It must be a labor of love...
Either that, or I have totally lost my mind!
Between the dates of February 9, 2013, and June 7, 2013, I have taken just over 4,035 images at the Red-Shouldered Hawk nest site.
My first cut, after editing nearly all of the images and then doing a major deletion, I still had 3,374 images.
The second cut, I did much better, leaving me with 756 images and the final cut to use toward this post and my next two entries, which will lead me up to my...
Four Year Blogversay on June 24,
was down to 486 images.
I will choose 240 of these to print, for a journal book that I keep every year.
I will also gift my neighbor, Steve Lusardo with an album of images, for allowing me access to his property every day, for months.
I am forever grateful to him for allowing me this opportunity!
The hawks always return to Tingsgrove for their breeding rights.
They began spending more time together and the male began to court the female by bringing meals to her, which I first witnessed this year, see top image, January 19.
The first copulation session occurred on February 9, and there would be several other sessions up through March 1.
I am linking up with Mary for:
I am linking up with Stewart at:
Wild Bird Wednesday
Remember to double click on the image, to view a larger slide show of the images shared ~
The images of copulation in 2 entries below took place on an extremely frigid day, with some misty looking weather.
Notice the leaf stuck to the female in the images below.
I do not know if it had sap on it, or what, but she had the worst time, trying to get rid of that leaf, for quite a long time after the male brought her a treat, that had the leaf apparently stuck, when he gifted her with it~
The pair began nest building approximately February 27, thru the beginning of brooding on, or about March 8.
This was the same nest, that they built 2 years ago, and failed after hatchlings died during severe rainstorms.
This year would also prove quite difficult for the hawks. The hen had brooded for 28 days, when suddenly for no apparent reason, copulation sessions began again.
It was going to be a long season, but thankfully they stuck with this same nest...
I say that with caution...it was a small nest, a really small, unstable nest, for what they would need, if they had more than a single chick.
Whenever I am certain that the hen has brooded the eggs well into the time that she can hear them from within the eggs, I pend the trees, to help keep Raccoons away~
If the hen was not brooding, she was always perched in a tree near the nest.
The male does 95% of the hunting during this 28 to 32 day period~
Sometimes the hen would preen on a perch near the nest and other times, she preened while on the nest.
She is a magnificent looking bird~
Sometimes, the male would help with the brooding and that is him on the left.
Once she says, she wants back on, he always complies;')~
The first sign, that showed me the hen was finally feeding chicks came on April 30.
It had been a long journey from when they first began making the way for raising young back in mid January, and there was still a long time, before the young would take their first flight~
For the first couple of days, once I could see white fluffy down, I saw only 2 eyas, but later I realized that there were 3 eyas on that small nest...over the coming days, much would change, but that story will take 2 more posts leading up to June 24, my 4 year date for beginning this blog.
Spring rains came and at times the hen was too soaked to be on the nest, with her young. She had to dry out and then go back to caring for them~
Below, you can see all 3 eyas for the first time.
I look forward to this season every year and I am so happy to be able to share this time with you, finally, at last.
More to come.
I hope that you will join me in the coming weeks, to learn how it all turned out~