As Ferris Akel said this evening – some people think that once Big Red’s kids fledge that is it but, of course, it isn’t. The fun just begins once they fledge. Today, we were treated to K1 and K3 figuring their way out of predicaments and then watching Big Red try to lure them back to the nest with prey. We got a look inside a world that at one time, we might not have even noticed.
K1 left the nest at 13:38 and flew to the Oak trees across Tower Road. Half an hour later, K3 fledged. He wanted to be with his big sister not alone on the nest for another day while she was out having fun.
K3’s fledge had many of us holding our breath. K3 flew towards the Oak tree in front of the Fernow Building where K1 was but, he made a turn, almost hit Bradfield but, instead, clung to the building and fell down. Until K3 was spotted by boots on the ground – and believe me it felt like it took forever to get someone there – we had no idea if the last hatch of Big Red’s 2021 season was dead or alive. Thankfully K3 was fine – probably a little more tired and anxious but no physical injuries. How lucky!
K1 spent much time in the Oak Tree and then decided to do a little tour of the area. Maybe that wasn’t such a smart idea. She wound up hanging on to a thin window ledge on Bradfield – as if she were a moth.
We know it is K1 because of the wide white terminal band and the distinctive six dark bands on her tail. K3 has a ‘muddy’ tail.
She looks rather elegant holding on to the ledge with her talons but it must have been physically tiring. She managed to pull herself up eventually but the ledge was not wide and she was scrambling.
Still, she was able to manoeuvre so that she could fly back to her favourite tree – the Oak tree that she fledged to – her security blanket tree.
Meanwhile, Big Red is over on the light stand taking it all in. She has a perfect line of sight to both K1 and K3. They probably had no idea their mother was ‘watching them like a hawk’.
K3 is somewhere in the Oak Tree. Earlier he had landed on one of the Bradfield ledges and all he wanted to do was get to his big sister, K1 in the Oak Tree. And he did, eventually, get to the tree but she was high above him and his laddering abilities found him going down, even falling down, instead of going up.
Gosh that little K3 is soooooo cute.
K3 wound up on top of the sculpture in front of the Fernow Building.
He flew back into the Oak tree trying to get to his big sister – again!
Big Red decides that it is time to try and lure these kids back to the nest on the Fernow light tower for the night. She has prey and everyone knows that food is a great motivator.
First, Big Red took the prey to the nest. She is hoping that one or both of the Ks will fly over to the nest for a nice meal with mama.
When that didn’t work, Big Red decides to take the prey over near the Ks. Seriously, how could they resist a nice fresh chippie snack?
There she goes. No one ever has to worry that Big Red’s kids will go hungry. They won’t!
Big Red lands on a corner of Bradfield.
Indeed, Big Red flies to various spots around the Fernow lawn trying to entice the two hawklets to come out and eat. She even flies back to the nest to see if they will follow her. Then she returns to the buildings around the treed area of Fernow.
She flew to the top of the Rice Building. Rice is a popular prey drop for Big Red and Arthur and all of this little exercise tonight is a teaching. Big Red is showing them places that will become food drops.
Still no takers. Is it possible these Ks are not hungry?! She flies around some more with the prey in her talons.
Before she gives up, Big Red decides to take the chippie to the tree close to K1. Surely K1 will come for dinner!
Big Red waited. And she waited. In the image above you can see the chippie in Big Red’s talons.
But, after awhile, when it appeared that no one was going to come down and take the chippie, Big Red decides to eat it. Another good lesson – eat the chippie when you have it, don’t wait. Someone else might eat it!
While all of this was going on, Arthur was protecting the territory from one of the light stands while being harassed by a Robin.
As the full moon comes up and lights the night sky, K1 tries to get to the light stand with the nest. She winds up on the wrong one.
K3 remains in the Oak tree where he will have to perch for the night.
Big Red returns to Bradfield where she has a clear sight line to both of her children.
Arthur later flies to Bradfield.
It is a beautiful night. There is a full moon and everyone is settled where they are – like it or not – for the night. One can only imagine that little K3 would love to be in the nest cup sleeping comfortably instead of standing in a tree with all kinds of noises he is not used to. That little one has had a lot to take in today since it fledged!
Good Night Big Red, Good Night Arthur, Good Night K1 and K3. Sweet Hawk Dreams.
Thank you so much for joining me. It is such a joy to watch this family.
Thank you Ferris Akel for your live streaming of the Red tail hawks this evening on the Cornell Campus. That is where I grabbed my screen shots.