Saturday, September 12, 2009

September Haggard Happenings

It's amazing how fast the days speed by now that I'm back at school, and I realize that it's been well over a week since I've posted news about the hawks. Carolyn has been faithfully checking out the hawks each morning and posting her accounts of the Franklin Hawkaholics Facebook page, along with some terrific pictures.

It looks as if the eyasses have really left for their new territories or have migrated south. There have been no eyass sightings since August 29. Good luck, kids.... fly strongly, hunt well, and stay safe.

Here is the compilation of Carolyn's reports - thanks, Carolyn, for keeping up so well updated, and for the terrific pictures.

Friday, September 4
No hawks again this morning but I haven't been able to stay more than about 15-30 minutes for several days now. Will have more time tomorrow to explore a bit.

Saturday, September 5
Ahhhhhh......what a beautiful morning after last evening's full moon. Mom was waiting for me on a streetlamp near the Art Museum when I arrived at 6:45 a.m. to spend some quality hawk time. I managed to do my walking loop of the area (exercise is good) and, though neither dad nor the squawky eyass showed, Mom was just taking off for the Museum's rustic pavilion when I returned to my car.

Here she is atop the pavilion that overlooks the waterworks and Schuylkill River. This is a beautiful place to sit in the morning.

Mom takes off for breakfast. She had flown into these trees from the pavilion to get a better look at something on the rocks below.

Sunday, September 6
What a show, though no eyasses! I started my adventure early (6:20 a.m.), and drove the Art Museum-Franklin Institute loop without seeing any of the family. I was on my way home when, rounding Eakins Oval, I spotted one of the hawks (turned out to be dad) on a pole near the Museum. I decided to make another loop and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, I spotted another hawk (mom) right across the road from dad - they looked like bookends.

Here is mom is on the closest pole. Dad on the "double" armature further away. The roadway is right between, so the birds create a gateway to the parkway. SO COOL!

Techno-Dad takes off! Glad someone is using the City's free wireless apparatus. Mom had been on this pole earlier and then he followed her to the same dead tree.

It was still pretty dark, but I hung around long enough to get quite a show. Mom actually swallowed a snake right in front of me! I got closer to both birds than I have ever been, taking pictures from about six feet away as they each sat in exactly the same tree! You can really see the differences between the two haggards

Here is dad in the tree which is on the west side of the Art Museum.

Here's mom in same tree.

Monday, September 7
No hawks this morning on my VERY quick check, but I will have more free time tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 8
Saw mom on one of her "usual" poles early Labor Day, but no one else showed. Mom was busy hunting and, as I had other places to be, I left early.

Wednesday, September 9
Mom and dad were waiting again today - playing gateway raptors - but only briefly. I was hoping to be able to watch for a while longer today, but mom, then dad, suddenly took off over the trees, and headed for the far end of the Roman Catholic HS football field, which is just across the railroad tracks from the river.
I think the eyasses, happily, have found territories of their own to explore before heading south with the rest of the young red-tails. We were worried about the squawky eyass who until recently seemed WAY too interested in mom and sad's whereabouts, but I have not seen or heard her in over a week. She seems to have disappeared along with her two siblings, and the haggards have relaxed into their empty-nest routine. Hopefully, our three eyasses are out there perfecting their hunting skills, and readying themselves for new adventures. Let's hope they thrive and find great places like the Franklin Institute to raise families of their own.

Thursday, September 10
Rainy Thursday hawks.....sob!

Friday, September 11
Torrential rain this Friday birds!

Saturday, September 12
Mom and dad were back this gray morning, mostly hanging near the recreation area off the 24th Street on-ramp to the Vine St. Expressway. Maria DiFlorio and I had a really fun time watching the Roxborough Steelers and their opponents from South Philly gawk at our hawks. Mom sat in the hawks' favorite dead tree and dad was nearby on a "cobra head" lamp. I found them when I first arrived at 6:45 a.m., stationed at their "gateway" posts. I guess mom decided to watch football instead of go hunting, and Dad followed her to the field. They were still sitting there after more than two hours.

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