Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 2 of The Egg

Here are the first close-up views of the egg, kindness of Gene Mancini, the hawks' Godfather at the Franklin Institute.

You can definitely see the mixed stream recycling the hawks have going with their newspaper and plastic!

Early this morning (Sunday), Kay Meng and I decided to meet down at the nest to check out what was happening. Forgetting about the clocks switching forward, it was almost total darkness when I arrived outside the Franklin Institute at 6:30 AM, but there was just enough light to see a hawk up on a lamp pole about 50 feet from the nest.

On seeing me and Kay, he (as we later determined) flew immediately to the nest with a couple of indignant squawks, and settled down on the egg. No other bird was on the nest, so we realized the egg had been alone, with the male watching it from close by.

After ten minutes or so, the tiercel stood up, leaned forward and picked up a dead mouse that had evidently been left in the nest as a snack. He started eating it, then the formel arrived with her own mouse, and the tiercel left after a couple of minutes.

In the space of the next couple of hours, we saw the male and female come and go from the nest several times, and despite the appallingly stormy weather of the previous 24 hours, and the continuing rain, they seemed to be having no trouble finding fresh food.

We noticed that there is now a screen in the Boardroom behind the nest. Here's what it looks like from inside. (Gene's pic)

Yesterday evening, Susan Holmes, the Senior Museum Educator at the Franklin Institute sent me this observation after checking on the hawks late afternoon:

"... it’s 4:40 pm and I just went down to look at the hawk from the darkness of the boardroom... He/she is sitting there a little damp and fluffed up, but out of the wind ... and looks quite contented, watching the goings-on in the street below and chirrupping (sp?) quietly to him/herself."

This gives you an idea of what Gene saw through the rainy Boardroom window at noon today - getting up close with the formel.

Who's watching whom?

The building in the background is the main branch of the Free Library.

The outdoor camera gives a different angle on the nest, and this shows, as John Blakeman suggested, that the hawk is not really nestling down on the egg as much as just leaning over it to keep it protected from the elements.

A final view from today (Sunday) comes from the Ustream camera which we have all been watching avidly. This is the tiercel, rather anxiously looking out from the nest, after sitting on the egg for a while.

He seems less willing than the formel to stay for long periods with the egg. A moment after I took this screen shot, he was gone!


  1. This year's coverage is just what we have been yearning for! All hands are on deck! Kudos to all of you!