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