The Red-Shouldered Hawk season began this year on the same property that the hawks have used for a few years now. They began building the nest and brooding March 3, 2015, and as of this share, they have 3 eyas all doing well. Hopefully they will remain on the nest, no falling allowed, and fledge in the next couple of weeks. On the same property a Groundhog has lived for the past 3 to 4 years without any mate. When the property was sold, the new neighbors called the groundhog Henrietta, and as it turned out, they did right by her, for she has 5 cubs and ended up with 4 to raise.
The huge dilemma was that as long as the cubs were so small and milling about, they could be taken by the Red-Shouldered Hawks.
What to do, what to do?
Fatten them up with extra food so that they will be too big to carry away. So far so good. In fact the mother has taken at least one off into the wood and I saw it climbing a fence the other afternoon. The runt of the litter remains near the den, but is in the safety of the culvert under the property owners driveway for now. One sadly got taken out by an auto that evidently drove too quickly, or did not care to try and miss hitting the little cub. They can be a menace, but so far the ones around here have not been much of a problem.
As for the nest condition...this year the adult hawks seem to be very much aware of the problems of last year when the nest fell away after so much use. They are for the first time ever in my many years of following them not tearing food apart for the young, but rather landing on the side of the nest and leaving the food for the young ones to fend for themselves and then they will sometimes cling to side for a while, before flying away. The young ones seem to be thriving quite well with this method of feeding, however, I have missed seeing the adult female feeding her young ones, making sure that each one gets their fill. Nature is really working it's miracles so far on the nest this year, for it is doing well for all of the little eyas.
Thank you so much Nikki and Wilma!
The landowners have been so gracious in allowing me to tramp upon their beautiful property. I really have been blessed in making new forever friends by means of caring about wildlife~
Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slide show presentation after you have read the narratives~
I will be linking up with Judith for:
That is Henrietta with her cubs. I made them a mixture of rabbit pellet food, apples and greens, and feed them this for 2 weeks~
I have begun to feed the little runt some food to help it along, as it's mum and littermates have now left it on it's own. I hate to see it struggle~