Before I begin this post I wanted to say that I will not share where this nest was other than it is in the state of Utah, I don’t want this location known for the Red-tailed Hawk chicks safety. There are unethical people (wanna be falconers) who might try to capture them without permits, proper licensing or proper training.
These chicks are especially vulnerable because they didn’t fledge naturally from their nest, they can’t fly yet and I won’t do or say anything to put them at risk which also means I won’t include any images I have taken of the nest prior to the wind blowing it down or anything that gives away their location, I want to protect them that much and ethically I believe it is the right thing to do.
Last week and over the weekend we had some pretty strong winds in Utah, miles and miles of I-80 were closed because semi tractor trailers were blown over. The wind howled and howled and at times there were gusts in excess of 70 mph. While I was safe and sound at home from the wind the birds here in Utah weren’t and to make matters worse it is nesting season.
Yesterday I saw that one of the Red-tailed Hawk nests I have been following since early spring had been blown down because of the high winds, the winds must have been very strong because I couldn’t even see any of the branches or twigs the nest had been constructed with.
I saw the Red-tailed Hawk chicks near where the nest had been though and I spent less than two minutes with them and took a few images before leaving them alone.
The adult Red-tailed Hawks were nearby and could easily see their chicks from where they were perched, the chicks looked healthy, well fed and were partially hidden in tall grasses. I felt reassured because the adults were there. Even though the three chicks are out of their nest prematurely the adults are there feeding and looking after their young. I can honestly say I felt no need to rescue them because the adults were right where they needed to be and because of the condition of the chicks. I believe that leaving them with their parents was the best choice to make.
I sure hope that the three Red-tailed Hawk chicks make it despite the wind knocking them out of their nest early, only time will tell.
Life is good.
A nifty graphic from Tracy Aviary that can help people figure out if they need to help a young bird or leave it alone, “I’ve Found a Baby Bird, What Do I Do?!“