and stayed for at least another ten minutes--her visit might well have lasted half an hour, or more. Maybe she just wanted to assess their progress, or had some other instinct-driven function to perform--or maybe she was enjoying the chance to hang out with them.

Photo by Chris Lyons
She wasn't actually doing anything, best as I could tell--they didn't need to be beak-fed, or protected, or sheltered from the elements. She was watching her kids pretty intently, while they actually seemed to be much less focused on her (since she had no food). After she flew off, she returned shortly afterward with prey, and departed immediately. No sign of Vince, but he's around.

Photo by Chris Lyons
In a week or less, they'll all be out of the nest. She knows that, even if she doesn't think about it much. What I observed may simply be a way of encouraging them to take the next big step into the world around them. But the simplest explanation is that she did it because she wanted to.

Photo by Chris Lyons
Spot on Chris! I think so too. Thanks so much for the photos and your commentary. It’s grand to have a successful, full nest ready to fledge in town.

Photo by Chris Lyons

Photo by Chris Lyons

Photo by Stella Hamilton
From longtime nest watcher Stella--

Dear Donna,
It seems like our fledgling spent the night on the roof of St. Luke's Hospital. Bruce and I did see one of the parents yards away in one those cylindrical ladders on the roof. We did not see any feeding. Survivor was very active, flapping and running around, but was not begging for food. At. 6:20 pm, Survivor decided to fly back to the Cathedral. Here are some pics. Maybe he wants to go back to the nest to look for some scraps.

Photo by Stella Hamilton
I found that in the young Red-tails off the nest on County Rd M, that after the first flight they made it their business to get back to the nest for meals. They then found a spot on the nest with good sightlines for maximum exposure of their waiting selves or as there were two of them they began to compete for a branch that was slightly higher than the nest with even better exposure, attempting to be first in line for any food that came in. They made flights in and out of the tree for days. Roosting back in the nest tree as well as taking meals there. They then got the gist of being ready on the side of the tree the adult who has been hunting was likely to come in on. Eventually they began begging from trees further afield but the adults would make them come and get the prey themselves as opposed to a delivery.

Photo by Stella Hamilton
So far no eyass has made it back to St. Andrew as far as I know. They often do get back to the Cathedral itself though. Come to think of it, the Cathedral is the "giant tree" on which the nest resides, so perhaps they're all following a basic Red-tail urge to return to the "nest tree" to be fed.

Photo by Stella Hamilton
Thunder who was hatched on the Tulsa TV tower returned to the nest platform for weeks to get her meals as well.

Photo by Stella Hamilton
Many thanks for the update Stella!

And last but not least, from naturalist and photographer Francois Portmann who's been keeping an eye on the new species in town, the Northern Ravens--

Hi Donna,
The Ravens are "branching"

Yea! Jeff Kollbrunner called and told me about some wing disciplining by Mom or Dad Raven with one of the older chicks. I've seen it with Crows and an immature Crow who was stealing food from family members instead of foraging his own. Did you happen to see that sequence on the blog a year or two ago? Three older crows surrounded the bad youth. He flipped on his back in submission, then one of the older crows tugged on his wing until he flew away across the street where they made him stay for awhile..shunned by the flock for bad behavior. :-)

Crows also do foot biting. So watch for both in the Ravens as we now know they do wing tugging they might do foot biting as well.

Donegal Browne

1 comment:

sally said...

Love the updates. I hope you are recovering quickly and will be out and about again soon!