Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three Baby Red-tailed Hawks...and an Indigo Bunting on the Little Miami Bike Trail

After dinner I headed over to the trail to check on the eyas. Even though I wasn't feeling that great because of my cold, I had to see how the baby was doing. I'm glad I went, because when I reached the nest and looked up, I saw two little white fluffy heads looking down at me! 

The new eyas is on the left, not quite as white as the first baby. 

As I watched the two babies, the sun came out from behind a cloud and backlit them, highlighting their little fuzzy dandelion-top heads. And slowly, as if disturbed from sleep by the sun's bright rays, a third little white head rose up and two dark eyes blinked into my camera lens. 


...and the three babies just watched, and looked...and watched and looked, their eyes huge and their expressions wise. They were very calm, barely moving, seemingly trying to absorb everything they saw around them, and (I'm sure) hoping mama would show up soon with something yummy to eat!

Dark clouds were starting to move over the trail, and the light had stopped filtering through the trees. It was 6:07, which was still early, so the darkness was definitely not from nightfall. A slight drop in temp and the sound of wind moving through the leaves as it pushed down the trail, confirmed it. A storm was brewing. I decided to move on. A Wood Thrush and an Indigo Bunting had been singing at full throttle for a while, and it would be lovely to see them before I left... However, a few rumbles of thunder off in the distance convinced me it was time to go, but then I saw him. Even in the darkening gloom, the Indigo Bunting shone electric blue.  






He was pretty far off the trail, and with a shutter speed slowing down to compensate for the lack of light, I knew these photos would be blurry, but I was hoping to capture his beautiful blue. Another rumble...and a much sharper wind hurried me along. I almost made it. I caught up to a husband and wife team also trying to beat the storm...and we laughed as the rain poured down. Cyclists were pouring off the trail too...also laughing. At least the rain was warm. It felt really good! 

26 comments:

holdingmoments said...

A rewarding visit Kelly, despite the storm. Beautiful little chicks in the nest. Must have been a surprise to see three.
What a stunning blue that Indigo Bunting is. Like a bright light to brighten the storm.

Shellmo said...

Those 3 little "nosey" chicks are adorable! So glad to see that the hawk had that many babies! Great photo! And love the bunting - I've never seen one.

Jayne said...

THREE babies!!! How exciting! I can imagine feeding all those mouths will be a busy task in the weeks to come. Love seeing that flash of brilliant blue. Glad you were not caught in the storm for long.

Roy said...

The Indigo Bunting's colour is astonishing and those baby Red Tails are quite a picture staring out at the World around them.
(By the way a great profile photo Kelly.)

Ginnymo said...

How cute that photo is!! Of the three babies!! And that Indigo is a striking bird!!! Beautiful shots Kelly!!! I am so loooking forward to all your baby hawk posts!!

Roy said...

Heh, heh! I love the shots of the little eyas peeking over the top of the nest. And that Indigo Bunting certaily is indigo. I need to ask Lauren if we have any around here.

Montanagirl said...

You get to see such wondeful sights and birds! How lucky can you be...

Chris Petrak said...

I'm looking forward to following your posts on the hawks!

Warren Baker said...

Thats some colour on that bunting Kelly, really lovely!

We have some hot weather at last here - but it always ends in a storm!!

Have fun

ShySongbird said...

What lovely photos again and how sweet the babies look! What a stunning colour the Indigo Bunting is.

Deb said...

The colour of the Indigo bunting is amazing! I've never seen one before. And your photo of the three little baby hawks is wonderful! What an exciting discovery.
Have a great weekend Kelly.

Larry said...

Those hawks are cute little fuzzballs.I've never been that close to a Red-tailed hawk nest.-Cool photos.

Vickie said...

Fun that you found this nest! It will be fun to watch them as they grow. Unfair that I have a bazillion leaves in the way of seeing the Red-shouldered hawk nestling! That has been SO frustrating. But I can't complain, even lightly. I have enjoyed everything I've seen beyond measure.

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

Your story expresses so much feeling, Kelly. Your description of how their little eyes blink, makes it so real. Unbelievable shots, perfect lighting and timing!! Great job!

dAwN said...

Hee hee..those little red-tailed chicks are adorable peeking over the nest at you!
I love your spots of blue amongst the green leaves!
Happy Birding to you..wet or dry!

Mary said...

Those are absolutely adorable! How cool to see a hawk's nest with babies.

Nature As Is said...

Love the babies..too cute and rewarding for you Kelly!! Great shots.

T and S said...

3 little ones, it should be a amazing sighting to observe them growing up. I m sure you will be posted more images of them growing up.

Jenny said...

You way with words is great Kelly. I could feel the slight anxiety (that I would feel too) at the sounds of rumbling thunder. That Indigo bunting is a stunner and the chicks were just toooooo sweet!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Kelly, I just love visiting your blog.

What a wonderful surprise to see the new chicks! I'm glad you were able to snap a few shots of the indigo bunting before you left. That extra sighting made getting caught in the rain worth it, didn't it?

Kelly said...

Hello everyone.....sorry I'm behind. I haven't been able to post or visit anyone's blog. Between my yucky cold (went to doc yesterday and got antibiotics because it had turned into a sinus infection), Rick & Matty's tennis tourney, and the tornados tonight, I haven't been able to post. The cold has made me so tired. I hope to catch back up tomorrow (saw some really cute Downy Woodpeckers, hope to write about them). Thanks, everyone for the kind comments--it's always so much fun to see what everyone says (I always like to answer each comment, but have been too sick or busy--yuck!).
....and Adrienne, yes! It was definitely worth getting caught in the rain!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful snaps. I loved the snaps of Indigo. I wonder what happened to the babies in the rain.

Laure Ferlita said...

Absolutely enchanting, Kelly! Not sure if I could pick a favorite between the little fuzzy heads and the beautiful indigo!

Abe Lincoln said...

Where do you guys get on the trail at? I looked at the map and it is a long ride from end to end. I can't ride or walk anymore but it is still interesting to see where others are at. These are very nice photos.

You probably don't remember when people lived and died at home and endured wakes. I wrote about it here. http://bing-it.blogspot.com/

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly. First of all I would like to say that I hope you feel better soon. I love the photo's, especially the Indigo Bunting, although some might say that it is a bit gaudy.Love your blog

Heather said...

What adorable baby hawks! You have such great birding luck along that bike trail!
And WHAT is up with that Bunting?! I've never seen one so brilliantly blue before. The light must have been hitting him just right. Wow!