Red-tailed Hawk Story – Farewell to Beautiful F2

F-troop Red-tailed Hawk fledgling (July 2015) 

I have said that the beauty of nature, animals, and birds is one of the only ways that love truly reaches me these days. Even when it’s terrible. This past week put that to the test.  

On the evening of July 7, BOGs reported that the Fs were flying low across Tower Road chasing squirrels. An F hit a Rice Hall window and died from blunt force trauma. If you wish to hear Karel’s recap of events, click here.

We know it’s “nature” and we know life goes on. Some people can process the loss with a scientific distance. I do not begrudge you that if that is the way you are wired. Ok, maybe a little sometimes.    

There was initially some confusion whether the F who died was F1 or F2. And at first I INSISTED that it was F1 and only realized later that I had idiotically not taken certain characteristics and lighting issues into account. I made a real ass of myself about it too. Right now, none of that matters. We lost F2, and this is farewell to a beautiful young bird – fierce and aggressive like her mama, but still vulnerable. We think of you with love and with appreciation in our hearts for your life. Watching you grow up, fledge, and play with your siblings for the short time you were with us gave us great joy. Fly free forever.  









0528-f2 self-feeding  









F2 Made an Awesome Flight Over to this Tree and She Wants it to Be a Secret_BOGette_06222015640x480

6/22, post-fledging: “F2 Made an Awesome Flight Over to this Tree and She Wants it to be a Secret.” BOG Photo by BOGette.

One of the last videos of F2. From Karel’s stream on July 4. (See the entire original feed here:          

Below graphic by GhentArt. Click on picture to see this full-size on Flickr.

Farewell F2   

“..our little brown-eyed her short life had the good fortune to have Big Red and Ezra for parents so she never knew cold, hunger, or what a predator was. I shed tears equally regardless of what number followed the letter F.”

– 1Claude

F-troop Red-tailed Hawk fledgling (July 2015)


  1. Toni Rosen says:

    Well said Elly. And the reason your judgement was off was because of your grief. Many of us were not thinking clearly. So don’t give yourself MORE grief 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Alice Witt says:

    Beautiful F2 will live in my heart. F2 will soar, watching its siblings who seem to have more “together” time of recent. Elly, I was able to tell the difference between the trio until recently. I admire your time, your patience, your videos, and your love of the F troop.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. She Wolf says:

    The F Troop has enchanted me. F2, perhaps your job in our world is done. Your talon print on my heart is forever!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. frizzlefrap says:

    enjoy all the feathered friends of our world ….. tks for showing us!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. MoHawk says:

    A closer group of hawk siblings would be hard to imagine. Beauty, grace, frivolity – every moment spent watching these glorious birds has provided eons of joy. I’ve grown attached to these creatures, my students learned innumerable lessons while having the cam visible on the classroom ActivBoard, and my husband has deemed my hobby an obsession. (I have no reasonable argument.) Big Red and Ezra have lost their little brown-eyed girl (Van Morrison plays in my head), F1 and F3 have lost a sister, and we have all lost a fine, feathered friend. She was an absolute stunner! We are fortunate to have had time to become so attached to such a wonderful creature. Remember to look up, smile often and think of our beautiful F2!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sherrill says:

    I shed tears also from the loss of one of the lovely hawks we grew to love from before hatching to fledging.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. birdlady9 says:

    Thank you, Elly, for this beautful tribute to F2. I just learned of our loss today and this has helped me through. Your words touched me, as I feel the same, especially your first sentence. F2, I carry you in my heart always.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sarah Hamilton says:

    I know what you mean by the effect the birds and animals have on us. Me too. Blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Peggy says:

    Thank you for writing and helping all of us with the grief. I am at the other side of the country and fell in love with these precious “F”s!! Thank you….you are appreciated, regardless of confusion in identification and etc. Animals are our family and we all care.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Elly, your ability to capture the joy and sorrow of this wonderful story is unparalleled. The pictures & videos are a wonderful remembrance. Many thanks to you for putting it all together, and to GP and 1Claude for their beautiful words. A real work of love. Tears in my eyes as F2 soars higher and graces the heavens.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kate says:

    Elly: thank you for this beautiful tribute — you put into words the feelings of the RTH chat community. Perhaps F2 is finding one/both of the Es so they can soar together. (Chi222)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mj (rusty) stubblefield says:

    Such a wonderful tribute. Thank all of you, my faceless friends, for sharing and showing me the beauty and wonder in these glorious creatures. I thought I was aware of so much but realize there’s always another chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. susan says:

    F2, you beautiful girl. In your short life you lived without abandonment. You danced in the rain, you flew like a rocket, you frolicked with your sibs, and you chased squirrels. You were fierce and unafraid of life. Bravo. And now you get to soar far above us all, and we will always remember you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. susan says:

    Elly K. I also wanted to thank you for your tribute to all the F’s, telling their story for 2015. It was very moving and of course I watched with tears in my eyes. You’re such a talent and we’re lucky to have you documenting all these moments each year.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. birdlady9 says:

    I, too, thank you for sharing the Red-Tailed Hawk Story 2015 with us. Could not express it better than Susan did. You are a treasure, Elly.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. julie says:

    F2: I look to the sky and say a prayer of thanks for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sue says:

    Crying like a baby reading this entry.We all get so attached

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m so sorry when I found out F2 died, I watched from hatchlings to young adults and as I type this with
    tears in my eyes, Lets all pray for F1 and F3 not to have an accident like F2.
    Asheville, NC RC

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Penny says:

    This is too painful to imagine. I’m sorry I ever started watching. I told myself I wasn’t going to get emotionally involved this year. I think I will skip it next year.
    Thank you for the kind tributes, those of you who can put their emotions into words.


  20. Gail says:

    Late June my husband laughed when I said there are people all over the world who can’t believe their spouses are sitting at a screen watching it rain on a bunch of tree leaves. Now I think of Big Red and her sticks and leaves, and I wonder if she calls for her baby. A Cooper’s hawk lands in a field near my suburban home, nabs a mouse, and flies on. A leaf falls and a sprig appears. Knoxville, TN

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Marlene says:

    Wonderful words, Elly. I shed many tears when I heard about the death of the beautiful little hawk and have shed many more this evening as I read your tribute to her. The photos are as touching as they are heartbreaking, and we must console ourselves with the knowledge that F1 and F3 are still doing well, as are the magnificent duo of Big Red and Ezra. Bless you for expressing so well, what so many of us are feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jean Thompson says:

    Thank You Elly ,for a beautiful tribute to our beloved F2.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pike Cottage says:

    Thank you Elly, for your tribute and you should not worry about the mis-identification at all. A loss is a loss and I, like many others, am deeply saddened. But the circle of life is, in the same moment, magical, beautiful, cruel and heartrending. That is what makes it so special and why this window into it that we have is so valuable. “…I’ve learned how you feel more human once you have known, even in your imagination, what it is like to be not. And I have learned, too, the danger that comes in mistaking the wildness we give a thing for the wildness that animates it.” (Helen MacDonald, H Is For Hawk). RIP F2, Soar on F1 and F3.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. June says:

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to F2. It was so upsetting to learn of the loss of one of “our” beautiful babies. I will always keep F2 within my heart and hope that F1 and F3 live long and fly high.

    Liked by 1 person

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