At least one white fuzzy-headed nestling was looking over the edge of the red-shouldered hawk nest during my visit yesterday. I can't be sure yet, if there are any others.
Even if I hadn't spotted the youngster with my binoculars, I would have known the nestling was there just the same. The female was sitting higher on the nest and at one point appeared to be feeding young. She also flew from the nest to a branch near me with prey remains in her mouth. It was at this point that I stepped onto the driveway to snap an image, just as I’ve done many times before and the male let me know this was not okay. How did he let me know? I’ll show you in images.
The first image is the male alert and resting on a perch nine days earlier, taken while I was standing in nearly the same spot on the driveway. The second is the male on this occasion, assuming an aggressive posture after landing on a limb near the nest. And below you see the male flying toward me. This, in itself, is nothing new. Both hawks have flown toward me many times before landing on a nearby branch. But this time I could hear the wind under his wings as he passed within inches of my head and when I saw him turn and fly toward me again, I got it (!) and retreated several feet under the canopy. Either this happened because there was young in the nest or the male was upset that I was standing in the driveway between the female with prey and the house where they often exchange prey. In hindsight, probably both. After I retreated, both hawks landed on the roof indicating a prey exchange, though I couldn't see it from my new position.
Below, the female is mantling on the roof. This posture is often used to protect prey. She may have the prey under her, however, she lifted off without it and returned to the nest. Eventually I ventured to a closer but less conspicuous sitting position on the steps near the driveway where I could view the nest. I received no further attention from the male and the female preened while on the nest indicating she was unbothered. I couldn't say the same for myself.
It was while in this position that I raised my binoculars and spotted the fuzzy white nestling looking over the edge of the nest. And all those leaves that make it so hard for me to see, they are perfectly shielding the nest from rain and the hot sun. The timing of nature is so amazing. Stay tuned. I have no idea what will happen next.
This is the 14th post in a series on this nesting pair of red-shouldered hawks. To see the entire series click here. The bottom post will be the first in the series.
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For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.