Friday, April 24, 2015

SR-2 Freeway: We're On Hawkwatch

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 24, 2015, 11:59 AM.  I observed one of the hawks flying in and out of the nest a few times around noon today. Other than that the adults were scarce today.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Last night CalTrans was working from at least 9 PM to well after 1 AM, 50 to 75 feet from the tree where the Red Tailed Hawks are nesting.  I got a call from Peter Jones, the PR guy from CalTrans, first thing this morning.  He said a couple of biologists would be in the area to observe and make recommendations regarding the nesting hawks.  (Shouldn't that have happened yesterday, especially after our conversation, Wednesday?)

I told Jones where CalTrans worked last night, pointed out the photo I posted early this morning, and said I had not yet seen the hawks today.  It's not unusual for the adults to be away from the nest hunting when they've got chicks to feed.  However, this is a new pair of adults hawks using the nest this year, so we are concerned about construction noise and light spooking them.

Around noon, I saw one of the adults fly in and out of the nest a couple of times.  It walked around the edge, looking into the center, but exhibited no feeding behavior.  When it left the nest, it flew to a tree in between the north and southbound lanes of the 2 Freeway where it likely could keep an eye on the nest.  It was very aware that I was watching through binoculars.  When I would put the binoculars down, it would fly back to the nest.  When it realized I was watching it in the nest again, making eye contact with me, it would fly to the nearby tree, trying to distract me from the nest.  I put the binoculars away after 10 minutes to not stress the hawk further.