Thursday, June 25, 2009

Carditoo's account of the exciting June 25th Philly hawk activity

Carditoo (Carolyn Sutton when not on Twitter) often goes down to the Franklin Institute early in the morning to check out our hawk family. She was there today (Thursday) and sent me this account of all the morning's excitement:

"When I arrived at the Parkway this morning at 5:45 AM, it was depressingly overcast, damp, quiet and deserted. I looked around for 15 minutes and saw no trace of our hawk family. Maybe, I thought, they would not appear on such a dreary morning.

I was thinking about leaving when I heard that familiar hawk call from the trees. BAM - the family was everywhere, at least one parent and three eyasses. I simply could not follow the action.

The racket was incredible; hawks calling back and forth non-stop; other birds twittering excitedly as they took off for less threatening places. The hawks were flying through the trees in hot pursuit of anything they saw. One swooped down low across the front of the Library headed east. The other two zig-zagged through the trees and zoomed north up 20th Street after a flock of starlings.

Then, I watched one eyass fly onto the Civil War monument with its prey, followed immediately by a parent and sib. The sight of an eating eyass that doesn’t want to share is priceless – wings draped over the dead critter like Dracula over his victim.

The interlopers left in pursuit of their own prey, dive bombing across the Parkway and sweeping the grasses around 21st Street. Don’t know about the hawks, but I was breathless and was almost happy that they all disappeared for a while. Actually, that was the last I saw of the parents.

But, very shortly, two eyasses returned and met in the trees directly over my head, the closest I have been to them since Miss Piggy walked across the street in front of me on the day of Rick’s rescue. The third eyass flew from the Barnes Foundation construction site to the Library ledge and went into “protect-mode” over his/her food. The two above me quickly flew over to join the party.

I was simply ecstatic to see them sitting in a row - like hear/see/speak no evil monkeys - on the Library ledge. KAY, KAY, my kingdom for Kay’s camera! I missed her so.

Realizing that there was no room at their sib’s table, two of the eyasses again took off up 20th Street in hot pursuit of some birds. The last eyass perched for a bit after finishing his meal, then took off, I guess, to rejoin the hunt.

45 minutes of non-stop action, then nothing -- all quiet on the Parkway once more.


  1. Thanks Della- priceless- wish I had been there with you- missing Kay's pictures and captions too, but you are keeping us all up to date- I saw Dad in the nest last night for just a moment and Portico the night before, but sightings in nest are few and far between- must get down to the FI before they leave the area for good. Meanwhile, great job!


  2. Just for the record - I didn't see all this. Carditoo (Carolyn Sutton) observed and then emailed me, and I posted it on her behalf. Great job, Cardi!

  3. carolyn-
    What a treat to hear more about our hawk family --thanks so very much!A delightful read!
    Jackie (chanelmomma)

  4. Thanks for the continuing update on our hawk family. I got my tee shirt in the mail yesterday. M from North Carolina

  5. Loved Carditoo's story. I saw one of the eyasses on the nest 7-7:15 pm yesterday and loved finding out what they were doing yesterday.

  6. mmggolfer stole my line..... "Priceless!"

    (I worry about them.... I sure hope they don't get tangled in Parkway traffic!!)