After weeks of frequent rain and warm temperatures, the deciduous trees leafed out with a lush, thick canopy and there is now only one spot, and I mean a spot, that is open enough to view a small portion of the nest edge. And that's only to get a view of the nest. Seeing the nestling is a whole different matter. You have to be there just at the right moment when he happens to be active, and on that side of the nest!
I viewed the nest from this spot after I arrived on my May 15th visit and concluded that I wasn't going to see much from this angle. I refer to this as the back of the nest, a more narrow place between two limbs. The larger entry to the nest, where I caught the image of the nestling, is 90 degrees further around to the right of this view.
But conclusions come and go. Don't hold too tight to them. Just as I was about to leave, the resident called me over to ask if I had seen this view. I had my binoculars in hand so I took another look thinking, 'but you can't see anything.' Wow! Did I get a surprise treat. There was the nestling stretching and flapping those tiny little wings. It was 87 º F and humid on this visit. Both hawks were off the nest at least some of the time. From the neighboring property, I spotted the female perched on a low limb on the far side of the nest. My view of her was actually from down hill in a wooded area looking up, with the driveway nearly at my eye-level.
The female is never far away but sometimes she hunts while keeping watch. She flew past me once and landed at the base of a tree but I couldn't see if her strike was successful. Another time she landed on the roof for an instant and lifted off toward the nest. This is when I heard a series of eager peepish calls to which she responded. At first I thought it might be both adults but then I heard the male calling in the distance. I spent four hours on this visit, observing the hawks and listening from the neighboring property. Well worth it. I will have my recorder ready next visit.