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Thread: Fruits of their labors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Richardson, Texas
    Posts
    720

    Default Fruits of their labors

    On February 18 the nest tree looked like this:



    This site has been used by Red-shouldered Hawks for 8 out of the past 10 years that I've known about this nest. Last year they tried a different tree but something went wrong and no chicks came out of that nest. Two years ago the hawks had 3 chicks here that all fledged successfully. They were the juveniles that alerted me to the confrontation between two male bobcats in a nearby tree. This year the adults rebuilt at the original location. I'm fairly certain it's the same male who has a fairly distinctive light-colored head:



    but I don't know if it is the same female. Here is the nest one month later on March 18:



    Not much progress. But nest building then began in earnest. Mom was in the nest by April 5.



    Here she is on April 14:



    By that date her mate is getting protective. Here he is on April 19 letting me know not to get any closer.



    When that happens I stay away from the nest for a while. Here is what the nest looked like this morning:



    The parents got a late start this year. Hopefully the weather will not be a problem like it was 3 and 4 years ago when storms resulted in 50% mortality. I'll try to give weekly updates on this nest.

    Larry

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fruits of their labors

    very nice documentation and beautiful photos. The red-shouldered hawk nest I follow has been in the same place for 2 years now. Yours really did get a late start, the 4 babies in my nest branched two weeks ago and were all fledged as of last week. Your nest has a much clearer view, lucky you.
    Kaptured by Kala

    http://kapturedbykala.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Richardson, Texas
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    720

    Default Re: Fruits of their labors

    Thanks Kala. The fact that they were so late is part of why I think this is a new female mate for the male.

    Larry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Richardson, Texas
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Fruits of their labors

    Update: The nest actually is too open. The nest tree has been slowly dying for several years and now is completely dead. That's why I wasn't surprised they tried nesting last year in a large oak tree and why I was surprised when they returned to this tree. I'm hoping for lots of clouds without severe storms for the rest of June because they have no protection from above.



    Sometimes it's tricky trying to navigate around the nest:



    This morning a few hundred yards from the nest I saw the male Cooper's Hawk I've photographed here for the last 5-6 years. Here he is being harassed by some Blue Jays:



    That's not a good idea. I didn't find their nest this year or last, but in 2015 he and his mate fledged 4 chicks, same in 2014, and 3 in 2013. This guy has been a prolific hunter to be able to provide for so many mouths.



    Harass at your peril:





    This evening while watching the nest I heard the female Barred Owl calling. It took a while to find her and then to find an open shot, but I finally was able to find one:



    I was hoping she would have some owlets with her, but I didn't see any. I first photographed her in 2012 when she showed up as a young adult. It's been fun keeping track of her all this time.

    Larry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Richardson, Texas
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Fruits of their labors

    I went to the nest late yesterday afternoon to try to catch mom bringing some food to the nest. I wasn't the only one waiting.



    After about 30 minutes I got bored and walked over to the area where the Barred Owl sometimes hangs out. As I approached, she flew into a tree in front of me:



    She always has been a very photogenic bird, a natural model posing for the camera in her habitat:





    But she obviously is on her hunting perch so I can only stay briefly. Since she is out hunting 2 hours before sunset, she very likely is hunting for more than just her.

    Back at the RS Hawk nest, mom finally shows up with some food:





    Oops, I'm busted:



    I thought for sure I was far enough away, but mom doesn't agree. Here she comes:



    After buzzing me she landed in a tree above me to make sure I left. I did. Next time I'll bring my scope so I can shoot farther back at 600 and 840 mm focal length.

    Larry

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fruits of their labors

    Fantastic shots. Looks like supper was a rough earth snake? Interesting that she buzzed you. The nest I watched this Spring is right by a road, up high. The parents totally ignore all the car and foot and bike traffic below and the kids liked to peer over the nest edge and people watch. All the kids are out of the nest now but parents are still feeding them. The kids are loud, you can hear them calling when you are anywhere in the vicinity which makes it easy to spot them. Probably have a couple more weeks of that before they finally leave the area.
    Kaptured by Kala

    http://kapturedbykala.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Fruits of their labors

    Wonderful photographs and stories! Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Richardson, Texas
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Fruits of their labors

    Thanks Kayla and Anna. The chicks are growing fast, turning into young hawks as they trade down for feathers, although they still have a long way to go before they are ready for flight.





    Of course, while I was there I had to see if the Barred Owl was out. She was but she again was in a hunting perch so I only had time to take a quick shot and then I needed to leave.



    Larry

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fruits of their labors

    Love for those chicks.

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