Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer







Sunday, June 9, 2013

Red-Shouldered Hawks of Tingsgrove and Beyond, Part 1 of Four Year Blogversary~


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:

"Mosaic Monday"


at:
http://dearlittleredhouse.blogspot.com

and



I am linking up with Stewart at:




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~




26 comments:

  1. Your photo,s are like always stunning. Love your mosaics.have a nice week.

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  2. Happy Anniversary. These are fabulous photos. Wishing you a wonderful week.

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  3. you are in heaven watching them, i know. :) i love their rich red color and beautiful feather patterns. so glad your neighbor allows you free access to witness them.

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  4. Wonderful! It's so neat that you get to see these beauties.

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  5. Just amazing photographs - these are a fantastic reward for your patience and dedication. I love the way you are telling their story, and I shall definitely be back for the next installment! Thank you so much for sharing - you brighten my day.

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  6. Mary we are so lucky that you share your dedication with us. They're so beautiful and it is lovely that your amazing picture diary allows us to follow the progress from the beginning.

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  7. Your immaculate note taking, attention to detail and dedication is something all bird watchers should aspire to Mary. Your neighbour is clearly a fellow nature lover and someone who appreciates your willingness to share your knowledge and experiences. Have a great week ahead and keep us informed.

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  8. Brilliant Mary, and when the chicks are growing, they will say, thanks Mary.

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  9. Another stunning selection Mary detailing the life of this precious species that is dear to your heart.

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  10. Nice post for the bird-theme!
    Well done!

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  11. What a fantastic post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  12. A great series. It's fantastic to have documented these details about the hawks.

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  13. Mary, awesome series on your hawk nest. It is cool seeing the chicks. Love the photos and the mosaics!

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  14. Hi Neighbor! So glad you stopped by my blog and introduced yourself. I live in Middletown and have had the thrill of two sharp shinned hawks to light in a rotten tree in my backyard long enough to get some pretty good shots. Your red shoulder is so much more dramatic in its markings. No wonder you love to watch them so much.

    Congratulations on your blogaversity--such a wonderful way to make friends and share common interests all over the world.

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  15. Wow !! You take a LOT of images !!
    Very interesting photos of the stories
    of the Red-Shouldered Hawks.
    A lot of beautiful photos !
    Thank you to share this exciting experience of your observations !

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  16. my goodness! so many images Mary! A book is a wonderful idea. I have been meaning to do that with some of my travel images, and the pages of my blog. Sometime....
    I just realized I haven't visited for a couple of weeks, so thank you for giving me a nudge by visiting my blog yesterday.
    Have a wonderful week.

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  17. OMG! Wonderful series of almost the lifecycle! Great post indeed!

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  18. Very nice study of their domestic life. They sure can make a lot of noise when courting!

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  19. Shot counting is the way to madness!

    Great pictures.

    The whales and albatross did not really stop me from getting more sooty oystercatcher pictures - but they did stop me from looking harder for them!

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW - Stewart M

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  20. wow, that is a lot of shots. But so easily done when it is a great pair of nesting birds. :) Hope the books will be good.

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  21. WOW! That sure is a LOT of photos. It's so hard to pick and choose; What you have left is a wonderful assortment. Happy anniversary!

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  22. Gorgeous hawk images.
    And...

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, tho belated.

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