Monday, June 04, 2007

Hawk Walk

Driving home a day or so ago, I noticed an osprey flying over a nearby ball field. We'd seen osprey there many times, and had never thought much of it as there is a wetlands nearby. This time, however, the osprey caught my eye as it flew to the top of one of the light posts over the ball field. As I tracked it, I realized there was a nest there!This morning, my husband and I combined our walk to check on the red-shouldered hawk with a walk down to the ball field, about 1/4 mile farther down the road. (It was hot and sunny, so we were glad it wasn't any farther!) We got to see an amazing show just as we got there. Two osprey were on the nest, and two others were trying to land on it but were being fended off by the two on the nest. About the time I got the scope and camera set up, the air show ended. All I got was this one picture of three osprey on the nest.
Our questions--were two pair trying to claim the same nest? Or was this the age old drama of the parents kicking the kids out of the nest? It seems quite late for nest building, and as a follow up, we haven't seen osprey actually on the nest since then, not that we've been hanging around the ball field full time.

While we were sitting on the bleachers watching, a guy pulled in and asked what kind of birds they were; he said that the birds had had nests there for about five years (shows how observant we are) and the kids playing ball enjoyed watching them. He thought the young had already fledged, so perhaps they were indeed the youngsters that we saw.

As for the red-shouldered hawk, we didn't see much, just a little fuzzy crown of the head and a stubby wing flap. But at least the hatchling is still around.

Northern Cardinal on Nest

Here's a picture from today--the female sat on the nest for several minutes at a time and would leave for several minutes at a time. I was able to get a few good pictures of the nest as the leafy branches were wet from yesterday's day-long rain. As they dried, they rose and blocked our view of the nest by the end of the day.
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Northern Cardinal Building Nest

This is definitely the year of the nest. We saw a cardinal building a nest in the crepe myrtle in our front yard, where we've had nests before. I spent a day, off and on, watching her build the nest. She would bring a new piece in, weave it in, then scootch down in the nest and wiggle, I guess to make sure it fit her right. She spent about a day or two doing this (it was well on its way when I saw her). The next day or two, she didn't spend much time on the nest. Then, today, she would come and sit in the nest for several minutes at a time, and then disappear for several minutes at a time. We can't see into the nest, so not sure if there are eggs yet. Here's a video of her building the nest.