Here he is last Thursday, August 8, perching strongly but looking a little wary and fluffed up, and not quite the sleek hunter/flyer he was becoming just a couple of weeks ago.
Molly Daly, news anchor at KYW Newsradio, and an avid birder and Franklin Institute hawkfan, was able to take this picture while working on a story about Peanut's recovery. Molly interviewed Rick Schubert, director of the SWRC, who shared information about the bird's condition, prognosis and possible plans for release if his recovery stays on track.
We also learned that Peanut is an unusually vocal hawk, making it quite obvious when he needs a mouse, and during the interview, he was screeching in the background.
This first link takes you to the complete interview as it was published on the CBS Philly website. This version has all the details and information about Peanut's rehab and recovery from Rick.
Franklin Institute Red-Tailed Hawk On The Mend « CBS Philly
In the shorter radio version that went out on the KYW radio station, you can hear Molly and Rick speaking, along with Peanut's unmistakable hawk scream. (At the end of the segment, you will need to click off the player, otherwise it will continue to broadcast other recent stories from Molly, which actually are really interesting but not hawk-related.)
Though hawkwatchers' attention has understandably been focused on Peanut, let's not forget the other Franklin Institute hawks, Mom and T2, who continue their summer routine, though it's a routine that sadly no longer includes food drops for their juveniles.
Adult red-tails begin their annual molt at this time of the year. No longer the beautifully feathered, handsome hawks we saw in the spring, they are starting to look a little moth eaten in spots!
Here's T2 on August 4 perched with his wings dropping away from his body - perhaps to stay cooler in the oppressive heat. He has lost some flight feathers in his wings, as well as some tail feathers.
When he is flying, the missing flight feathers give a ragged edge to his wings.
Mom is losing her characteristic dark brown feathers that cover her head, giving her a lighter, almost gentler look.
Because she is also lightening up under her chin, it is much harder to tell her apart from T2 these days....
... especially now that T2 has taken to sitting on Mom's favorite perch - the letters on Drexel University's College of Medicine.
Though they no longer need to hunt for their offspring, they still need to feed themselves. Chris Ryan was lucky enough to see Mom take off on a hunting run from the Granary building at 20th and Callowhill St. She had spied a small bird deep in the foliage of a nearby tree. Her wings too are clearly molting.
The unlucky bird probably had no idea he was in her cross-hairs.
I must express huge thanks, as always, to the skillful photographers who spend literally hours observing the hawks to capture these lovely images.
As a follow-up to the information I gave last week about donating to the SWRC, here is a list from their website of vitally needed in-kind gifts that you can drop off at the clinic. If you have any of these items looking for a good home, there could be none better than the SWRC.
- Paper towels
- Extra large trash bags
- Latex gloves
- Innova Evo dry cat / kitten food
- Hospital blankets (non-terry cloth blankets)
- Facial tissue - toilet tissue
- Gift cards: Lowe's, Home Depot, Acme, Shoprite, www.squirrelsandmore.com
- Laundry detergent
- Purina One dry dog food
- Canned cat and dog food
- Cat and dog carriers
- Clean, gently used bath towels and receiving blankets
- Shovels and rakes
- Vetwrap sterile gauze
- Tegaderm sterile telfa pads
- Reptile heat bulbs
- Full-spectrum bulbs
- Standard fluorescent bulbs