Sunday, March 9, 2014

Love is Definitely in the Air....But....

Love is definitely in the air as Mom and T2 soar together near the Franklin Institute, enjoying the rare sun and blue sky amid the endless snow storms of the apocalyptic winter we've experienced in Philadelphia.

           Dinko Mitic


           Dinko Mitic


Dinko Mitic with his powerful lens and excellent timing caught their erotic mid-air talon clench...

                                      Dinko Mitic


... and their ensuing copulation on the highest point of the Museum!

                                      Dinko Mitic


                                      Dinko Mitic


                                      Dinko Mitic


Kevin Vaughan also captured them at the beginning of March in similar activity on top of a nearby train-yard light platform.

           Kevin Vaughan


           Kevin Vaughan


           Kevin Vaughan


And now for the But....

... But, so far, there has been no activity at the Franklin Institute nest which remains unvisited and unsticked...

           Della Micah


... even though the hawks regularly perch on the corners and pilasters of the next door apartment building.  The hawk is right at the top of this image, and the nest is at the bottom.

                                      Dinko Mitic


           Dinko Mitic


           Dinko Mitic


And just this past Thursday, Mom was spotted taking off from the Franklin Institute near the nest.

                                      Dinko Mitic


Now, here's the kicker - though finally in the past few days the hawks have started carrying sticks...

         Kevin Vaughan


           Kevin Vaughan


... they are not carrying them to the nest, but to a platform tower of lights set in the train yards across the river from the Art Museum near 30th Street Station.

           Kevin Vaughan


                                               Kevin Vaughan


Here Mom is arranging the growing pile of sticks.

           Kevin Vaughan


Do not be fooled by the detail in these pictures.  The photographers could only get this via their powerful lenses.  The platform is not easily viewed by the naked eye.

           Carolyn Sutton


So here's the big question: Is this stick-carrying activity to the light platform similar to last year's venture at the GlaxoSmithKline building when Mom and T2 seemed hell-bent on building a nest there with no seeming interest in the original nest, and then with what seemed like the flick of a switch, transferred all their stick-carrying activity to the Franklin Institute nest?  Or have they committed to a new nest site, and we are witnessing the beginning of serious nest construction on the platform?

Obviously, I hope the former to be true so that we can once again see the miracle of those eggs being laid, hatching, and then the devoted, tender care of the eyasses by both hawks.  This new site is set in the middle of the train yards, surrounded by railroad lines, and the intense traffic lanes of the I-76/Vine Street Expressway merge.  There are no trees nearby.  For the eyasses, this will be a very rough place from which to fledge safely.

However,  I am an optimist and I hope that, just as last year, they will suddenly decide to return to the truly excellent nest that is already so well constructed and from Mom's perspective at least, has been where she has laid, incubated, and hatched 15 eggs over the past five years.

To feed my optimism, earlier this afternoon (Sunday) at 4:00pm, both hawks were perched on the old Board of Education building, right next to the Franklin Institute, so they are still visiting the immediate nest area.

                               Pamela Raitt


Let's also remember John Blakeman's comments from last year:


"First, I wouldn't just yet attribute "nest" status to the meager assemblage of sticks on the new, higher, window ledge. Right now, I think this just some pro forma, ritualistic stick play. Red-tails often do this, parking some sticks around in new places, which do sometimes turn into new nest sites. But way too early to tell just yet. I wouldn't be concerned until there is a real pile of sticks, upon which one or both (particularly the formel) began to spend a lot of time sitting and maneuvering the sticks.
 
Sadly, for us, Red-tails are famous for moving around into new nests, after abandoning perfectly good and well-used nests from the previous season. They stay in the same territory, as are these two, but elect to build and use a new nest within a quarter- to half-mile from the old one --- sometimes even closer.
 
And there is no good reason for this, as the old nest usually is in perfect shape, as at the FI.
 
But the truth of the matter may be as follows. Stick carrying, exchanging, and nest building are very strong pair-bonding behaviors. Red-tails just get a joy out of these things in mid and late winter. Makes 'em happy."



Keeping my talons crossed for their return the Franklin Institute nest......

10 comments:

  1. We are all keeping our talons crossed! Thanks, Della for the timely blog entry. You're the best! And thanks to our intrepid photographers.

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  2. Della, Thanks for your balanced view of the latest activity. You have given me some hope that crossed talons will work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I, too, am still optimistic about their return to the FI nest. Talons crossed, indeed!

    Kat

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  4. Thanks, Della, for your report. Talons are crossed all over the world! :-)

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  5. Let's have a flash mob of crossed talons!! Still staying optimistic here....

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  6. If the sticks begin to form into what seems like an official nest perhaps removal by a brave soul will "nudge" our hawks to return to the FI nest. Very Brave Soul. Bob

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now there is a camera on a hawks' nest on the campus of Saint Joseph University. - http://www.sju.edu/news-events/news/eye-sky-new-webcam-tracks-sju%E2%80%99s-nesting-hawks

    ReplyDelete
  8. Now (May 6) there is a camera on a hawks' nest on the campus of Saint Joseph University. - http://www.sju.edu/news-events/news/eye-sky-new-webcam-tracks-sju%E2%80%99s-nesting-hawks

    ReplyDelete
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