Raptor Cam Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date

Print
Email
|

May 20, 2010--Entering the Homestretch

by Bob Sallinger

kgw.com

Posted on May 20, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Sorry to have been out of contact for the last several days. I was over in Eastern Oregon at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge participating in their long-range conservation planning process. For those of you who have never been to Malheur, it is well worth the journey...

The hawks are now 37 days old and we are entering the homestretch. Some viewers have noticed them protecting their food from one another.  They hunch over the food and spread their wings to the ground. This behavior is known as "mantling." It is a behavior that they will do throughout their lives to protect their prey from being taken by other predators. At Audubon we frequently get calls from people driving down highways who have seen a hawk on the side of the road with its wings drooping and assume that it has been hit by a car and injured.  More often than not, they are actually fine and just mantling over something that they recently caught.  By the way, red-tails are a pretty common sight on the sides of our highways. There are two factors that draw hawks to highways. First the unvegetated roadway leaves potential prey exposed, vulnerable and easy to catch when it crosses. Second, utility poles provide frequent perches for raptors to sit and scan for prey. Not coincidentally, the number one cause for adult hawks to be brought to our rehab facility is being hit by a car.

Some folks have commented that one of the nestlings seems weaker and more wobbly than the other. I have been out of web-range for a few days, so I will take a look on line today. This morning they were both up and quite active. It is not surprising that one would be more dominant than the other. They have now lost most of their body down and you can really see the feather development. Over the next week expect to see them become much more active. They will be spending a lot of time of the edge of the nest practicing their flapping. They will also wander in and out of camera range. In prior years they actually moved to lower levels of the fire escape using the ladder. So don' t be surprised if you tune in and don't see them from time to time.

 

 

 

 

Print
Email
|