June 30th and July 1st, 2010
Of the three chicks, there was the biggest one who started to flex its wings and hop on the railing first. The second one followed within a week. The third was little and 4 weeks late to even flapping its wings. I managed to get them all on the railing on the same day (July 1, 2010). While the older two were practicing pirouettes, the runt was happy to just get on the railing. You can notice even the hair on the head and the maturity of the wings is different in the runt. I tell the chicks apart by the pattern of the spots on their flanks.
The Hawk chicks are so much fun to watch. This was just before they started to hunt. In the cowling of the roof, there was a starling nest. The chicks looked in puzzlement as the birds flew in and out of the nest. Then one day I saw this hawk perched itself right next to the opening of the nest (the irregular triangular opening in the cowling). The poor starling waited on top all afternoon. I don’t know how this stand-off ended. Suffice to say, the starlings were not seen in the nest since. Pic from June 30, 2010.
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
I borrowed a 70-300 mm zoom lens from a friend (Thank you!) So here are a few closeups of the Hawk Chicks. They have been growing by the day!
They are learning to fly from railing to railing; so much fun to watch … and they don’t falter.
Mr Father stopped by for a few minutes (band on rt foot). Notice how attentively all the chicks are looking at him. A great family shot; wish Ms Mom was here too.
Here is a closeup of Mr Father Hawk. He checked on his chicks and was gone in less than a minute.
Monday, June 21th, 2010
The father hawk came by, quickly checked out the nest and flew away. he was on the rail for about 30 secs.
Here’s the father hawk surveying the city from his perch on a nearby building.
Friday, June 18th, 2010
I heard this baby call out to its mother. Very sharp, more like a shrill cat’s meow. It gave about 4-5 calls and then kept looking west from where the father/mother typically appeared.
Love seeing them chilling out together on the rails. By now, I think they know me by name.
In this series, one of the hawks is stretching and trying out its new wings. What a magnificent sight! The wingspan must have been about 5 ft across. To think that five weeks ago they were mere fuzzy-haired chicks. Simply Amazing!
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
One of the baby hawks on the rail enjoying the breeze. Xe was steady there.
Tempted by a small bird sneaking into a hole in the roof. Soon! 🙂
One of the others in the nest was flopping its wings and practicing flying.
For Father’s Day, My Tribute to Mr Hawk for taking care of his young ones!
This morning, the male (father) stopped by the nest, dropped off something, hung around on the rails for a few minutes and then flew away.
What a magnificent bird. It appears the chicks are nearly as large as the adult male. Two of the bigger birds in the nest appear to be female. The third is a smaller male (?) Any experts here? I also notice the father has a band on its right foot.
I gather from the comment by Kim (see comments) and from eye witnesses, that the mother hawk (seen in the earlier pics) was killed on Parkman St last Friday June 10th. She was apparently chasing a pigeon when she ran into a commercial truck and died on the spot. So sad. What a majestic bird she was.
Rest in Peace, Mrs Hawk!
Hope you come back into this world as a more majestic bird, lead a full life and enjoy the complete joys of motherhood.
What is more amazing? That this father is regularly bringing food to the nest for his young ones. He doesn’t hang around, or cuddle with them, but drops off the food and flies away. What a great guy!
On this Father’s Day, Wishing you the very best, Mr Hawk!
I think he spied me in the window.
Then flew away (sorry, blurry pic)
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
I returned from Mumbai and was glad to see the hawk chicks still in the nest. For a couple of days, I did not see the mother hawk come back and was worried the chicks were abandoned. Then Wednesday am I saw the chicks were eating something bloody. And importantly, the chick had grown tremendously and were about 75% the size of an adult hawk.
Here are a few pics of the baby hawks (apparently baby hawks are called eyas!) feeding what may have been a pigeon. Scroll down to compare these pics with those of the baby chicks about three weeks younger. Amazing, no?
In the nest one of the baby hawks is stretching out its wings.I think the wings are growing by the day and the babies are simply fascinated at this plumage.
I think one of the babies spotted me in the window.
May 23rd, 2010
For the last few weeks, a red-tailed hawk has been nesting on the fire-escape of an adjacent, nearly abandoned building. It was fascinating to see the mother stand guard, go hunting and feed the young ones. Every few minutes I’d check the window to see what was up with the hawk. Finally brought my camera in and had the buildings guy open the window, so I could take some pics. Enjoy.
From her perch on the railings, the mother keeps a sharp eye. Last week, I could barely see the tops of the chicks head in the nest, now I can see them bobbing around. Its a huge nest and takes up the entire landing on the fire escape.
With the largest of the chicks. For a sense of scale, the chick is about the size of an adult pigeon. The hawk IS huge.
Once every few hours, the mother goes hunting and swoops down on starlets, pigeons or squirrels. She cleans the meat and feeds the three chicks in turn. Surprisingly while feeding, the chicks are always arrayed in a triangle, are well behaved and don’t fight with each other.
I think the mother spied me in the window. Better call it a day.
Don’t miss these Bald Eagles I was lucky to take pics of in Seward Alaska.