Red-tailed Hawk Fledglings And Some Sad News

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Fledgling Red-tailed Hawk siblings on the groundFledgling Red-tailed Hawk siblings on the ground – Nikon D500, f10, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light, not baited

I am going to get the sad news out of the way straight off. Yesterday I found one of the Red-tailed Hawk chicks from the nest that had blown down dead along side of the road. I presume that the young hawk had been struck by a vehicle. The other two young Red-tailed Hawks were fine. I hate seeing things like thisand although I did take a few photos of the deceased chick I won’t post it here on my blog. I still know that leaving the chicks with the adults instead of taking them to a rescue facility was the best choice to make but I felt sad and deflated after find the hawk’s body.

However; later on I spotted two of the other Red-tailed Hawk chicks that I have been following since early spring and was delighted that they have now fledged and have both learned to fly. Or maybe a better way of putting it is that they are learning how to fly and to get where they want to be.

Red-tailed Hawk fledgling getting its balanceRed-tailed Hawk fledgling getting its balance – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

At first the two Red-tailed Hawk fledglings were side by side but after a bit this one walked away from its sibling and decided to perch on a fallen branch. It had a little bit of trouble a few times maintaining its balance but that gave me a great view of the underside of its wings.

Fledgling Red-tailed Hawk in the grassesFledgling Red-tailed Hawk in the grasses – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1250, ISO 250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

The other fledgling stayed where it was for quite some time, looking about, preening a bit and then looking around some more.

Preening Red-tailed Hawk fledglingPreening Red-tailed Hawk fledgling – Nikon D500, f8, 1/640, ISO 250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

By walking up the hillside the other fledgling was able to flight twice to get to this lichen covered rock at the edge of the cliff and it settled down and began to preen its feathers. Watching it I realized that young Red-tailed Hawks can amuse me with some of the expressions I see and perceive them to make.

Over the shoulder look from a Red-tailed Hawk fledglingOver the shoulder look from a Red-tailed Hawk fledgling – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

And this over the shoulder look from the young hawk made me laugh. I needed to laugh after what I had seen earlier in the morning.

Fledgling Red-tailed Hawk preening on a lichen encrusted rockFledgling Red-tailed Hawk preening on a lichen encrusted rock – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

It felt good to know that these two Red-tailed Hawks had fledged and were doing well. Both of them had even seemed to hunt around on the ground for a bit. Just a few weeks ago they were little white balls of fluff with wobbly heads in a nest. Look at them now.

Red-tailed Hawk fledgling walking in a cliffRed-tailed Hawk fledgling walking in a cliff – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1000, ISO 320, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

The other Red-tailed Hawk fledgling became more active as its sibling preened and it also walked up the hillside before taking flight and landing up on the cliff. I have to say their flight isn’t as graceful as an adult Red-tailed Hawk’s flight yet but they are figuring out how to get where they want to go.

Fledgling Red-tailed Hawk resting on a cliffFledgling Red-tailed Hawk resting on a cliff – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

It isn’t easy for young Red-tailed Hawks during their first year of life, not easy at all but these two look like they are doing well.

Life is good.

Mia

10 Comments

  1. Kim July 5, 2017 at 6:52 am

    These are amazing!

  2. Anita Cothern Austin July 3, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I love the way you almost become a member of the family. We all ascribe Human characteristics to the creatures with which we interact. Wouldn’t it be awesome to look at ourselves through the Hawks eyes? And of course the shots are great.

  3. Diane McPherson July 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Awesome photos. They are my favs . Thanks for sharing,

  4. Pepe Forte July 1, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Absolutely fabulous shots Mia. All the stuff I love is there. Thanks.
    Have a great 4th!

  5. Elephants Child July 1, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    I already knew your sad news, but my heart strings ached again.
    Thanks for the photos of the survivors. The beautiful survivors who have people half a world away cheering them on.

  6. April Olson July 1, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Wonderful series, it is so much fun to watch them grow. It is amazing how well they blend into their environment.
    Again, so sad about the dead juvenile.

  7. Patty Chadwick July 1, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Sad news…glad the other two are hanging in there…amazing how well they blend in to the rocks and lichens. The mortality rate is already so high for young hawks, it’s extra sad that one is claimed by a vehicle.

  8. Kathy Finnerty July 1, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I breaks my heart to come upon dead birds.

  9. Stu July 1, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Thank you very much for this excellent post, Mia.

  10. Liz Cormack July 1, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Sad to know about the one Red-tailed Hawk fledgling but good to know the other 2 are healthy and are starting to hunt for themselves.

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