Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hawks will be just fine on the Fourth of July

Many hawkfans have expressed concern on how the young hawks will handle the sights and sounds of the huge Welcome America celebrations in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July, most of which are based along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, home territory for the hawks.

The short answer is that they will handle it just fine; it is no more than an amped up thunderstorm for them.

The huge fireworks display takes place above the The Philadelphia Museum of Art.  The Parkway will be filled with thousands of concertgoers for the free concert, this year featuring The Roots, John Mayer, Demi Lovato, Ne-Yo, Jill Scott and more!

You can see the white Civil War monuments - favorite breakfast spot for food drops - at the bottom of the Parkway, then the trees in which the eyasses spend much of their time lining the roadway up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The large columned building on the right is the Library, and the Franklin Institute is on the left. For the hawks, fireworks are just like a severe thunderstorm with especially powerful lightning, and they ride it out in a safe spot.

During the first season with the Franklin Institute eyasses, John Blakeman sent us these reassuring words about fireworks and hawks that are equally timely for this year:

"Fireworks? For anyone concerned about this, just remember the worst, scariest thunderstorm you encountered as a little kid. I used to curl up scared under my blankets, even on hot summer nights, trying not to see the lightning directly. But the thunder was undiminished. Very scary.

But Red-tail hawks have been enduring powerful thunderstorms for millennia. And they can't crawl under a blanket, rock, or anything else. They are locked with their feet secured around a branch high up in a tree, pretty close to an actual lightning strike.

I think the eyasses will take special delight in watching the fireworks. The colors and movements, even the sounds, should intrigue them, just as the colors, movements, and sounds of their potential prey do. Right now, they are learning about these environmental factors, with an instinctive interest.

If two of the eyasses are perched together, one might be saying to the other, "Did you see that one? Just as I was imagining I could grab it, it faded away. Let's see some more of this! This sure is better than those dead pigeons Mom and Pop brought us before we could fly."

--John Blakeman

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again Della. I have to say, off topic, that I can't get T2 out of my head... the way he came bearing a gift last year... and how astounding it is that he adopted those babies.. and what a good provider he has been.. and then the rabbit for the reluctant fledgling! How did Mom know he'd be so hawktastic?

    "T2 and Mom" - a potential title for your book. :)

    Your site and the photographers' contributions are just remarkable. Thanks to all.