Sunday, March 11, 2012

Will the first egg come soon?

We are all anxiously watching the nest cam awaiting the appearance of the first egg of the 2012 season. 

John Blakeman, raptor biologist and expert on all hawk matters shared this information last year about what to look for in the formel's behavior as she gets closer to laying her eggs:

"The formel, when the big egg really starts to form and descend down her one fallopian tube (mammals have two of these; birds have one, so that they don't have to fly around with unused extra weight), will take on a somewhat stiff and concerned 'look.' She will not be as active and will just sit there for long periods, looking a bit dazed.

And if I had a fallopian tube with a descending mass commensurately as big as the hawk's egg, I'd be dazed, too.

Then she'll sit down in the nest and get ready. The laying of the egg can't been seen. It just comes out, without much effort. But she'll get up a bit later, turn around, look at it, and then sit back down. That's probably when we'll see that the first egg has been laid."

-John Blakeman

The formel is still not spending much time on the nest compared with her mate who persists in bringing really weird stuff to the nest.  Last Thursday, the nest started out with nice pine greenery around the edge, and some paper in the nest bowl.

Within an hour, the tiercel brought in a flattened cardboard box, and we noticed what looked like a tiny origami high top sneaker!  It turned out that was the paper crumpled artfully!

Then the box was gone...

... replaced by an important looking stick.

On Friday morning, there was more of what can only be described as junk in the nest, all brought in by the tiercel.

On Saturday both dad and mom were on the nest, with mom appearing to be a bit dismayed at the state of the nest bowl into which she was soon to be laying her eggs.

When the tiercel left, she started to declutter it, removing some of the paper.

Back came dad to the nest bowl which is now so deep, one cannot see a hawk in it from the ground.

He brought more paper, of course...

... and then started tweaking the pine fronds.

Then it was back to the paper and cardboard area....

... trying to get it just to his liking.

The next thing to appear in the nest was a large, solid looking plastic bag.  Neither hawk seemed particularly interested in it.

Dad started to eat a bird carcass at his feet.

When mom realized there was food to be had...

... she moved right in on his snack, and flew off with it!

He was left with the mysterious bag.

Let's hope this bag will soon be replaced by an egg.


  1. It is amazing to see what the tiercel brings to the nest. Perhaps he has a fetish for objets d'art. Thanks for the amusing story.

  2. It looks like the tiercel is trying to turn the nest into a man-cave.

  3. Della your comments are so funny. Remind me of the late Edward Gorey, but not macabre. Just the cadence and the relationship to the photos. I look forward to these each Monday. Thanks, Ann

  4. Man cave ! I love it !