Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hawk history at the Franklin Institute: a stepdad already?

Just as we were recovering a little from the sadness at losing Dad, our beloved tiercel, and admiring the formel's ability to single-parent, aided so effectively by the Franklin Institute's food drops, events started tumbling from Sunday morning onwards faster than we could follow.

Red-tail hawk history is being made as it appears that a new tiercel has moved into the Franklin Institute territory, has been accepted by mom, and they are now pair-bonded.  It is unprecedented for a formel with eyasses on the nest to tolerate another hawk in her territory, let alone come anywhere close to the nest. yet this image taken yesterday from the exterior nest camera, clearly shows the new tiercel in front flying with a vole into the nest, closely accompanied by the formel.

      Franklin Institute camera

      Franklin Institute camera

 The eyasses looked understandably stunned by this development!  Mom reached over and accepted his gift of the vole...

      Franklin Institute camera


... and he then quickly headed off the nest.

      Franklin Institute camera


Here is the same sequence taken from the more familiar camera angle inside the Board Room.  You can see by the time sequence that he was in and out of the nest in a matter of seconds.

      Franklin Institute camera

      Franklin Institute camera


This video taken later yesterday by WillowOaksYorkies shows the new hawk making a longer visit to the nest in the late afternoon, and eating food there. 




I am putting together a more comprehensive account of these miraculous events, aided by hawkstalkers who have been observing and photographing down on the Parkway and at the nest, so check back here tomorrow for more information.

It seems that we will probably refer to this new hawk as T2, for tiercel #2.  He is not Dad, and never will be, but if this works out, he will be the new mate for Mom, and will help her raise these eyasses, and continue the presence of pair-bonded red-tails at the Franklin Institute nest.


10 comments:

  1. Michelle, Colorado Springs, COMay 8, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Wow. If this isn't interesting I don't know what is. I don't recall hearing about this type of behavior before but if it helps Mom and helps raise her babies, why not? It will be quite interesting to watch from here on to see how it goes. Well wishes to Mom and babies and T2. ;)

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  2. What hand has brought forth this wonderous surprise?
    Has Mother Nature been pleased with mom and her unwaivered devotion, so as to intercede on her behalf and bestow upon this young brood a step-father?
    Nature will always find a way...

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  3. How about the old saying - There's an exception to every rule!

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  4. I think the rules may be different for urban and rural hawks. Someone should do their PhD thesis on this. Anyway, thank God
    Ann

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  5. Hmmmm....Just when humans think they have it all figured out, the hand of God steps in with a shocker! I am very happy for her ( I still miss dad)....but I would so love to see her and her new beau raise babies again next year.

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  6. Is it possible that the "new" tiercel might be a previous eyeass from this family helping his old Mom and new sibs?
    Just thinking "outside the box" considering this is such an unusual happening.

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  7. I will be forever saddened by the death of "Dad", he was so devoted, however, these new events have certainly made this one intriguing 4th year on the nest!

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  8. I look forward to comments by Mr. Blakeman. This is very fortuitous news. I am so relieved that nature has stepped in so humans can step out.

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  9. WOW WOW WOW! This made me tear up, I love it. Nature never ceases to amaze!

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  10. Theresa Mtn. View CaMay 9, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    What are the chances that this new adult might be a female offspring from a previous year? Eagles sometimes have an "auntie" helping out at the nest, do RTH's ever have adult sibling help? Just a WAG on my part...but a wonderful development in any case.

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