Air National Guard – Part 2

April 17

Ah, what gorgeous weather! Hawk Watch last tuesday was cancelled due to rain, but today was just perfect.

Mama was busy feeding the new kids in town.  No one has seen the new ones yet, but with Papa delivering food into the nest and Mama making poking movements in the nest, we can almost safely conclude, eyasses!  In about 2 weeks, we should start to see little white heads bob in and out of the nest.

Papa was on duty patrolling the downtown skyline.  He circled high above the Capitol when something caught his attention.

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Papa dove in but I wasn’t sure what got him so excited.  It was one of those steep hunting dives.

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About a minute later, Papa emerged and flew towards the nest carrying a twig.  Hmmm? No prey? Just a twig? He stopped on a tree across from the nest. A Blue jay bugged him and he dropped his cargo and took off and landed on the top of the Wells.

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Eden joined Papa up at the Wells.  Other birds were also in the air…  Large birds, namely Turkey Vultures.

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Suddenly, Papa took off and chased after the Turkeys, errr…  Vultures.

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Vultures are large birds.  Papa’s wingspan is about 4 feet and the Vulture’s wings are much wider than Papa’s.

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Papa pounced on one with talons extended.

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But the Vulture weaved left and right and avoided Papa’s talons.

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Several Vultures were in the air and they scattered.  With that threat out of the way, Papa returned to the Wells.

When your camera’s autofocus decides to focus on the trees 😦

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Eden watched the events in the air unfold and I’m sure she learned a lesson or two about Vultures.  Chase them away.

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It’s getting exciting around the Capitol.

Join us on our next Hawk Watch on Thursday, April 24th (weather permitting).  See the Red-tails in the nest up-close with spotting scopes.  Catch the action in the air!

 

Ciao

JP

 

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2 thoughts on “Air National Guard – Part 2

  1. So cool! The hawks look like fighter jets attacking bombers! From your photos, they seem to be able to easily out fly them, out bank them, turn and dive quicker. I guess they view them as competition? Hawks eat carrion don’t they?

    • the RT’s view the TV’s as threat to their young. The TV’s are too big to be prey and RT’s seldom if ever go after carrion. yep. they did look like fighters and bombers

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