Friday, July 6, 2012

Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract: Hawk Update

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 4, 2012, 8:54 AM.  A Red Tailed Hawk was calling insistently, perched on the telephone pole (seen in an earlier post, frequented by the hawks) high above the meadow of the Red Car Property.  I don't think it was an adult, but one of this year's juveniles.  The distance was too far to get a better shot.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

We've been seeing the young hawks practicing flying updrafts with the adults. We usually only see one young hawk with an adult at a time. You can tell they've the recently fledged because they are unsteady in the air, have skinny chests (they haven't developed much muscle yet) and often soar with their feet and talons outstretched as if they were saying, "Holy crap! I didn't mean to fly this high!"

At least 2 of the young hawks have very red tails. Last year's fledglings did not have the red tail at this stage.

In the late afternoons neighbors have seen a couple of hawks flying low slow circles over Red Car Canyon, between Lake View Ave and Corralitas Drive. We are seeing them more than last week, but not as often as years past.  Last week, neighbors report hearing at least one hawk calling to be fed near the intersection of Walcott and Peru in the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract.

See a great slide show of what life is like in a Red Tailed Hawk nest: Cornell Lab of Ornithology on YouTube.