On June 14th I remember the “punched in the gut” feeling I had when I saw that a Red-tailed Hawk nest I had been observing from the onset of nest construction, to seeing incubating adults, to see tiny fuzzy heads wobbling barely above the height of the nest then stronger, to growing chicks begging to be fed had been blown down by winds we had in Utah over the previous few days that were at times over 80 mph. The wind had blown the nest and the chicks down and there weren’t even any visible signs of the branches the nest had been made of below the power pole where the nest had been.
But all three chicks were on the ground. They were alive, looked healthy, the adults were nearby. I took a few images of two of the downed chicks and we left them under the care of the adults. In the photo above taken on June 14th the crop looked full on the young Red-tailed Hawk which assured me that they were being well taken care of by the adults.
On June 18th I had seen one of the chicks but could not locate the other two.
Yesterday I saw all three of the young Red-tailed Hawk chicks together perched on a fallen tree not far from where their natal nest had been before the wind knocked it down. I also saw one of the adults nearby. I took a few images of the chicks to document their survival before heading down the road. It is a poor quality photo but the best that could be done with the lighting situation. It is especially important to give these young birds of prey space because they are growing up without the safety and security of their nest.
All three chicks still look healthy despite being ejected from the safety of their nest too early because of the wind. There is another live tree near where they were perched yesterday that they could climb up if they needed to for more security. I’m glad we left them with their parents and hopefully I will see them on the wing before too long. These birds are amazing.
Life is good.