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Gosh, it's been a while...

The lack of posting kind of relates to the lack of much hawk news, but it seems only fair to do a wrap-up post on that, at least for now.

After about Sept. 8th, I really wasn't able to find any sign of the two juvenile redtails around campus. Presumably, they finally left, to go off and establish territories of their own. *sniff*! I miss them. Also sad is the fact that once they change into their adult plumage, I'd never recognize them again anyway. (I barely figured out how to recognize them as individuals as it is.)

Interestingly, the adults have been around -- mostly either circling overhead, often hunting together and calling to each other as they do so; or, a few times, one or the other of them sitting on the good ol' First Church weathervane, not affording very good pictures. Below is the best pic I've gotten recently -- when they show up circling and calling over my building, and I can sometimes run out and get a shot before they circle away out of the patch of sky that I can see.


There is a nice large-size copy of this, if you click through.

Also interesting, but somewhat confusing, is the fact that I am now, for the first time (?) hearing the adults use the same kreeeeeet-kreet-kreeet cry that the juveniles used all the time, in addition to the adult kreeeeeeeaaaar! call. I put a question mark, of course, because now I can't be sure whether I did sometimes hear the adults give that first cry in the past; although mostly, the evidence was that when I heard the call, it was from a verifiable juvenile. These past few times, I have heard the adults using it as they hunt together.

Finally, on a completely different note, I thought I would share a couple of pics of an interesting meteorological phenomenon that I witnessed on Sept. 8th and 9th, both times in the late afternoon as the sun was setting. The phenomenon is Parhelion, commonly called "sun-dogs".

The top pic was taken in Watertown, MA; I would estimate, betwen 5:45pm and 6pm. The bottom pic was taken on Harvard campus, in front of the Science Center, probably around the same time on the following day. (I was up there taking some pics of a pair of hawks flying around; they sounded like juveniles but later examination of the not-terribly-good pictures suggested it was more likely the adults.)





So it seems that the story of this year's baby hawks at Harvard is over. But if I get any more interesting shots, I'll be sure to share them here! And we'll cross our fingers for next year.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 5th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
Great shots, and a very cool sky!

There's been some kind of raptor noise in the woods across from my house most afternoons this past week. Not sure what kind as I can't figure it out from my identiflyer thingy.

Oct. 6th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
Hmm! Well, I know that the identifier thing I got (and all the websites I've checked) are annoyingly incomplete, in that they only identify the "kreeeeeeaaaar" hawk sound, and not the "kreeeeet-kreet-kreet" sound, which -- dudes, isn't that somewhat important? Otherwise how are people who hear the "kreeeeet-kreet-kreet" sound going to know what it is? And man, the juveniles used it ALL THE TIME. And the adults use it too, so.

For all you know, could be a kestrel in there making some sound that bird-call-identifiers don't see fit to include. *rolls eyes*

By the way -- in the last episode of the National Parks series, they used the Dead's "Sugar Magnolia" in the background. I thought of you. :)
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
It's true. *sigh*

I think you've typed the sound I've been hearing perfectly. Now if I only knew what kind of hawkish creature it was.

Seems awful loud for a kestrel, but perhaps not. Am pondering.

I decided to wait and get the DVD of the series, something to watch during the long winter. So glad they used that music. Such a great song. Very bouncy and joyful live too.
Oct. 5th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
I work on the top floor of a Kendall Square building. About -- oh, sometime in August -- a hawk just plopped itself down on the window ledge outside my cubicle. Sat there staring off into the distance, right next to the glass. We quickly annoyed it away pulling the window blinds aside, and nobody got a photo, but no-shit-there-it-was.
Oct. 6th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
Well, and now you know to keep a camera on hand AT ALL TIMES!

I have heard somewhere that there's a nesting pair at MIT, and that at least in the past, there's been a live webcam pointed at their nest. So you've definitely got them down there. Including the pair now at Harvard, I've heard of at least 3 pairs in Cambridge, maybe 4.
Oct. 6th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
Sun dogs and hawks...very nice, thank you.
Oct. 6th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )