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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Green-Wood Cemetery Hawks

In a late-morning visit to Green-Wood Cemetery I discovered two very healthy Red-tailed Hawk nestlings getting their wings ready for their first flight.

Big Mama kept a close watch on her offspring in the towering Little Leaf Linden tree. When Marge and I arrived, she was perched in a Sycamore tree a short distance to the north of the nest. While I was setting up my scope, she flew into the nest tree, where she remained for the duration of our visit. At one point, she flew into the nest where she appeared to retrieve some leftovers from within the base of the deep nest. The attentive mother then began feeding her over-sized youngsters. The pair are clearly old enough to feed themselves, but I guess the mothering instinct is sometimes impossible to resist. Both of the immature red-tails retain some of their downy feathers on their heads, but fully formed wings and a drive to fly had one bird flapping furiously to strengthen its flight muscles. Its nest mate didn't seem to appreciate getting wing-slapped by its sibling during the exercise periods. I think within 1-2 weeks these young hawks will be out of the nest and exploring their neighborhood.

Here are the two youngsters in their penthouse nest atop a linden tree:

1 comment:

Starz723 said...

I love the video. The nest is so deep that when the juvie stops flapping and he falls back into the nest, its like he dissapears cause he fell into a pit. Look at Big Mama, and how her head is just appearing out of the nest. Thats how deep that nest is. Anyone who has seen Big Mama knows she is a very large red tail.
Green-Wood is one of the safer places for the young to fledge. They can land on the ground and still be safe.

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