Carolyn Sutton was literally up at the crack of dawn, and found one of the eyasses in the darkness. They are not in the least bothered by flash photography. Carolyn took several pictures of this bird, and was close enough to reach out and touch it. [She didn't!]
Sandy and John Sorlien were also out on the Parkway, starting at 6 AM, and sent these observations and pictures:
"For almost two hours between about 6 and 8 AM, we watched the two eyasses messing around the Barnes construction site while the formel kept guard from a high tree.
When we first found the siblings, one jumped behind a low concrete wall and came back with a dead bird. It looked like it had been around for awhile, not very juicy. We got a good look through binoculars of the eyass choking on and regurgitating some of what it ate. Promptly it resumed gnawing at the carcass. Its sibling sat nearby looking longingly at the food, but was not given any.
It tried to eat various other things around the site - some rope, some chain grease (it wiped its black greasy beak against some machinery to clean it off), and here, a possible tiny remnant left behind by the other eyass.
It peered into the dumpster but didn't see anything worth pursuing.
The two mostly stuck close together, using the many wonderful perches at the site and peering in various directions. There was not too much crying
Here one eyass seems to be trying out a pigeon pose to attract some pigeons.
They also spent about 15 minutes on the ground, poking into the hole of a tree and attacking sticks as described by John Blakeman in Friday's post. They look incredibly goofy walking and running.
John B, is that something that would make them fly near? Once I had that thought, erroneous or not, I took the hat off and stuffed it in my pocket for the rest of the outing! All this time the formel kept watch, until one eyass decided to join her. It took off flying...
... and landed right next to her, whereupon she flew off to the Free Library roof, leaving the eyass in her place.
We never saw the tiercel; presumably he was out hunting. When both eyasses were perched on the chain-link fence surrounding the Barnes, a fellow in a van stopped on the Parkway, opened his window and called out, "What are those?" He'd thought maybe they were eagles. He asked, "Are they dangerous?" I said, "Not to us," though after today's close calls perhaps I should rethink that. No more red hats, anyway.
Today, on the 4th of July, Carilyn Sutton sent this account:
"Got to the Parkway late this morning, but still saw the whole Franklin hawk
family celebrating Wawa Welcome America. Dad staked out the viewing area,
while Mom brought the picnic breakfast. I watched one of the eyasses knock
the prey from Mom's grasp, then pick it up from the dirt pile below and fly to some construction equipment to chow down. The other, pictured below, watched from its perch on the fence.
Many thanks to Carolyn and Sandy for these great pictures.
You can see the Civil War monuments - favorite breakfast spot for food drops - at the bottom of the Parkway, then the trees in which the eyasses spend much of their time lining the roadway up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
During the first season with the Franklin Institute eyasses, John Blakeman sent us these reassuring words about fireworks and hawks which are equally timely for this year:
"Fireworks? For anyone concerned about this, just remember the worst, scariest thunderstorm you encountered as a little kid. I used to curl up scared under my blankets, even on hot summer nights, trying not to see the lightning directly. But the thunder was undiminished. Very scary.
As the actual site of American Independence, Philadelphians should take special pleasure in the local Fourth of July celebrations.
Our red-tails, will, too. I think the eyasses will take special delight in watching the fireworks. The colors and movements, even the sounds, should intrigue them, just as the colors, movements, and sounds of their potential prey do. Right now, they are learning about these environmental factors, with an instinctive interest.
For those of you less familiar with our hawks' territory in Philadelphia, both of these images show the Benjamin Franklin Parkway stretching up to the Philadelphia Art Museum. The two white vertical columns at the bottom are the Civil War monuments on which the hawks regularly perch. They also hunt and perch in the avenues of trees on either side of the Parkway. In the image above, you can see the Free Library with its pillars on the right. The Family Court is just out of the picture on the right.
The Franklin Institute is the large building across the Parkway on the left. Front and center is the beautiful Swann Fountain in the middle of Logan Circle.