Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract: First Red Tail Hawk Fledgling Flew The Coop

Video: Gary Vlahakis, June 4, 2012.  A day after a perilous journey from the nest, the largest of the 4 Red Tailed Hawk babies (also known as eyases) took off.  (Best viewed in full screen HD, Blogger resets the video on this page to lowest resolution.)

Gary's been combing through hours of footage and watching through binoculars, to see if the hawk came back to the nest.  So far we've not seen it.  Nor have we seen it in the surrounding tree branches.  This morning, the remaining 3 babies were still in the nest, although the second one is "branching," hopping around on the adjacent branches, flapping its wings, gaining strength to fly. 

Red Tails will hang around the nest for months, being fed and learning to hunt, once they learn to fly.  Last year they put on quite a show through July.  It will be interesting to see if all 4 babies make it.

If you find a hawk on the ground, it may not be injured.  If it is not in the roadway, leave it it on the ground and observe it until you can verify whether it is actually injured.  We had to rescue a fledgling in 2005; his leg was broken.  If the hawk makes it to a nearby branch, the parents will be keeping an eye on it and will continue to care for it.

If a hawk is injured contact LA Animal Services who will likely refer you to the Ojai Raptor Center (805) 667-4727.  The Ojai Raptor Center rehabbed & released the hawk we rescued in 2005.  An expert will guide you through what needs to be done.  The Audubon Center at Debs Park is another resource for information.

For an even better view of nest activity, check out the live Cornell University Red Tail Hawk Cam. Their 3 Red Tails Hawks are fledging too.

Click here for all our Red Tailed Hawk nest videos.