The Red tail Hawks and, especially Arthur, have been giving aerial demonstrations for their three eyases, the Ks, today. The weather was lovely and the winds were fantastic. K3, the youngest was really getting into having that wind go underneath his wings.
Some, much more experienced than me have shared their wisdom with me. Large female birds take longer to get their feathers. The females are already larger than the males. As a result, it takes longer for the feathers of the female to come in and for her to be ready to fledge. This certainly was correct last year with J1 who fledged last and was determined to be a ‘she’ at her autopsy. The youngest, J3 fledged second with J2 fledging first. Ironically, J2 was the second to hatch but the first egg laid if I remember correctly. Now we will see what happens this year.
There is a bit of a spanner in the works because of K2. There is something wrong with K2’s beak area and eye on the right. She has been scratching it today which is not making things any better. No one knows what is wrong but if K1 and K3 fledge then an attempt will be made to take K2 into care.
For now, though, K3 is really having a bang up time jumping, flapping, and watching Arthur do his aerial stunts. I did short videos to show you the action.
In the first one you can see K3 watching Arthur flying around the nest and getting excited. At one time he tries to go upon the light box. That is, in fact, the way that J2 sort of fludged last year – climbing on the light box and being forced to fly off as he fell off it.
In the second, K3 really gets going with the wind under its wings and jumping high. Just look at those great legs and that little one go!
Stop and count the dark lines on K3s tail. You will see if you look carefully that there are six! K3 has enough tail length to fly nicely.
And then, as quick as a wink, the rains came. Fledging will have to happen another day. No one wants these Ks trying to take their first flight with heavy wet wings across that road!
If you want to watch all the action of Big Red, Arthur and the Ks as fledge gets closer, here are the links. There are two cameras.
This is the normal camera which can be moved and zoomed in by the camera operators:
This is the Fixed Camera. It looks down towards the fledge ledge.
In other news, Tiny Tot has been defending his natal nest in St Petersburg today. Jack has brought him or her a fish. The Cowlitz kids were eating the last time I checked on them and sadly, if you did not see my earlier news, all three chicks on the Urdaibai Biosphere Park Osprey Nest have now died. It is a very sad day for everyone celebrating the success of the translocation project. And in Australian news, Lady has laid her first egg at the White Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park. Another one will be laid in 2 or 3 days.
Thank you for joining me. Take care. Enjoy your weekend.
Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab and the streaming cam at the Red Tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell Campus. That is where I took my video clips.