6/6, Grant's Tomb

GT Fledgling & Mama - 4984

E-mail from a neighborhood hawkwatcher Tuesday afternoon reported that two of the Grant's Tomb red-tailed hawk babies were out of the nest, with one about 25 yards away high up a tree and the other 150 (!) yards away in a low tree near Claremont Playground.

Heading up that way, I initially had no luck spotting the roaming kids, but one adult was perched atop the International House keeping an eye on things. But a bit later, I discovered one of the fledglings was up there with mama, exploring the rooftop. The fledge soon decided to join mama on her perch atop a vent cover.

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But the fledging's balance wasn't great, and after it flailed a bit and almost whacked mama in the head, Mrs. Grant decided that there's close and there's too close. She took off for the other end of the building.

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The fledge made a move to follow, but only flew about 50 feet, landing on the metal walkway around the uppermost part of the International House, where it mostly disappeared from view

GT Fledgling in Flight - 5003

But what of the second fledgling? The report had been that it glided down to the lawn, then ran, skipped, and hop-flapped north to the chess tables, and finally made a short flight to the top of a scrubby tree by the playground. Initially he couldn't be found, but after a single blue jay made some noise, I circled around the tree and found the hawk fledging right where he was said to be.

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Looking a bit nervous, both because of the blue jay but also because its perch wasn't the strongest.

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Nevertheless, comfortable enough to do some preening.

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And look around.

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After twenty minutes it (he?) began to show some interest in relocating. Perhaps because there were now two blue jays mildly harassing him. But where to go?

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Oh, no, you don't want to go west. That will make the blue jays angrier.

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But west the fledgling went, making a very short flight to a tree across the path, where the blue jays were indeed angrier.

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It moved about the branches, hop-flapping, branch-walking and climbing. Then decided, okay, maybe a different tree, but only one 15-20 feet away.

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A nice solid branch to perch on, but the blue jays weren't going to let him stay.

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So from there to another tree 15 feet away where the branches were closer together. Would they offer protection from the jays? No, not really.

Unfortunately, at that point, I had to go. Papa Grant made a quick flight through the area as I was leaving, so the red-tail parents were aware of where fledge two was at and were keeping an eye out.

As I made my exit, I found Mrs. Grant and fledge one perched alongside each other on the I House walkway railing.

GT Fledgling & Mama - 5066
GT Fledgling & Mama - 5072
Posted 6/07/2017 12:58:00 AM by Robert

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