Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Egg #3 hatches: the family is complete

As dawn broke on Monday, the formel stood up, and there was #3 wriggling halfway out of its shell as its sibs slept on.

By 6:30 AM, it was fully hatched, and at two days younger, is noticeably smaller than the other two.

All three eyasses looked alert and interested in getting fed as a rain-bedraggled dad brought in breakfast.

 After the youngsters were fed, it was time for the parents to share leftovers.

Mom then took off leaving dad in charge.

He quickly settled down on the eyasses to keep them warm on this cold, wet morning.

 The formel soon returned, ready to resume her nest duties as soon as the tiercel left to go hunt...

... but he appeared to have no intention of leaving - and really, who could blame him on such an ugly wet morning?

The more she glared down, the flatter he seemed to get.  It was a stand-off!

 She appeared to screech at him...

... and in response he turned his back on her!

When she moved farther around to try to get him up...

... he turned his back some more.

Finally, she tried some head butts...

... and eventually she shoved him off.

And order was restored.

Time for a mid-morning snack.  #1 and #2 are ready to roll, but #3 is sleeping face down, recovering from the hours of exertion it took to get out of its shell.

A little later, Dad brought in a mouse...

... and this time, all three were eager to eat.  Here's #3 getting to the front of the line, finally.

The parent hawks are somewhat victims of their nest-building enthusiasm.  The nest bowl is so deep this year that it is difficult to fillet the food up on the rim, then reach all the way down to the tiny eyasses.

 Several times today, the formel almost overbalanced as she reached down, and there would be a sudden wing flap as she recovered.

It has been interesting to watch her hone her technique of stepping down different sections of the nest bowl.

It is good to see all three eyasses looking active, strong and feeding well.  A wonderful start to the fourth season of the Franklin Institute nest as these magnificent hawks welcome their 10th, 11th and 12th offspring.


  1. Beautiful story telling you do, and pictures to go with it are amazing.

  2. Della, this is another of your priceless photo series! I read on yesterday's AM chat that dad had given mom a hard time in letting her back on the eggs, but I never expected this degree of stubborness on dad's part! It's a wonder she didn't sit on top of him. You are truly a gem in showing us the goings-on of our #1 RTH family! Thank you SO much!


    1. It's luck when one happens to be watching - I lucked out to see that sequence - hysterical!

  3. I love your stories of our hawks! It goes so way beyond anthropomorphising and into the mind of another species. These interactions (illustrated with your inimitable wit, humor and grace) let us see into their minds as well. For those of us who can't watch as much as we'd like thank you!

  4. I found myself giggling more than usual at this blog entry. Loved the "get offa my nest" sequence. Thanks so much for continuing to share the escapades of "our" hawks so well.

  5. Another gem of a story, Della! I appreciate notice on the web cam site of a new blog posting, looking forward to each one...always learning something new with such wonderful hawk family photos. Thank you so much! Ann in Devon

  6. What is happening with the tiercel these days? Has anyone seen him lately?