Nocturnal battle

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Basket

I had been looking at the nest these past few weeks with no small sense of suspicion. Yes, the female redtail hawk was standing some sort of vigil but maybe there had been some complications. Maybe she was sitting on an egg that would never hatch. Perhaps it was a rock? A false pregnancy?

After all, all of the births of our young native raptor friends in the past few years had occurred in March at the latest. These birds looked awfully small, perhaps it was a juvenile dress rehearsal, if such things even happen in the avian world.

In addition there were some very strange looking additions to this nest, which has been used for generations upon generations of birds in the Santa Margarita River valley. Puffballs and bits of red scrap, what else? Eggshells?


I was driving out to get the papers this morning when I saw the three little heads pop out of the nest. Both mother and father were standing by looking at their progeny. I could say proudly but it would be a terrible cliché. How do I know the parental emotions locked away in the brains of these fellow creatures?

Last year we had two chicks, the year before three. I stopped on the bank in the middle of the high and winding dirt road that overlooks the canyon and the very tall sycamore. I put my 300mm on my nikon, just a tad short. By the time I got to my vantage, the father had split.

I took a flurry of shots. Enlarging them in Lightroom allows me to see many delicate interactions between the birds that I could not see from my distant perch.

Doug is going to let me borrow his sharp 400mm lens for a while. I promise you we will get some pictures!

These will have to do for today. Lovely chicks, no?


Anonymous said...

Great shots and fabulous story.

MC. said...

Very cool. Hawks hunt from the 15 sycamores on our small property, but don't nest here. So it's great to follow your brood. Keep the photos coming!

Anonymous said...

Once again beautiful photos.
Thanks so much for the heads up on the baby hawks. Beautiful photos!! And yes I will bring my binocs this week.

Hope you had a lovely day!


Sanoguy said...

Great shots, Blue Heron. The wonder of nature!! Keep us posted!!