At close to sundown, I found one Red-tail on an oak tree by the Capitol (next to the Presidents Monument). As I approached, it took off.
I thought it would land on Goldie Hen, but it didn’t and continued north.
I followed it to the parking lot across from the Wilmington street side of the History Museum.
Several small birds landed and joined him on the tree.
A few minutes later, he took off, with some ‘fighter’ escorts. Who was this dignitary?
The ‘fighter’ escort seemed to be common house Sparrows ( I think). As I checked my images, I found out the dignitary is our boy, Blynken! He is still in town!
Blynkie looked good, albeit a little thin, I think. This time, he landed on Goldie Hen.
Well, the crows didn’t like it and harassed him. Blynkie didn’t blink :).
He’s probably going to do what Babe did last year and stay until the next generation hatches or until Mama and Papa kicks him out.
I proceeded to the Capitol area to get a better shot of Blynken, but as I approached the Capitol, I saw 2 other hawks. Mama and Papa!
Mama looked at me. Yes, Mama. The hawkarattzzi has come to cover the game in progress.
Papa was more interested in something else…
and it was this furry little creature.
Papa pounced, but the hawks are no match to the quickness of the squirrel for very short distances. The squirrel was just to quick for Papa.
As agile these Red-tailed hawks are, there was just no way Papa could make a 90 degree turn to catch the squirrel, at least not at these short distances and confined quarters.
Blynkie didn’t stay idle and took off from Goldie Hen, but did not join in the hunt.
For the Nikon techno geek – AF delay was set to short and it WORKS!. Had it been set to OFF, the AF would have picked up the tree branches below.
It was Mama’s turn. Mama eyed on this squirrel and pounced…
and like Papa, she missed.
Coach Blynken flew in closer to set up the next play 🙂
Mama and Papa huddled and called out the next play.. 23-19… 23-19 hut… Hut… HUT!
Coach Blynken watched…
Suddenly, both Papa and Mama came swooping down.
But the play was mis-executed and they slammed into each other giving the squirrel on the ground a chance to escape!
Mama took off, but didn’t go after the squirrel. Papa flew up the Magnolia tree as another squirrel skirted up the tree and hid.
To be this close and watch these birds in flight is truly a magnificent sight.
I didn’t wait to find out if they caught the squirrel as the sun was already setting and light levels were getting very, very low.
Papa’s head “injury” update:
It looks like whatever was on the back of Papa’s head in the last few months has healed.