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

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Seasons Ending With Red-Shouldered Hawks of Tingsgrove and Beyond~

~March 2018, the nest is ready for egg laying now~

On the morning of June 2 my heart was deeply saddened by what I found when I arrived at the favored Red-Shouldered Hawks nest. The pair had been successfully raising two eyas, one a large female and the other a smaller male. About two weeks out from their first flight, I arrived to find a large female Raccoon followed by three young ones running away from the nest tree property with a very upset hen low flying over them. I got to the driveway of the landowners where the nest tree was and was crushed by what I saw. The evening before the young ones had been so animated up in their nest and full of life. Now the larger female was lying lifeless and the male had a very nasty bite wound to it's right wing. I called my dear friends Chuck and Michelle. Chuck is a licensed wild bird rehabilitation expert with Wingspan of Kentucky.  He has saved many a bird and this time he would do what he could as well. Dr. Gregory at Crestwood Animal Clinic looked over the injury and it was worse than it appeared. Chuck took the bird to rehab and we were in for the long was going to take a lot of TLC.  About mid July Chuck said that Dr Gregory had assessed the bird and felt that it was not going to be a good candidate for release due to the injury just not healing properly for flight. Chuck would try and locate an educational facility for the bird, and if not he would probably have to be put down. With that in mind though Chuck had more faith in this bird and placed him in a small flight cage and within a short the bird was flying. Chuck then moved the bird to the flight cage that I saw him in today and he has not handled the bird for several weeks now.  Today was going to be his release, but then storms came. I took video of him in flight and with tears of joy running down my face. He is gorgeous and Chuck and I know without a doubt that this guy is going to be a survivor! He has zip and spunk and he flies beautifully from perch to perch. Tomorrow, or Sunday possibly the bird will get his release. I don't know if I will make it back to the site, or not, but I am feeling so thankful for Wingspan of Kentucky, Chuck Culp and his work with all birds around our state~

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:

Like all Raptors, Red-shouldered Hawks are monogamous and will stay together unless something happens to the other~

Both the male and female spend a lot of time together during the weeks of preparing the nest, mating and he brings her meals often throughout this period.  She will lay a fertilized egg about every other day~

I always love when she looks so adoringly down at her precious eggs and later her chicks~

The hen will spend many hours for the next 4 to 5 weeks on the nest awaiting the eggs to hatch.  After the first 15 to 21 days she will begin to hear the sounds of the chicks from within the eggs shell.  Once this time has arrived she will pretty much not abandon the nest~

The hen feeding her young.  At this time, I had no knowledge as to how many eyas were on the nest, but I had hoped only a couple, due to the smaller size~

It's quite amazing how quickly these little fluffy babies will grow in the coming few weeks~

Even the hen's preening time will occur often right on the nest, rather than her leaving and doing so from another perch~

Oh my goodness GOODNESS!!!

I loved these next three images.  The hen had flown down to collect a branch to reinforce the nest and as she flew back up she was flying nearly upside down to achieve her goal~

Flying into some bushes to grab some small branches~

Roll your head to the right, now roll it over to the left, that's it, doesn't that feel better ;) ~

In this set it's almost like they are saying to one another, we did a great job with these little ones~

Do you notice the blue plastic on the bottom right of the nest? Some years they have used a plastic grocery bag to help build their nest with~

The male was the big hunter and the hen mostly stayed near her 2 eyas and the nest.  She was almost always in eyes view of the nest for the first few weeks and then she would also hunt as she was able to still nearby~

The two little eyas were growing up so quickly...I love them at this stage~

Their last evening together.  Less than two weeks before they would have fledged~ 

A very low point for me...just had hoped that this season would be better.  The last two have failed miserably~

June 2 2018 and the difference seen on September 1... three months in rehab and now he was ready for his freedom which would have to wait until the next day due to chance of storms near by~

My friend Chuck Culp with Wingspan of Kentucky.  He had believed in this bird and gave him every opportunity to prove himself and it worked out beautifully~

I had spent weeks looking up at the nest and observing the birds and now 3 months later I was so happy to be looking up into the eyes once again of this stunning proud of him~

One of the members of Kentucky Birders and myself thought the same way...Chuck doesn't name any of the birds that he works with.  This time though...I think I want to remember this bird as Culp, after Chuck~

September 2, 2018

No pictures, but success!
Chuck with Wingspan said...
the young hawk freed himself yesterday after Chuck opened the special door for him. 
His first freedom in three months and his first flight into the wild.
I am so Happy, so very thankful~