2013 will be the fifth year for a Red-tailed hawk nest on a window ledge at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. A live-feed camera allows thousands of people in the USA and around the world to watch the eggs hatch, and then observe the feeding and care of the young hawks until they fledge in mid June.
The male - Dad - was lost in 2012, hit by a truck, but a young male - T2 - was accepted by the female to help raise the young, and hopefully they will nest together in 2013.
- Della Micah
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
What we feared is true: the tiercel's accident
Through the kindness of strangers....
This was never more true than when Mike Thierfelder posted information this morning on the Hawkaholic facebook page that told us what had happened to Dad. Mike joined the group so that he could share this sad news about witnessing the tiercel's end early Saturday morning on the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) that runs right by the Art Museum just across the river.
I have unfortunate news about what happened to Dad. On Saturday morning
at about 6:30 AM I was driving east on I-76 when I witnessed a Red Tail
Hawk struck and killed by a small truck in the left lane several car
lengths ahead of me. The location was just west of the 30th Street
underpass, between the BFP [Ben Franklin Parkway] split and the 30th Street on- ramp. Given the
location and timing this was certainly Dad.
The bird came out from under the truck, skidded across the road ahead
of me and ended on the right shoulder. I am positive it was a red
tail. He may still be there on the shoulder."
Emily Spahr also joined the Facebook page to tell us: "I saw the bird there at approx noon on Saturday morning. Same exact position you saw."
Carolyn Sutton went out this morning to see if she could find the tiercel's remains, but was unsuccessful. There are several work crews in that area, so someone probably picked him up. Now that there is so much publicity about this sad event, we may learn more in the coming days.
Carolyn shared these observations:
"Just returned from driving
the area of I-76 described by Mike. Most definitely the red-tail killed
there was Dad; it was so VERY much his primary hunting ground - directly
across the river from the Schuylkill Banks Park across the off-ramp from Spring
Garden Bridge next to the Art Museum where we have watched him so many
times over four years. Unfortunately, although I drove the route twice,
there was no sign of Dad on the shoulder of the road. There are many
construction crews/lane closures in area, and I believe some worker or
other cleaned up the remains. The area there was very clean (no trash,
litter, anything) considering the 24/7 traffic. Though I am heartbroken, it
is not hard for me to understand that Dad was killed in this way. I
have seen him swoop low in pursuit of prey across traffic lanes in this
area on many occasions over four years. The traffic is fast moving and non-stop, 24/7. We stalkers have witnessed many close calls and I thank
the Lord every day that the FI hawks were so successful for four years."
* * * * * *
As hard as it is to accept this awful reality for Dad, I am glad that he was not poisoned or trapped, or suffered a slow death from an injury. It seems right that he was airborne, swooping in the early morning sun, and hunting for his family right to the end.