I promised some updates on Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks. Right up front I want to thank Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to share her images of Cornell’s birds with all of you. She lives in Ithaca and once or twice a day she heads out with her family looking for the Ks. Thank you Suzanne!
This first series is from 16 July. Both of the Ks are on the corner of this unidentified building. K1 is on the left and K3 is on the right at the corner of the building.
Isn’ she gorgeous? This is K1, the mini-Big Red.
On the 15th, the Ks were hanging out on Weill.
K1 is doing the hawk walk! So cute.
She stops and looks for her brother, K3, who has just flown away.
K3 flew over to the middle of the hockey rink roof and landed! Good gracious.
Later, K3 rejoins his sister on Weill.
Meanwhile, where are Big Red and Arthur?
Big Red is on top of the Cornell Clock Tower.
Here’s a much closer look at Big Red.
And here is an image showing the position of Arthur and the Ks. The green arrow is where Arthur is on the light stands and the purple arrows points to the corner of the Weill Building where the two Ks are located.
Thanks Suzanne for the arrows and the images. It is reassuring to know that everyone is safe and sound.
There is some other news today. K1 caught her own prey. I know it happened but I do not have an image I can show you. Of course, no one knows if this is the first time or not but this is incredible. She is certainly related to Arthur who is like the stealth bomber of hunting! And Big Red is really good herself.
The Ks will be leaving their parents territory in August. They need to be able to fly well and hunt. As you can see Big Red and Arthur have now moved them around Weill and other areas farther from the nest. Soon they will have them hunting in the fields out by the Holey Cow Barns. Why holey and not holy you ask? The cows have clear tubes inserted in their sides so that the students in the Vet School can see what is happening inside the cow’s body. I have to admit the first time I heard this I was quite happy not to be there seeing it. But then wow – how would these students learn otherwise?
Suzanne Arnold Horning also went out to the Cornell Osprey nests and took some images. She believes that the nestlings are about to fledge!
There is only one Osprey nest on the Cornell Campus. It is located on the university athletic fields on a light tower at the soccer field. The adults there fish in Cayuga Lake, Beebee Lake, and Six Mile Creek. Those are within a few miles of the nest. The adults are Olin and Olive.
Off the Cornell Campus there were 38 Osprey nests around the Cayuga Lake Basin. While it isn’t a steadfast rule, most male Ospreys do return to the area of their natal nest. I am assuming then that when Olin showed up as a bachelor and began building a nest that he had hatched from one of the nests around Cayuga Lake several years earlier.
Olin would fly around the soccer field and people began to wonder if he was going to build a nest on one of the light towers. He made several attempts with sticks at the Game Farm Road soccer field. Olin did attract a female – Olive.
The nest you see in Suzanne Arnold Hornings’s images is the new nest that was built for Olive and Olin.
There are three little ospreys ready to fly in that nest this year.
Don’t you just hold your breath when they are hovering? I do! Wings everywhere. Looks like Olive needs to duck.
The Hornings and the Sedlaceks wrote a lovely article about the first year with Olin and Olive. There are some good images. I will attach it below this. Olin and Olive originally had a nest on a light and it was precarious. This is a wonderful nest that was constructed for this Osprey couple. Just look at it. They figured out the height, the measurements the nest should be and made sure that it was storm proof. Amazing.
Here is the link to the article. Please read it, it is lovely.
On the earlier part of the Ferris Akel Live Tour, there was a lovely juvenile Cooper’s Hawk. I think I have a couple of reasonable good screen shots to show you. What a lovely bird. We have Cooper’s Hawks that come to breed on the Canadian Prairies in the summer. They are protected under the Manitoba Wildlife Act of 1994.
Indeed, when I first encountered the hawk that comes to my garden, it was not clear if it was an adult Cooper’s or a Sharp-shinned. Turned out to be a Sharpie Adult, Northern. Like the Sharp-shinned, the Coopers are a medium sized Accipiter. These are the green-blue-grey (or celadon if you want to describe them like a pottery glaze) of a juvenile. The eyes of the adult male are red and they have a white breast/belly with ochre streaking, blue-grey hood and wings. You can see those red eyes in the image directly below.
This juvenile might look like a Red-tail Hawk if you only saw its back. Like my Sharpie and the Red-tails, the length of the wings attributes to the silent stealth manner in which they hunt. They live in forests and even in urban back gardens and they need to be able to turn quickly which they can also do with their wings and their medium size. You can see those celadon eyes of this juvenile in the image below.
Look at the image below. Do not peek at their blue Darvic rings! Which one of those birds is Tiny Little?
I watched Tiny Little for several hours. He is absolutely hilarious. For awhile I wondered if he had forgotten how to fly. He hovered, he flapped his wings and he really wanted to go but he couldn’t get it in forward gear. But never mind. White YW brought a fish on to the nest and thoughts of flying went right out the window. Tiny Little was up to his old tricks. What you are seeing in the image below is the second sibling that Tiny Little has tormented over the evening fish. BTW. Tiny Little had a huge breakfast! His MOD is to stare at the fish, then do some flapping, go back and stare and make the sibling nervous til they walk away and leave the fish. And guess what? He is really good at it.
Blue 464 gave up the fish! Because of his behaviour you will know which one is Tiny Little below but please look at the size and look at the other bird. This is the female, that big female that tormented Tiny Little, Blue 464. Unfortunately I took about 300 images of this nest today (maybe more). I have one of Tiny Little standing next to Blue 462, the male. 462 has the thinner longer legs of White YW. Tiny Little’s legs are stout like a female and she is a big bird.
Just like she wanted. Tiny Little gets a nice feeding by Blue 35. Indeed, I think the two of them shared almost half a fish after 464 and then 462 tried to self-feed.
Here is an earlier image of the Foulshaw Moss family minus Blue 464. White YW is on the front left. Then Blue 35 is next at the rim of the nest. Then don’t peek, which one is Tiny Little? If you said the one on the far right, you are correct. Now necklaces in themselves do not indicate a female but with those stout legs and her size. Well..
‘Silo’ chick on the Patuxent River Osprey Nest 2, the one who fell out of the nest into the water last evening, was up and moving about in the afternoon so everything seems alright there. Fabulous.
Thank you everyone for stopping in today to find out about the birds. It is great to have you with us.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or who gave me permission to use their images: Suzanne Arnold Horning for the images of Cornell’s Red tail Hawk family and the Osprey Nest of Olin and Olive, Ferris Akel Live Tour, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, and Patuxent River Osprey Cam 2.