5/22, Sole Survivor

Sad news came early Saturday that a hawkwatcher had witnessed the mother red-tail at the cathedral trying to remove a dead nestling from the nest. But the viewer did report seeing one active nestling. I wasn't able to check on the nest until much later, but as 6:30 approached, I found the nest looking quiet.

Both parents were both found perched on Norman's favorite chimney at the hospital.

Mom and Dad on the Hospital Chimney

Norman took off about a half hour later, but Isolde remained there until sunset.

Viewing the nest from another angle partially revealed what looked like a carcass lying along the north edge of the nest, with the tell-tale tawny coloring of a red-tail baby's breast feathers.

Much to the relief of three hawkwatchers, just past 7:30 the surviving nestling finally popped up and moved around.

Sole Survivor

Looking this way and that and moving from one side of the nest to another.

Sole Survivor

A few wing flaps, but they seemed more for maintaining balance when moving about the awkward surface, rather than actual wing testing.

Sole Survivor

Twenty minutes later the baby settled down. Sunset came not much later.

The death of one the cathedral nestlings sometime in the past few days may not have been the first. Three weeks ago, when babies were first seen at the nest, reports indicated that there were three, including the video that Bruce posted. But thereafter, there were no further reports of three visible at a time. A week and a half later, there was some question as to whether the third baby had died or if it had ever existed at all. The nest location being what it is, only occasionally were two of the nestlings seen, including last Monday.

It's been a tough year for hawk nests in the area, but it's worth remembering that two years ago was very bad and the relatively good years like 2006 and 2007 are to be that much more appreciated.

Posted 5/22/2010 09:02:00 PM by Robert

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1 Comment:

On 5/23/2010 11:53 AM , Melissa said...

Sad news, indeed, after other recent losses. I appreciate your putting it into a larger perspective. Great photos, as always.