I received an email from Steve Stone of the American Wildlife Refuge AWR (please donate!) that he had to rescue another hawk yesterday. That was Rhea. Rhea had fledged/fallen from the nest on friday 5/30 and was in a tree next to the church. The fact that she was on the ground meant she wasn’t getting fed.
As I stopped by the nest today, it was quiet. No movement. No doubt, Theia had left the nest. I looked around at the trees by the Capitol but didn’t find her. But Mama was on the SECU building. As I took some pictures, a construction worker pointed me to …. Theia!
Apparently, she didn’t go far and was watching Bob the builder :).
Someone had called animal control/AWR and Steve arrived minutes later and got Theia to safety. Steve did a quick check on the RT and she was okay physically, however, he mentioned that she was about a week early from really being able to fly properly. Theia was probably the most flight-ready of the three. Notice that she has much longer tail feathers compared to Rhea.
I mentioned to Steve that the 1st 2 birds probably fell since a lot of nesting material was on the ground. He said it was quite possible that all the rain we had in the weeks prior probably weakened the nest structure, causing it to partially fall off and hence, the birds falling.
I guess the question some folks have is “should we have just left them alone?”. The answer is if they were in a tree, yes, but on the ground, no. On the ground, they’re like little babies. They don’t know who’s friend or foe and would most likely be hurt by a car (some folks don’t STOP for wildlife) or become prey to some larger animal.
This has been so different compared to the past 3 years when all the eyasses fledged at the right time. Wynken’s (2012) case was unique. He fell and was able to stay alive in the Capitol for a week and eventually flew back to the nest and fledged together with her siblings Blynken and Nod.
So what’s Mama and Papa to do since there won’t be a post-season play this year. This is the outdoor classroom at work. We’ll see. Hopefully, they will still come back next year.
Goodbye Theia, Rhea and Dione. We hardly knew you.
I’ll get updates from Steve and will post them as I get them.