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Sporadic hawks...

Time marches onward, and as they grow, the juvenile red-tails become more elusive. Thus, I have a few days' worth of watching to report, but not very much that's spectacular.



Above is a movie that I took on Friday the 7th, when I spotted one of the juveniles high up in the big locust tree in the Barker courtyard -- thanks largely to the outraged sounds of mockingbirds and robins (the hawk itself was silent). Sorry for the poor quality -- most of it is taken at the extent of the 40x digital zoom, and as you can see, it was a windy day. It also didn't help that the hawk had his back to me the whole time, mostly resulting in a brown blob, with the occasional head popping up to keep an eye on harassing smaller birds.

This 2-min. video was edited down from about 5 mins' worth of footage, to show the "interesting" bits -- stick with it to see a mockingbird come quite close (around 0:32); grooming behavior that is interrupted by a darting squirrel (1:05 - 1:55); and a precipitous ending in which the hawk tries to nab another squirrel.

There followed several more days of only sporadic success, hawk-stalking-wise.

Picture 5


The above shot is the first in a sequence of screen-shots from another video that I shot on Monday the 10th. That was a frustrating day -- no hawk sightings, but on my lunchtime walk-around, I heard one of the juveniles crying in a big Honey Locust in front of Memorial Church. Yet, despite walking around and around that tree for a good 15 minutes, staring up into the canopy from all directions, and despite the presence of a screaming blue jay (which is what had originally alerted me to start looking at the tree), I could not spot the hawk, even as it kept crying and giving me plenty to triangulate on.

I was lucky later in the day, therefore, to hear some hawks outside, and go rushing out to find them flying around Prescott St. This one perched on a chimney of the Barker Center for a short time; the video follows him until he flies away south, towards Mass. Ave.



The four screen-shots from the video pause him in flight:

Picture 5

Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 8


The next day, the 11th, a different kind of nature drama -- if you will remember the robin who built her nest on the Warren House column, from previous posts, then you will appreciate this update on at least one of her hatchlings:

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The poor little guy wound up prostrate from heat on the Warren House porch, before hopping off into some shade, and eventually hopping away into the cover of some bushes next to Dana Palmer House. We were quite worried about him (Deborah was especially worried that the mean hawks would eat him), but we did witness the mother bringing him a tasty worm, even on the ground. (The pic I took turned out very bad, unfortunately.) Haven't seen him around since that evening, although we did see that he was capable of using his wings to assist him to hop up tall steps. Hopefully, he made it.

Yesterday, the hawks were proving extremely difficult for me to find when I went on my lunchtime walk. I was starting to really wonder if the juveniles had left the area, since I hadn't seen evidence of them since Monday evening. Walking back down Oxford and across the front of the Science Center, though, I happened to glance up (well, not "happened"; I'm always constantly scanning the rooflines), and spotted a brown blob on the corner of a roof.

Before I could get my camera turned on, the hawk had flown, but I was able to trot after to see if I could see what direction he was headed, and ended up seeing him alight onto the dome of Mallinckrodt:

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He only stayed there for a few moments before flying off further east, and I decided not to try to chase him.

I've been noting the problem that when they are quiet, the hawks are a bit harder to find. Sometimes they're hard to find when they're noisy, too. I heard one later in the afternoon, and traced it over to Ware Street, but couldn't find it.

But, helpfully, another noisy one turned up that evening, as I was on my way home. One of them flew overhead, calling, and went over the roof of Barker. I trotted around the corner, hoping the hawk might have landed on the Barker roof; instead, it had landed on the weathervane of the big Verizon building over on Ware Street:

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And had already, as you can see, attracted a mockingbird harasser.

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It didn't take that long for the mockingbird to drive the hawk off:

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I followed up Prescott St., and west along Broadway, spotting several hawks circling around what looked like the western part of the Yard. But all I got was some not-very-good, if moody, pics (from Quincy St):

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I continued along the top edge of the Yard, intending to cut through down to the T station, and was in time to see one of the juveniles alight onto... whatever that thing is sticking up from the roof of the Science Center:

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Standing there watching, I could hear that one calling every so often, but it soon became apparent (over the roar of the traffic from the underpass) that there was a second one in the area, calling as well, and soon I was able to locate another brown blob that seemed likely to be the hawk, up on one of the weathervanes at the top of the Memorial Hall tower:

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And that's all for now, I'm afraid. I'm braced for the fact that, any day now, the juveniles will depart, taking with them their distinctive, easier-to-find (than the adults) cries. It seems to me that they are getting a bit quieter now, and that their circles of exploration are widening. One of these days, they're just going to be gone, and I'll be sad.

But, until then, I'm watching the skies! And the trees, and the rooflines...

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
jenlev
Aug. 13th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yay for more photos. And I hope they and the robin make it OK. It makes me very happy (as you know) that you're having fun watching stalking the birds.

So....wanna go find some ravens? :::bats eyelashes:::
(Anonymous)
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
Wonderful Hawk pictures!
More hawks! Love it! Those little birds certainly are bold, given that they potentially can be on the hawks menu! I got some pictures myself a week ago of a bird perched at my house, which I may post once I slow down enough, and I thought of you and your hawk habit. (mine are taken with my cell phone - low tech, although for what it is and does, this little camera phone doesn't do too bad!) The level of distance you can cover in your zoom function is absolutely amazing!!! Will continue to watch as you continue to post. Once the hawks move on, you will have to find another creature to stalk...we are quite addicted to your "stalking" chronicles!
gaycelt
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
Btw, the above was from Gaycelt who is STILL trying to get them to send a validation email! Went back to my LJ and checked everything over...gonna try again. If it shows up, Success....
ext_203622
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
What a joy!
I've been following avidly since Cameron mentioned you first had spotted a hawk. The pictures, video and stories are fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing!!!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )