I’m almost certain they’re little Red-tails in the nest. Although nothing has been confirmed visually, the parents look and peck in the nest quite a bit. They also seem to leave the nest alone and take a stretch, but come back in a few (usually < 5) minutes. They’ve also started to stay above the nest at the crest of the steeple window (not sure what this part of the steeple is called) albeit for a rather short time only.
Here’s Papa returning from his stretch and doing a bungee jump sans bungee cord.
Best spot to view the nest in the morning is at the top of the steps of the Agriculture Building. Here’s how it looks from there:
Dang. That nest is about a foot tall now. Kudos to the parents and Babe who helped bring all that new material!
Kassie the Kestrel was around. The entrance to their nest is so small I find it hard to believe he/she could fit in that small “hole”.
Yep, Kassie is the Red-tail’s next door neighbor.
At 5:15 PM, Ma and Pa were both in the nest and Papa flew to the flag pole on the Education Building and licked his talons. I didn’t see him go into the nest with food, but licking of talons usually means he just ate so it’s quite possible Papa just delivered some food. Of course, Mockingbirds aren’t going to just sit when a bird-of-prey is nearby.
Mama and papa now leave the nest even when their partner hasn’t landed yet. They seem to know that the other guy is around and they take off. Babe was spotted circling the area at lunch time, but she didn’t land in the nest.
As I’ve mentioned, there is no direct evidence that the eggs have hatched. The only way is to borrow Raleigh FD’s ladder truck and go up there and look 🙂 as the nest is now almost a foot tall. The best places to view the nest are from the Revenue or Labor buildings. Even at these 2 locations, you can’t see what’s IN the nest.
There’s a bit of inferred evidence though.
1. They seem to be quite a bit of “pecking” in the nest. Helping the hatchlings? Feeding?
2. They seem to be sitting closer to the edge of the nest, rather than smack in the center and looking into the nest much more.
3. The parents seem to be much more methodical and careful before taking off, doing the “Ballet Turn”. here’s a sequence:
The morning was quiet, but I found out from a fellow photographer that there was quite some action after I left the nest site at around 7:30 ish. Actually, it was EDT so 8:30 ish.
Babe was there AGAIN! Going in and out of the nest with mama and papa around. What’s she doing? helping out or just curious?
Noon and after work, Mama was at the nest.
While there is NO direct evidence that the eggs have hatched, there’s quite a bit of inferred evidence.
Both parents seem to be looking quite a bit into the nest, walking gingerly on the sides of the nest and doing the “Ballet Turn” to turn around and take off. Quite different actions from a week ago.
The Red-tails have had their eggs for over 30 days (estimated) and might have hatched or should hatch any day now.
Today, they did a rather unusual exchange at 12:15 EDT:
Papa landed on the nest bringing the usual twig-n-leaves (no food delivery yet), but flew off after staying less than a minute.
Another hawk flew into the area. I thought it was the Cooper from yesterday, but nope, it was some other raptor.
Back at the nest, Mama stood up and got ready to take a stretch. One thing that’s different, she was looking down into the nest a lot and walked on the nests’ edge. Eggs hatched?
She took off. I didn’t notice Papa in the nest until I reviewed the images. But WAIT!
Papa was NOT alone!!! He gingerly moved around the nest and like mama looked into the nest, then took off leaving the 3rd hawk alone in the nest!!!
Guess who the 3rd hawk was? The Babe! What’s she doing in the nest?
I know the unemployment rate has been dropping 🙂 so I guess Babe’s got a new job? Nanny?