Monday, January 21, 2013

Still waiting for nest activity

I took an early quick trip down to the Franklin Institute to check on the nest today.  It still looks pretty much untouched. 

Each summer, the Franklin Institute staff carefully clean the window ledge after the young hawks have fledged, and the sticks get slightly trimmed down to make a firm base for the new sticks and other nest materials that the adult hawks bring at the start of the nesting season.  So far, I have not seen any new sticks yet this year.

I found Mom sitting on top of the Family Court building facing toward the nest.  The Family Court building is about 300 yards from the Franklin Institute.

She looks really plump!

I walked around for an hour looking for T2 and was about to give up when he glided in from somewhere on the Ben Franklin Parkway up onto the Family Court roof at the other end of the building from where Mom was perched.

And there they sat facing each other in the cold morning breeze, perfectly comfortable in their deep plumage.  They both look as if they continue to eat very well - T2 in particular looks so much chubbier than in the summer.

The local pigeon population must have known they were safe this morning, as they confidently spread out along the balustrade rail between the two red-tail hawks. Because of the limitations of my little digital camera, you will just have to take my word that the brown lumps on the roof pediments are the hawks, and the tiny spikes along the balustrade are the pigeons!

I asked John Blakeman what he makes of the lack of nest activity up to this point.  He responded:

"Too early to make any nest use assessments. Lack of activity at the nest in January is of no concern, even if there was activity in earlier years. The length of the days (photoperiod) has not begun to discernibly increase.
Let's see what happens in two or three weeks."
-- John Blakeman

So we'll just have to keep watching and waiting.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Della, and for checking with John Blakeman.

  2. Thanks you Della. I so enjoy your posts and keeping up with the hawks. I have a red tail in the woods behind my house that I try to keep tabs on, as well as a pair along the I95 corridor near the PA-DE state line. They are all magnificent. I got hooked when I found your blog. Can't wait for the next update. I have my talons crossed.