Charlotte Got Wet: observation by John Blakeman
Photo by Lincoln Karim
Junior taking off, Charlotte [with wet legs] feeding babies
Hawk Info from Redtail Expert
Photo by Lincoln Karim
June 21, 2005
Mai Stewart sent John Blakeman some questions and then e-mailed me his answers:
I've noticed how much higher above ground Jr.'s nest seems to be than PM's at 927 5th Avenue. Will this be dangerous for the baby hawks when they begin to fledge? If they have trouble on their first flights, could they possibly fall to the ground, a much longer way down than from 927, and could disaster ensue?
Or, on the other hand, might being so high be an advantage, since if they do have some difficulty flying initially, they'll have more height and space in which to recover and find their wings, so to speak?
Your concerns about the height of the Trump Parc nest paralleled my original concerns about the height of the 927 nest. Both are way too high, compared to typical tree nests. But only because it takes so much energy to fly food and sticks way up there. For an eyass about to fledge, the height is a distinct advantage. When the birds take off for the first time, the just sort of set their wings and start flapping. Many of them just stagger clumsily to the ground when launched from low nests in smaller trees. The stratospheric elevations of the CP nests are an advantage, as the young birds will have a lot of soaring and flapping time before hitting the ground on their first flights. Not a problem, an advantage.
I've been amazed by the fact that the hawks eat feathers -- I didn't even think there was any nutritional value in feathers -- or are there bones in there, holding everything together? And I was really surprised to read in Donna Browne's notes that an eyass ate a pigeon foot "handily" -- I thought their feet were only something like cartilege -- is this nutritional?
[This was missing from Mai's e-mail, but I've reconstructed the obvious question]: Can a parent redtail pick up a chick wandering too near to the edge of the nest and carry it back to a safer center area?
No, the parents have very little ability or prompts to pick up the wondering eyasses and scoot them back to the middle of the nest. They never, ever pick them, neither with their bills or feet. The parents seem rather oblivious to the impending loss of an eyass over the side.