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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Prospect Park hawk update

Dandelion seeds

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Clover field

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Today I had enough time to monitor the Ravine hawk nest for more than just a few minutes. I was optimistic that I’d get a glimpse of a chick or two. Things turned out better than I had expected.

The trees have fully leafed out and the nest is more obscured from view than from my previous visit. I had to move my chair around a few times until I found the best perspective. At first, the nest appeared to be empty. Then, out of nowhere, the adult female materialized on the east edge of the nest. At 12:33 the silhouette of a small, fluffy hawk wobbled up to the edge of the nest. He stuck his rear end over the side of the nest and relieved himself. A thick blanket of clouds were rolling through the area so my photographs of that moment are very dark. At last, I’ve positively comfirmed at least one chick in the nest. The softened view through a screen of pine needles wasn’t enough to conceal the mother’s activity. She held bits of food in her bill to entice her hungry offspring. I guess he wasn’t very hungry because, after only a few minutes, the chick turned around and sat back on his haunches.

Ravine nest 5/17

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Feeding time

(Photo credit - Rob J)

A couple of weeks ago I made an adapter to attach my camera to my scope. It allows me to sit back in my chair, occasionally looking up at the camera’s LCD for movement on the nest. At approximately 1pm a pair of wings appeared from the bottom of the nest. A second chick stood up, wings flapping, slapping his nest mate in the process. When he stood up at the edge of the nest I was surprised at how far along his development had come. He has numerous, short flight feathers emerging from the edge of his wings. Sprouting tail feathers still just look like stubby, brown nubs.


(Photo credit - Rob J)

Nest mates

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Clouds began moving in again at 1:30 so I packed up my gear and made my way out of the now tangled underbrush of Quaker Ridge. I think monitoring the young hawks will become easier once they begin climbing around outside of the nest and exercising their wings. On my way out through the Ravine I spotted a raccoon sitting and preening in a large oak tree. It is the oak tree that can be seen in the foreground of the nest photos. Relaxing so close to a Red-tailed Hawk nest seems risky but I guess they’re being good neighbors. Raccoons can be extremely pugnacious so I’m not sure who would come out on top in that confrontation.

I still haven’t come up with names for the parents of the young Red-tailed Hawks. If you have any ideas I’m open for suggestions, just post them in the comments.

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Prospect Park, 5/17/2006
Red-tailed Hawk (Ravine nest. 1 adult, 2 hatchlings.)
Northern Flicker
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
House Wren
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird
Northern Parula
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
American Redstart
Canada Warbler
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

Other common species seen (or heard):
Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Oakleaf Hydrangea seeds

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Mica Cap (Coprinus micaceus)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

1 comment:

Starz723 said...


I always like the names: Samson & Delilah. Food for thought!


PS. Big Mamma is standing on her nest and peering in! This is good behavior.

Just thought of this one:
Little Mama & Vinny
Good Brooklyn monikers!

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