Red-tailed Hawk Story – Week 2
On Sunday, April 5, we had one of our obligatory “snow/ice/rain BR into sticking like glue onto the nest” days. This time it was snow. Ez had a brief stint on the eggs (10 minutes), but otherwise we mostly saw the BR’s back and tail being covered with white stuff. As usual, she kept the eggs warm and dry and there were almost no views of the eggs that day.
Video: “Get This White Stuff Off Me!” by elly
Still, by and large, this was “business as usual”. By Monday, temperatures had warmed up and the hawks settled into their routine of trading incubation duties and Ez delivering meals to BR.
On Thursday, April 9, viewers realized that Ez had not been seen on the nest since April 8. Fortunately BOGs (our excellent Birders on the Ground) Karel and BOGette caught up with him later – but he still did not make an appearance at the nest. It is likely that very high winds were keeping Ezra away. As Laura Culley put it:
So BR hunkered down on the nest while Ez hunkered down elsewhere. There was a collective sigh of relief on Friday, April 10 when BOGs trtldove and christinebshoals spotted Ezra with a very large heavy squirrel that he was intent on bringing to BR. Cam viewers heard and saw BR getting antsy while she waited for her meal, and then she got up from the eggs and went to get her squirrel from Ez. Ez took over incubation duties while BR filled her crop.
Video: Afternoon Exchange Recap by elly
It is amusing to me that I had already planned to make a remark in this week’s post about how beloved both hawks are despite what we perceive as their very different personalities. Big Red is seen as the dedicated but sometimes cranky mama who has no qualms about ending Ezra’s incubation sessions with a talon “kick” to the butt. Ezra is seen as the steadfast darling of the nest, always sweet unless you are a mouse, vole, chipmunk, snake, or anything that could be construed as a meal for himself or his family. Well, this happens to be the first week that I heard people being mad at Ez or referring to him as a “stinker”. Of course, we had all been told the reasons he was probably away for so long, but after all the worry it was time to let out a little angst!
Surprise, wonder, and worry are all part of the package of nest-viewing. Thanks to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and our BOGs, we are witnesses to so many heart-stoppingly beautiful – and sometimes heart-stopping – moments. What will this next week bring?