Saturday, May 06, 2017

The Monroe Water Tower Red-tailed Hawk Pair

6:34PM Meet Esmeralda, the formel of the Monroe,  Wisconsin watertower nest.

It was late today, and cloudy besides when I arrived.   Esmeralda popped her head up when I first appeared with the camera, like a good mom hawk, and did not seem nearly as petrified as the country hawks I've attempted to photograph in the area.  But then again her human neighbors report that this has been an active nest for about fourteen years.  

Her mate Hugo,  flew into the top part of an evergreen where he was invisible to check me out for a moment or two, decided I looked harmless and then took his leave to go about his late day business.  

The Faith family who live to the left of the water tower are the ones who first alerted me to this nest.  They reported that on two occasions over the years they found a Red-tail just standing in kind of a stupor in their back yard.  They called the local rehabber who came and retrieved the hawk, treated it, and brought it back to the yard for release.  

It is good to know that someone is looking out for them. 

Of course the formel may not always have been Esmeralda (or Hugo either) but if too frightened by people she wouldn't have chosen this site when  her mate Hugo showed her, her yearly options.

The water tower has a full blown neighborhood of  houses around it  and a playground just beyond its legs to the right besides.

The nest is situated on the catwalk just to the left of the leg support  center.  From this view, just beyond where the black walnut tree branches criscross each other.

Note the water tower is surrounded by black walnut trees whose nuts in season are a magnet for squirrels.  Not only is the tower a nifty place for a nest it is also a hunting perch when the nuts are in season.

Just to the right of the tower there is a children's playground which draws children of course.  Kids bring snacks and aren't all that tidy at times so that area too is a draw for prey.  

The original Urban Hawk, Pale Male, often hunts playground areas at dusk when the children have gone home and the rodents are on the prowl for dinner.  
6:42 PM Esmeralda's head disappears into the nest.  You can just see the twigs on the edge of the catwalk center if you look carefully.

7:15 PM  I waited a little over a half hour to see if Esmeralda  was going to give another look over the edge.  Nope.  She appears to be in for the night, whether she is still warming eggs or now brooding eyasses.

The next step will be for me to arrive earlier in the day and hope for Hugo to show up with prey and see if any feeding commences.

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

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