Raleigh Raptors – Blynken, Quo Vadis?

Feb 15

Yesterday,  I arrived a tad later and only caught the tail end of the nest construction and that was a real bummer.  Today, I made it a point to get in before sunrise hoping to catch all the action.  But action there was none, at least not initially.  I walked around the Capitol and checked the other nearby buildings.  Nothing.

I walked back to the nest site and saw a large bird streaking towards the nest from the south west.

feb15 (1 of 22)

I thought it was Papa, but Mama flew in from the east with bedding material and…

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Papa flew out of the nest.  Hmmm, I thought, that’s quick and efficient as Papa just got there.

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But just seconds later, another Red-tail flew out of the nest and this time I could ID this bird.  It’s our boy, Blynken!

feb15 (4 of 22)

Wow.  Is he doing what Babe did last year and helping with the renovations?  I didn’t see him bring in any materials though.

Blynken flew to the top of the Capitol (facing the nest) and just sat there.

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Mama flew out of the nest and landed on a tree near to the Capitol.  She then continued to the Pine Tree depot to nip at more nesting material.

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Home needs to be comfy.  More pine needles for the ‘beds’.

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While Mama was busy fixing up the nest,  out of the corner of my eye, I saw Blynken flying towards the nest.

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He looked around (pretty neat to see them rotate their heads in flight) and seemed like he could not decide where to land.

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He did a 360 and I thought he would land in the nest…

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but he flew further up and landed on top of the column.

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Hmmm…  No nesting material… just curious what Mama’s up to? I wasn’t sure what he was doing there, but …

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Mama DID take notice.  This is a crop of the nest from the image above.  Mama was looking at Blynken.

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There were other spectators too.  On top of the steeple were some Starlings.  They have their nest in the vents on the steeple.

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Blynken didn’t stay long and took off and landed briefly on the Capitol… then flew off in the direction of the AT&T building.

feb15 (15 of 22)

I walked around but could not locate Blynken.  But another hawk (not sure who this was) flew in to the TV antenna atop the AT&T building.  At this point, I didn’t know there was already a hawk on the antenna and this other hawk just smashed right on top of him.  Copulation?  Maybe, maybe not.

This next sequence took less than 5 seconds.

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I’m not 100% sure as it was quite a distance away, but some image magic in Lightroom revealed that one of the hawks (flying off in this next image) had to be Blynken.  The tail is not red and the markings on his back look like that of a juvenile (darker/black as opposed to brown in adults).

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Here’s a tighter crop.  Is it Blynken?  I think so.

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Compare the white/light markings on his back with the image below.

Klingon Bird-of-Prey

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This happened also last year when Papa chased off Babe,  but this was a little different.  When Papa and Mama were fixing up their nest last year, Babe even helped by delivering materials.  She was chased out only with Mama in the nest already.

Looks like they’re not taking any chances this year with Blynken and shooing him off early.

Blynk, that’s your cue.  Time to go, ol’ boy.

Blynken, Quo Vadis?

feb15 (20 of 22)

Keep your browser tuned to this station…  It should be an exciting season.




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