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April 1, 2011: New Pictures from the Nest

April 1, 2011: New Pictures from the Nest

Credit: Krista Bradford

by Bob Sallinger

kgw.com

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 5:51 PM

 Some really cool shots from Krista Bradford in Michigan of the hawks interacting at the nest. Note the partially eaten pigeon that appears near the eggs in some of these pictures. Many birds of prey do not bring food right into the nest during incubation. Bringing prey near the nest can introduce bacteria and debris to the area. These birds however frequently eat in the nest. This is a habit that they have demonstrated i previous years as well. Also note the new greens that have been introduced to the nest. The greens help keep a clean layer under the eggs and also have antibacterial qualities.

The first shot with the tail feathers through the bars makes me cringe. When we get injured birds of prey into our wildlife rehabilitation center we actually wrap their tails in cardboard or heavy paper. Otherwise they tend to break their tail feathers on cage bars. it is amazing how quickly it can happen. If they break too many feathers, it can dramatically lower their chances of survival when they are released. Birds with broken feathers either have to have new feathers imped (kind of like a feather transplant---we insert feathers from a dead bird of the same species into the broken feather shafts on the live bird) or we have to wait until the bird molts (loses and regrows) the feathers. This can delay release by months. It always amazes me how birds in the wild which are under so much physical stress somehow manage to keep their feathers in such good condition. Birds actually spend a significant portion of their lives preening their feathers to ensure that they do stay in good shape.

 

 

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