Friday, July 6, 2012

The Three Baby Hawks Have Left Their Nest

Less than a week after H1 fledged and I saw it making its first flights around the park, H2 and H3 have also left the nest. The three baby Harris hawks that hatched this spring have grown considerably. If it weren't for their paler color and streaked chests and heads it's easy to confuse them at times with their parents.
And despite the heavy rainstorms over the last days I was amazed to see the young hawks looking strong and quite active.
This morning, very early, I was able to see the young hawks flying back and forth to their nest from other trees in the park.   
I observed them for awhile instead of taking photos and noticed parents Alba and Matias were in the park too and were busy hunting. I saw Alba with prey, maybe a baby squirrel by the looks of it and she landed in one of the trees which I've seen they use to roost  and was followed one by one by father and fledglings.
This is the first time since they hatched two months ago that I hear the fledglings screeching and calling for food. 

The three very active fledglings visit their nest while parents hunt for breakfast
July 6, 2012
Almost two weeks have passed since I last published and yes, the three fledglings are huge. They are branching, flying, and learning to hunt on their own. I have not yet seen them fly further away from the park but it's almost certain they will do so in the next days.
I love Harris hawks. I admire their 'family spirit'. Unlike other hawk species I observe, mainly Red-tails, Harris hawk fledglings remain with their parents much longer. Maybe the reason is that this particular species hunts more effectively when working as a team. I've observed 'cooperative hunting' among a group of Harris hawks. They can spend a long long time (sometimes almost an hour) observing their possible prey and suddenly they attack together, literally raiding their prey, especially when they are hunting baby pigeons!

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