Red-tailed Hawk – Den Rock Park

December 7, 2017 in Red-tailed Hawk

_W7I1722-001Under bright sun and clear skies with west wind just under 10 MPH and temps in low 40’s, spotted this young Red-tailed Hawk on a perch scanning for prey at Den Rock Park. According to Birds of North America online, Red-tailed hawks feed on a wide variety of prey, using their powerful claws as weapons. Eighty to eighty-five percent of their diet consists of small rodents. Mammals as large as eastern cottontail rabbits may also taken. Reptiles and other birds make up the rest of the diet. Male red-winged blackbirds are common prey because they are so visible when guarding their nests. Red-tailed hawks do most of their hunting from a perch. They are not known to store food. 

Red-tailed Hawk: Lawrence

April 11, 2017 in Red-tailed Hawk

_W7I4227-001On a beautiful bright sunny morning, had a wonderful opportunity to watch a Red-tailed Hawk glide slowly by with a bit a wing flapping. These hawks are frequent in the Greater Lawrence area and are most often seen around major roadways on light posts and other elevated structures.

Red-tailed hawks are active during the day (diurnal). Red-tailed hawk pairs remain together for years in the same territory. These birds are very territorial, and defend territories that range in size from about 1/2 mile to 2.5 square kilometers. The territory size depends on the amount of food, perches, and nest sites in the area. The female is usually the more aggressive partner around the nest itself, whereas the male more aggressively defends the territory boundaries. The birds will soar over their territory, mostly on clear days, looking for intruders.

Red-tailed Hawk: Lawrence

January 28, 2016 in Red-tailed Hawk

CF2C5812-001Noticed a number of Blue Jays pestering a larger bird that landed in a tree along the Merrimack River in Lawrence.  Upon drawing closer, discovered it was a Red-tailed Hawk!

Red-tailed hawk chicks continue to grow…..

May 22, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

According to Birds of North America, developmental asynchrony among chicks (runting) and sibling aggression may occur when food is scarce.  At a nest  where food delivery was low and one chick was dominant to its nestmate, the female parent preferentially fed the dominant chick and frequently pecked the subordinate. There was violent sibling aggression in this nest, and the subordinate chick did not survive to fledging.  Young are generally fed the same foods as adults eat.  Early in the nestling period, adults typically remove unused prey from the nest within a day of deposition. In contrast, old carcasses may be allowed to accumulate in the nest late in the nestling period.

Red-tailed Hawk chicks….now 3!

May 20, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed hawk chicks now number 3!  two are larger in body mass than the third smaller one, so time will tell if the third chick is strong enough to make it in the fight for food.  According to Birds of North America the male provides most of the food for the female and their brood from hatching, although female may occasionally vacate the nest for brief hunts.  For the first 4–5 wk after hatching, prey is torn into small pieces for nestlings by the female; thereafter prey is deposited in the nest for nestlings to tear and eat.  Generally, prey are delivered to nestlings 10–15 times/d from just before sunrise to just after sunset.  Delivery rate and prey biomass vary among individual birds and are affected by brood size and prey availability.

5 photos posted including adult female watching and guarding from a nearby roof top:   Click “next”

Red-tailed Hawk chicks growing!!

May 16, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

From Arthur Cleveland Bent: “The young, when half grown, become very lively, walking about in the nest, stretching or flapping their wings, backing up to the edge of the nest to void their excrement in a long stream far over the edge; the ground under a nest of young hawks is well decorated with a circle of white. Their eyes are very keen, and they frequently raise their heads to watch passing birds or to look for the return of their parents.”

4 photos posted:    Click “next” in upper right corner to advance frames….enjoy!

Red-tailed Hawk chicks

May 14, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

The Hawk chciks continue to grow and it appears that there may be a thrid chick in the nest!  The female  otday brought a pigeon back to the nest and tore apart the bird to feed the eager chicks!

5 photos posted:    Click “next” in upper right to advance frmaes….enjoy!

Red-tailed Hawk hatches chicks!!

May 13, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

Finally after dropping eggs around March 26th, the RTH has hatched her eggs.  For the moment it looks like 2 chicks, but it’s always important to be patient and maintain a sharp lookout for all nest activity.  The feeding activitiy has picked up during the day with many trips out and back for food.  My friends report that the first egg hatched around May 1st and they have been observing closely since then!

Red-tailed Hawk

April 24, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed continues her steadfast incubating duties awaiting the hatching of the first chick!

Red-tailed Hawk

April 22, 2013 in Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed continues to be patient in incubation mode!