Update On The Three Red-tailed Hawk Chicks Whose Nest Was Destroyed By The Wind

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Red-tailed Hawk chick in grassesRed-tailed Hawk chick in grasses – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

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.

Three Red-tailed Hawk Chicks perched on a fallen treeThree Red-tailed Hawk Chicks perched on a fallen tree – Nikon D810, f9, 1/200, ISO 320, Nikkor 18-200mm at 95mm, natural light, not baited

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.

Mia

14 Comments

  1. Mary McAvoy June 25, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Great update! Thanks ~

  2. Laura Culley June 25, 2017 at 11:18 am

    As I told/wrote Ron, I’m simply delighted to see these little tykes thriving. Yes, they have many more challenges ahead, but…one step at a time.

  3. Beth C. Brown June 24, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I just found your site amazing pictures. I look forward to looking at all your photos.

  4. M. Bruce June 24, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Great follow up Mia!

  5. M Bear June 24, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Great story Mia! Once in Arizona we saw a hummingbird landing near the ground and then disappearing in grasses for a short time. It perched often near what appeared to be just dry grass. On closer inspection, we saw a young hummer that had been blown out of the nest, a day or two from being able to fly; we watched as the adult fed the almost-fledgling.

  6. Elephants Child June 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    WONDERFUL news.

  7. April Olson June 24, 2017 at 10:44 am

    They have grown. I wish them continued success.

  8. Kathie Brown June 24, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Wow! That is so amazing! Thanks for sharing this story and documenting their progress!

  9. Bob mcphersons June 24, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Beautiful story, Mia

  10. Kathleen Finnerty June 24, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Wow – a wildlife/nature story with a happy ending. So nice — and rare! Thanks for posting!

  11. Patty Chadwick June 24, 2017 at 8:57 am

    YAY!!!!!!!!

  12. Sallie Reynolds June 24, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Hurrah!

  13. Trudy June 24, 2017 at 7:14 am

    👍🏼 ❤️

  14. Liz Cormack June 24, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I’d bet you had a great feeling of relief when you saw the 3 almost-grown chicks on the fallen tree. So glad you have given an update & glad they are thriving.

Comments are closed.