Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Busy Week with the Haggards

The haggards are in the midst of their summer molt, and have clearly moved to the Art Museum area. The proximity to the river shallows may have helped them cool off in the recent heatwave. One eyass still seems to be hanging out around the parent birds. It has been a couple of weeks now since we've seen more than one eyass, but it's hard to know if it's the same one we're seeing, or different ones, just one at a time.

Carolyn has been posting her sightings on the Facebook page with some great pictures, and has also emailed me, so I thought I'd compile all this material and put it here in one posting in chronological order:

Carolyn's posts:

Friday, August 21

Was near the museum between 6:30 and 8:00 am. No eyasses, but I found my haggard again this morning, sitting on that same light pole at the foot of Spring Garden St. on the ramp to the Parkway.

Then what should appear but another hawk, incoming from Eakins Oval! TWO haggards on the same street lamp! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I think the one on the left (in the face-on views) is dad.

He took off after a while and flew to the other side of the Parkway and landed on a pole. Eventually he took off towards the river.

Saturday, August 22

Heavy rain, and the hawks did get wet today; so did I, as I spent two hours in rainy Hawk Heaven. This morning's sightings (all in the same area near the 24th Street ramp from the Ben Franklin Parkway to Vine St. Expressway), were even better than yesterday's.

I saw mom, dad and one eyass. The eyass sat with each parent, did a bit of hunting (though didn't catch anything), squawked a bit when close to mom and dad, but was silent otherwise. The small birds never stopped tormenting the eyass. They buzzed her in five different locations, but ignored the parents.

Mom and dad sat together for a while - I think trying to figure out what to do to get their "kid" to be more self reliant!

Took some cool pictures of all the birds, even though it was gray and rainy.

Several pictures really show the difference in size between the haggards, and the eyass seems bigger than mom.

The eyass did not squawk incessantly, only when it was really near the parents, and less stridently than it used to. Based on size, I think this eyass is one of the girls (Miss Piggy?)

It's hard to tell whether the parents are hanging near this area because the eyass is still around, or whether the eyass is staying here because it is the parents' favorite place.

Here is the eyass chasing the parents. It is not very clear, but one haggard is in the left lower corner, and the other is behind the light pole. That's Junior flying in to land.

Sunday, August 23
I found mom at 6:45, hanging out on one of her favorite poles on 24th Street on the ramp to the Vine St. Expressway. I heard what I thought was a faint eyass call and discovered that our favorite sib had flown to a pole behind me while I was busy watching mom.

The eyass chased the haggard from pole to pole for a half hour before disappearing into the Parktowne Place courtyard (nearby apartment building). Mom returned to her preening.

I noticed that there is a perfect view of the nest from this area - it's just three blocks away.

Tuesday, August 25

No hawks on Monday, but today I spent two hours photographing Mom on lots of poles near the art museum this morning.

I was sitting on the rocks near where we say the eyasses and the groundhog when she flew from her pole RIGHT AT ME! She zoomed past my shoulder and trapped something against a stone retaining wall....not four feet from me!

Here she is "mantling" to protect her prey from prying eyes (mine).