6/5, Grant's Tomb

Team Meeting - 4882

The young Grant's Tomb red-tailed hawks are easing their way into fledging. A neighborhood hawk watcher reported seeing one going for a test drive early Monday afternoon, making a short flight from the nest platform to a nearby tree. Perhaps 15-20 feet. But when mama arrived with food a few minutes later, the nascent fledgling went straight back to the nest to share in the spoils, and may have stayed there for the rest of the day.

Come Monday evening, papa apparently delivered food around 6:00. When I arrived a while later, the trio were either still pecking at the meal, or perched to the side digesting. It was looking like there wouldn't be much to watch, as they'd all be too stuffed to do anything. But eventually they did perk up. There was some wing flapping, and faces getting whacked when two would try it at the same time. Then one nestling moved upstairs to the platform railing; a second followed.

(Brief interlude for raucous screeching as one of the Riverside Church peregrines came buzzing by, with mama hawk flying in pursuit.)

And then, all three baby hawks were up on the railing. Although two seemed more active — the third displaying a very stuffed crop — all were moving about. There was lots of flapping, as well as numerous short "flights" of 5-6 feet as a young hawk would fly from one end of the platform to the other. In addition to the wing work, they were also practicing their landings on the railing. Despite all the action, no one made the extra leap into the trees, and finally it looked it was time to preen before bedtime.

Team Meeting - 4883
Posted 6/05/2017 10:47:00 PM by Robert

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