6/7, Grant's Tomb

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It's not 100% certain, but reports from other hawkwatchers early Wednesday suggest that all the baby hawks at the Grant's Tomb nest have fledged. They reported that the nest was empty in mid-morning and early afternoon, but none was actually able to find all three of the young birds. It's possible that the third fledgling merely made a short trip from the nest to a nearby treetop and then returned later.

Why "returned later"? Come early evening, two of the young hawks were on the nest platform. One plainly had a full crop, so it seems that they were there because that's where dinner was delivered.

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Efforts to find the third young bird seemed to be in vain.

One of the pair in the nest was looking into nearby trees, but I didn't think to check if it was because the third was somewhere in that direction.

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Finally some blue jays started aggressively calling out near the northwest corner of the tomb retaining wall, and sure enough, there was the third young hawk.

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Its scrambling behavior in changing from branch to branch was much like that of fledge 2 in the trees by the playground on Tuesday. That it was the same bird seemed confirmed by the tuft of white fuzz still attached just above the top of its beak.

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It tried another tree about 30 feet away.

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But found the blue jays would follow. Also, that branch is at a sharp diagonal.

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It tried changing position, slipped, fell, and started flying. Moments later it was 80 feet away in a tree near the lawn between the tomb and the playground.

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Adult supervision was present pretty much the entire time.

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Posted 6/08/2017 01:25:00 AM by Robert

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