Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Brooklyn Red-tailed Hawk Updates

Marge and I did a quick run into Prospect Park then over to Green-Wood Cemetery to check on the two Red-tailed Hawk nests.

There are two healthy looking youngsters on the nest located at the East edge of Nelly's Lawn. One appears larger and bulkier than the other, so I'm assuming that they are brother and sister (females are always larger than males). Their mother stayed at the nest most of the time I was present and even fed the larger of her offspring. It was unseasonably hot and the sun was unforgiving. With little or no shade created by the now dead pine tree, the second young hawk remained obscured from view, in the nest's shadow.

Here's mom feeding one of her offspring:


After eating, the young raptor exercised her wings for a few minutes. They should be ready for their maiden flight any day now:

The nest in Green-Wood Cemetery is located near the top of a towering Little-leaf Linden tree. There are only a couple of narrow vantage points for viewing the nest, now that everything has leafed out. We were able to confirm that there are two young Red-tailed Hawks on this nest. They still have a lot of their downy feathers on their head and face, leading me to believe that they are about a week or two younger than the Prospect Park hawks. Other than some brief periods of preening, we saw very little activity at the nest. Unlike Nelly in Prospect Park, Big Mama wasn't anywhere close by, or at least that we could see. Perhaps she feels that her young are safer in the cemetery. There is certainly a lot less human activity here.

Here are the two cemetery nestlings. Despite their youthful appearance due to a lack of adult plumage on their head, they are quite large:

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