A Bird's Eye View into Nature's Reality

And then there were THREE!

Welcome to our world Baby #3!!

We now have THREE babies! It’s hard to believe that three days ago, because the alotted hatching time had almost elapsed, I was convinced there would be no hatchlings. Today marks a pretty major event. Since all three eggs hatched, we have exact-day-counts for how long they were in the egg. Every baby was overdue. During the brooding time we had really nasty weather and the parents were buried in snow on the nest a number of times.  It was smart of the three eyeas (nestling hawks) to wait!

Red-Tailed Hawks take 28-35 days to hatch. In 2009 2 eggs were laid. By day 37, for the 2nd egg, the parents abandoned the nest.
2011 Baby #1 was laid Tuesday April 19th and it hatched Thursday May 26 on day 38
2011 Baby #2 was laid Wednesday April 20th and it hatched Friday May 27 on day 38
2011 Baby #3 was laid Friday April 22nd (Earth Day!) and it hatched Saturday May 28th on day 36.

There is a nest at NY University, NY, NY that on day 35 experts announced there would be no hatchlings. On day 37 a baby hawk hatched. It made big news being a Miracle! Pretty cool day 38 bore life here! (Hardy stock in the Rocky Mountains!) Here is the link to the NY University Hawk Cam http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/category/hawk-cam-live-from-the-nest/

Our Baby #3 took forever to get out of the egg. He started pecking yesterday. I first saw his little head at about 9:15 AM. Watch the following video closely. Just to the right of the Mamma’s leg you will see that his bottom half is still in the egg.

Our poor little guy has had a rough go of it.  No wonder he was stalling coming out into the real world…it seems to be an absolute battle zone.  Never before have I witnessed hawk babies behaving so violently toward each other in the nest.  He finally shed his shell around 11 AM.  Mamma Bird made quick work of moving it out of the nursery and nibbled on it for extra calcium.

Picking up after her newest addition

The upswing is, Baby #2 is holding his own with Baby #1 (the bully).  I think it’s only a matter of time before serious paybacks ensue.  I have not seen blood drawn yet.  That’s another plus! I would encourage you to hold an open heart toward “the bully”, as afterall, he is just being a raptor!

Pappa Bird was very busy today keeping a full supply of food in the nest.  A medium size rabbit was front and center on the nest for all the world to see. ( A little unsettling for me because at some point the face was turned toward the camera and its little red eye and nose were pointed toward the camera.) Later a large squirrel was the main attraction.  Raptor reality can get quite gruesome:

Rabbit for Lunch

Names…I never name the babies.  The parents are Mamma Bird and Pappa Bird… (not very original but it works!) I can barely tell the parents apart, let alone little puff balls that later morph into vulturey looking things before they turn into beautiful young adults!  But if you would like to suggest a name, please share! I will do my best to apply them properly! 

Larry, Mo, and Curly...or is it Curly, Mo and Larry?


4 responses

  1. Fascinating! I still can’t believe this is happening in your backyard. And, wow, did they finish off a rabbit and squirrel in one day?!

    May 29, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    • It is wildly exciting! I never get tired of trying to capture wildlife in action. Yesterday “Mamma Bird” appointed me official babysitter. I stood outside most of the time but would go in to check the video. She came back twice when I was inside and screamed at me to get back to my post!! Yes they did eat the squirrel and the bunny. The male is not only feeding the 3 little ones, he is feeding the Mamma too. She’s a big bird and has to keep up her strength to tend to the offspring and nest maintenance!

      May 29, 2011 at 11:09 AM

  2. Kathryn

    Wildly facinating. Thank you Maureen for sharing this experience and your expertise with all of us. Keep up the good work, I LOVE it 🙂

    May 29, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    • I am so grateful you and others are interested! It is such a pleasure to share it. (It gets kinda lonely out here taking in all in by myself!!) Love YOU!

      May 29, 2011 at 8:58 PM

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