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

Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Most Difficult Post to Write...Get Out the Tissues~

Image may contain: tree, plant, bird and outdoor

A most difficult post to write, as I went through over 3,000 images taken since March 15 when this mating, and nest building first began...ended in tragedy once again this past week.  It was at it's worst in my little world!

Two highly unsuccessful seasons for the beautiful Red-Shouldered Hawks of Tingsgrove and Beyond. Then this season a very beautiful old Sycamore tree is the one they selected and built a nice nest, adequate enough for the two eyas that hatched.
This image was just taken the before the ending came, showing the two eyas and how big they were getting. One would turn out to be a large female and the smaller one a male as best I can ascertain. They were about two and a half weeks from making their first flight.
I had penned the two tree adjoining tree trunks early on to try and avoid Raccoon invasion. There was another tree in front of it that bothered me a bit, but the branches that could possibly touch the crown of the nest tree, from below looked flimsy. The landowners were not really keen on the penning of the trees to begin with and so I never asked about that other tree.
On a late morning I drove around the block to check on them and as I was approaching the land where the tree is I saw in a mother Raccoon, followed by three young ones, being chased low by the adult female Red-Shouldered Hawk and panic immediately hit me. I got to the property and saw a large eyas lying dead on the concrete driveway, a fresh fall from the nest with nesting materials around it. I began to sob! Then I got mad at myself for not having placed the aluminum penning around that other tree. I was just simply too afraid to ask and be turned down by the thought. It's happened before! I looked under the tree and saw the other eyas laying upside down, but he was still alive! I had already lifted the lifeless body of the female into my arms and now allowed the one that survived to lie it's head among the feathers of the lost as I frantically dialed my friend Chuck Culp with Wingspan of KY. He could not meet me for an hour and so I brought the young one home with me and I must say the one that died was HUGE. It was the size of a full grown chicken and the injured one was a very large healthy bird too. I could only find a small wound under the right wing. I had some raw turkey, no chicken and cut tiny pieces off and presented it to the very hungry young one. Tears continued to pour down my face as I was trying to calm down. Chuck called and I took the bird to meet him and his assessment was no broken wings, but the injury needed attention and probably an antibiotic. I had to take the eyas to Dr Gregory in Crestwood and that is where I signed the little thing over to the people who would determine if it would live, or die. It had been hours and I was banking on no news had to be good news. I pray the little chap survives and will be able to be rehabilitated and released at Wingspan. Chuck said that when that time comes, I will be able to watch the release and maybe if I am fortunate, and ask him nicely might even get to release the bird myself. A beautiful day it began, and turned out fairly dark, but yes, it is nature, nature at it's worst this time~

First sighting of the first of two eyas ;)

 Both male and female take turns brooding, feeding and caring for the young ones.  I must add though that the female is generally always very near while the male does most of the hunting beyond the acreage of where the nest tree is.  Female on the right, always larger than the males...male is on left~

This would be their last full day on the nest...even typing those words...brings tears...I just am so very passionate about these beautiful birds~

Update on the Red-Shouldered Hawk eyas. 

I took this picture after feeding the young eyas and before meeting up with Chuck. 
The Raccoon bite was small, but very nasty!
Torn ligaments are involved and so Chuck with Wingspan of Kentucky, his wife Michele  and Dr. Gregory at the Crestwood Animal Hospital are going to do their very best for the young one.
It's been given a 50/50 chance right now, which is better than if it had not been found and taken to rehab~

The Bald Eagle nest site is pretty much completed for the season other than the Eaglet flying and it may have since my last visit.  In these image shares you can see that it is very much enjoying the jumping around and spreading of those massive wings.  It's a shame for this nest as well, that one of the Eaglets perished.  It fell back in March ending and before help could be called in, one of the adults flew to the ground and carried it back up to the nest.  We all know that was with either a strong beak, or a powerful talon that could have not worked out well for the young bird ;(  While it survived the fall, it did not survive long after the flight back up to the nest~ 

Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slideshow presentation after    you have read the narratives~

I am joining in the fun with Eileen at:
Saturday's Critter

Anni at: 
I'd Rather Be Birdin'

 Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global

Stewart for:


  1. So horribly sad!!!! They are such beautiful birds! I hope the little one makes it!

  2. I am bawling! I can't type more thru tears.

  3. Hello, Mary! I am so sorry to hear about the Hawk's nest being attacked or raided by the raccoons. I know you and the hawk parents are upset about the loss of the young one. Your photos of the young hawks are awesome. I hope the one in rehab survives. Nature can be cruel at times. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week ahead.

  4. We watched a nest with 2 baby hawks a few years ago and still see those 2 hawks in the area....many times on the tree with the old nest. I can imagine how hard it would be to see something like that happen. I cry just thinking about it. Hope you have a good Sunday! Hugs!

  5. Oh I know how sad that was for you--( I seen a very healthy looking 6 month old or so grey and white kitten laying in the road--a busy road--dead--and I can't get it out of my mind--my heart aches for it--but my DD doesn't understand why I am still sad about it--and that also makes me sad!!)
    but look at it this way--you got there in time to hopefully save one of them and you did your best in trying to make them a safe place to grow up--hope to hear some good news on this little ones recovery!!
    enjoy, di

  6. Mary - I am so sorry to hear this news … I hope the survivor makes it through the recovery process and can be released back into the wild. We are blessed to have people like you, so passionate about these gorgeous birds - thank God you were in the area so soon after the injury!!!

  7. So sorry for the scenario. I do hope you let us know how the little one does. Thanks for all the fabulous images.

  8. This is sad news indeed, Mary, try not to be too hard on yourself because you weren't able to pen the other tree, that might not have been the reason that the attack came about. Nature can be cruel and only the strong survive. Just be thankful that you were there to save one of them.
    I really hope that you soon hear that the eyas has survived an that you are able to be there when it is finally released.

  9. Hello Mary, your photos, as always, are stunning. Watching those hawk babies grow is a privilege. I'm so sorry it ended badly. I hope the little one makes it and is able to be released soon. Nature is often cruel, isn't it?

  10. Yes, I'm sad to read about this loss. The hawks are such beautiful birds. You are a kind soul!
    Thank you for sharing your amazing photgraphs of both the hawks and the eagles.

  11. Sorry to hear about your eyas. Hope you have more survivors next time. Happy Mosaic Monday

    much love...

  12. Oh how dreadfully sad Mary, I do so hope the little one survives - you obviously knew the right thing to do and the right people to contact, so you've given him every chance. I feel so upset for the parents too having put in all that effort to raise them this far and so close to fledging, I wonder if it is too late for them to re-nest and start all over again.
    Stunningly beautiful photos but such a sad post - fingers crossed for a happy ending for the little one.
    Diana x

  13. So sorry to read about the the loss. Hope the young one is ok. Thanks for your comments on my blog.


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