Thursday, June 11, 2009

Red-Tailed Hawk-Nests and Mobs

Note: Update on the young Peregrine Falcon chick is directly below this post.

Alan called me earlier today to let me know the young Red-tailed Hawks in Millbury have gotten much bigger since the last time I was there as he went there earlier today and saw the young hawks and he also saw mamma grab a woodchuck for din-din. We decided to go to the nest area for more pictures just in case they fledge soon.
When we got there the female was off to the side and getting mobbed by a bunch of Blue Jays. The two young hawks were sitting in their nest and watching the whole thing.
This shot makes one of them look like Casper.

A much better shot. Check out how blue its eyes still are!
The female would fly from place to place in an attempt to get away from the annoying Blue Jays but it was no use as you can see from the blurry photo above.
A stare down between a very brave Blue Jay and a very annoyed Red-tailed Hawk!
The Jays would take turns dive bombing her head and seemed to enjoy every moment of it.
The hawk would spread her wings and cry out in an angry outrage. I can't even imagine having to put up with that all the time.
Another dive bomb attempt
And another attempt by the Red-tailed to escape the intrusion with a little remainder of wood chuck in tow.
Finally the female perched up onto a power line for a while in peace.
With plenty of dinner for the two in the nest.

This was the first time I saw a hawk mobbing that was not in the air and it was fascinating to observe. One thing I do know is that it certainly aint easy being a hawk!

Have a great weekend everyone.


Ginnymo said...

Beautiful shots Kim!!! I have seen the Bluejays bothering the Hawks here at times but mostly I always see the Crows attacking the Hawks up in the air and dive bombing them in the trees. You have a great weekend also!!

Ratty said...

Wow, I didn't know any other bird would dare to do something like this. This is a learning experience for me. Great pictures.

Jayne said...

What great shots Kim! I can imagine it gets quite tiring to deflect all the dive bombers. :c)

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I imagine the hawk feels a bit like we do on a mosquito-infested evening should we have the misfortune of forgetting the Off spray. Great photos!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Blue eyes!! I'll never get a chance to see something so neat in the wild. Thanks!

That female sure is pretty.

Richard said...

Great Hawk pictures.

Visit my blog and pick up your award.

NCmountainwoman said...

Gorgeous photographs. I've seen harassment in flight, but never to a sitting bird. Darn ole jays.

Chris Petrak said...

Judging by how often I find jay feathers in my yard, there is good reason for them to mob a hawk - entertaining for us when we get to see it, but rather serious for the hawk & jay, I would presume. Nice pic series.

Chris said...

Hi This is a very nice story and you got nice shots there!! Wow, what an amount of blue jay, quite impressive! I guess the female was bored to see them all around!!

Anonymous said...

Remarkable set of photographs. The crows are pestered like that around here where I live. Not sure if they are grackles, blue jays or black birds but they are ceaseless in their attacks. Almost always happens when the crows are flying alone. Never see it when the flocks stay together.

Never thought a red-tailed hawk would go for a woodchuck. Those are pretty large.

troutbirder said...

Just catching up and what an interesting collection of posts. Great job Kaleen.

Tina said...

Great series but my heart does go out to those hawks..I recently watched several jays harass a red-shouldered hawk over a period of days..they must know where his nest is also..they have picked on him to the point he is looking quite haggered..several feathers missing.poor thing.
Great captures of those babies..he does look a lot like casper..ha ha1 not for long tho..look out,.. what a handsome one he will be!!

Vickie said...

Glad this story turned out in favor of the hawk parent. Mobbing birds can kill a hawk this way. Great observation and images. Sure didn't know they could have blue eyes! (Wish I had a scope!)


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