Sunday, June 18, 2017

Red-shouldered Hawks Have Fledged

The chicks have now fledged and are flying ... sort of. They are not very graceful but they are making forays out of the nest tree towards the river. I saw one land on the roof of the house this morning. I am not sure where they roost in general.

This evening, I got some pictures of one of the fledglings feeding on a snake by itself, a couple of trees away from the nest. I am not sure if it caught the snake itself, though.

I also found this collection of feathers, part of a wing, and a claw below the nest. I think this might be an Eastern Screech Owl, but am really not sure. The patterning looks close to one I found in a feather atlas. The talon has feathering on the toes, also consistent with some sort of owl. The prey is a bit out of the ordinary for the Red-shouldered Hawk, but not unheard of according to this Wikipedia article.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Martin Changing of the Guard

This morning, two of the chicks in gourd #1 fledged, one about 9:30 and the other at about 13:00. This evening, the five resident adults and two fledglings made passes around the colony before dispersing. Tonight, the male martin is taking care of the two remaining chicks and the female is presumably off roosting with the two escapees.

Meanwhile, in gourd #3, the female has laid her first egg. This is the new mate of the male whose previous mate was killed by Starlings. As far as I can tell from videos, the male has yet to succeed in entering an unmodified gourd. I am a little worried about how this pair is going to feed its chicks.

Update June 9 - Third martin from gourd #1 fledged today at 17:40. As I watched later from outside, the last chick was making thrusting attempts to get out of the hole. These were especially frenetic when the rest of the family was chirping and strafing the colony.

In gourd #3, a second egg was laid at 09:30. This female lays much later in the morning than the last two broods I have watched.

Update June 12 - This pair in gourd #3 seems to have abandoned the nest with no further eggs.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hawks are Branching

All three juvenile Red-shouldered Hawks are now "branching."  That is, they are hopping out of the nest and onto nearby branches. They are not really flying anywhere yet.