Scenes from a Red-shouldered Hawk nest

After finding the Barred Owl family at Gemini Springs on April 10th, somehow I found myself at the park nearly every day that followed, just to get another look at my favorite birds. On April 11th Arthur and I overheard a park employee speaking with another visitor about a Red-shouldered Hawk nest. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that the nest was in rather plain view, but somehow I had missed it until it was pointed out to us with at least two babies inside already becoming independent though not yet fledged.

That first day, we only managed to see one baby, who looked to be very well fed (look at that crop!). The park employee told us there were two babies on the nest.

baby Red-shouldered Hawk
11 April 2012

baby Red-shouldered Hawk
11 April 2012

A few days later I watched one of the adults hunting. It caught and ate a bright green caterpillar but did not visit the nest while I was there.

parent Red-shouldered Hawk
13 April 2012

parent Red-shouldered Hawk
13 April 2012

On April 16 I finally saw both babies in the nest. Oh my, aren’t they cute?! And again looking well-fed.

baby Red-shouldered Hawks
16 April 2012

baby Red-shouldered Hawk
16 April 2012

Just four days later, they looked so different! I saw a parent deliver food to them a few times on this visit.

juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk
20 April 2012

juvenile Red-shouldered Hawks
20 April 2012

Red-shouldered Hawk food delivery
20 April 2012

On April 23rd I again only managed to see one of the babies. I later learned via a Facebook acquaintance that one of the babies probably fledged that day.

juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk
23 April 2012

On April 24th there was still one baby hanging out in the nest tree, possibly pre-fledge.

juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk
24 April 2012

Today I lucked out by finding a juvenile fly into the nest tree with an adult. The adult took off immediately while the baby waited (and I got to take some photos).

juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk
4 May 2012

juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk
4 May 2012

Good luck, beautiful baby Red-shouldered Hawks!

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