Friday, June 19, 2009


So on Thursday, June 18, we got brave and decided to move buildings from the Franklin Institute to the Free Library across the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
There's this cool tree that's flat and springy, and you can jump up and down on it like it's a trampoline.

Here I am showing off to Portico my bouncing skills. The Eyass Growth and Development Manual says we should be beyond bouncing now that we know how to fly, but it's SO MUCH FUN!

The Library has lots of great perching spots for us to practice our patience and observation skills. The Eyass Growth and Development Manual says, "Eyasses need to learn to perch patiently on high elevations in order to observe potential prey." So I here I am perching confidently and observing carefully. Hawkeye - that's me!

Mom is always swooping around checking on us, and it gets quite tiring trying to be on alert and perching confidently and all that. No matter how far away she seems, she can always see what we're up to.

So when I know for sure that Mom is nowhere near, I sit back on my tail, and relax a bit. But I'm keeping my talons clenched and at the ready, just in case there's something to catch down there.

But truth be told, I can't see anything that I'd like to eat - just boring trees and the sidewalk, and that photo lady racing around with her buddies trying to see where we are. Now that we're not on the nest anymore, I guess they want to know where we all are.

That nest was a real drag. All we could do was hop/fly over to the ledge, then fly/hop back. Those hawkaholics thought that was SUCH a big deal, but look at us now! We're flying all around the Franklin Institute, the Free Library and the Ben Franklin Parkway. We're BIG SHOTS! I love flying around and landing on all these cool buildings. This flying thing is a breeze. Just take off....glide a bit, then land. I can do that all day. I LOVE flying.

Right beside the Parkway is this great avenue of trees, like a hawk runway. I love flying right down the middle. It's a great place to practice tree landings. The Eyass Growth and Development Manual states, "Eyasses need to learn to fly confidently and land on different terrains such as ledges, tree branches, dead trees, and lamp-poles." I like the flying part much better than the landings. So I decided I'd better practice them a bit, and chose the top of a fancy lamp-post for my practice site.

Here I am coming in for a landing. Not sure this was such a great choice for practicing - I can't see anywhere to get a grip. Maybe that top edge....

Yikes - this is harder than I thought, and the spike is sticking in my wing. This was NOT a good idea.

I'm outta here! Not a bad take-off, all things considered. I'm heading over to a dead-looking tree beside the Library. Dead trees are easier, because you can see where the branches are.

OK - wheels down, flaps up,
coming in to land....
looking good


No problemo - piece of cake!
I made that look sooo easy.

Mom, mom - did you see that?
Mom, were you watching, mom?

We have to learn this stuff so we can catch our own food. But catching something to eat is really hard. And Dad just sits there watching. He thinks he is such a cool dude sitting on that spotlight all afternoon. I bet I could land on that just fine if he would ever move.

Uh oh, I think he heard that. How did he know I was here? He must have eyes in the back of his head!

Well, you don't look so cool now, Mr. Big Shot, sitting on your spotlight for two hours in the rain. Get a life!

OK - back to the Manual. It says, "Young eyasses must master the flying skills to land safely on a pre-selected tree branch, and then develop the flying skills to land on a prey creature such as a sparrow or pigeon."
JUST as I read that, I saw a pigeon sitting in the tree next to me. I flew over and just landed on it and grabbed it. It never saw me coming. Yay - I caught something!

Then I flew over to the pine tree by the Free Library that was flat-topped - like a table. I landed there with the pigeon I just caught - not an easy feat when you're trying to hold onto the pigeon and grab a branch. Here I am looking around to make sure everyone saw what I just did!

And then Mom suddenly appeared out of nowhere, landed right beside me, and started plucking MY pigeon. I guess she thought I needed help, or something. And THEN, she had the nerve to eat some of it. Sheesh, not only are we losing our 24 hour food service, but we have to SHARE?

The other two, not as accomplished as I, sat on their branches watching me enviously. Go catch your own pigeons, I say!

And when I was done eating, I flew nonchalantly up to the balustrade along the edge of the Library's roof, cleaned off my beak and talons, and rearranged my wet feathers.

The camera lady was running around in the rain snapping away as all this was happening. I guess we're getting quite famous! Maybe they'll put us on a T-shirt.....


  1. great job Della- just what I needed on dreary Sunday- just logged on and actually saw Portico(/) on the nest at 12:56- he stayed for just a few minutes, then flew away- great to see him- you and Kay are doing such a great job! (mmggolfer)

  2. Loud applause, laughter and thanks to you, Kay and Carditoo.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I have been waiting for this!!!!!!! I just LOVE the eyass diaries! Great job, Della

  5. Love,love,love the eyass diaries and the wonderful photos. Thank you so much.

  6. Della: I have read this five times makes me smile and laugh every time! Kay's pictures are so much fun. LOVE Dad looking over his shoulder!

  7. It's so wonderful reading these diaries and seeing Kay's fabulous pictures! Thank you so much for posting them!

    I was at the Franklin Institute today (Sunday) with my family, but unfortunately, we didn't see any hawks, (or hawk watchers). Maybe I was looking in the wrong place - should have gone across the street to the library!

  8. Fantastic pictures and stories, we are addicted to watching the hawks' journey to adulthood. Thanks for all your hard work.

  9. Della-
    what a hoot!loved the story --as did my son! Thanks so much. Hope to see another installment!
    jackie (chanel)

  10. This has been the most awesome experience thanks to you and Kay! And of course our beloved eyasses! Thanks!

  11. Thanks for all the awesome stories and pictures! It's great to be able to still follow the hawk's development here from upstate NY. You make us want to come down and watch them again... Thank you!