Sunday, June 7, 2009

Are these really the same baby Red-tailed Hawks from last week? (BPW #41)

After arriving at the Red-tailed Hawk's nest, I was only able to get about 10 snaps before thunder and lightning burst overhead and sent me scurrying for the car. During that short time, as I was looking through the view finder I couldn't believe my eyes. How had these babies matured so fast? Could these be the same birds? I could see tiny tufts of down on their heads in between their new feathers, so it had to be them, but boy did they loose their downey little head feathers quickly!






I really wanted to stay and take more photos, but I'm not keen on lightning--especially when surrounded by lots of really big trees. Soon, however, lighting wasn't the only problem. Rain was. Buckets of water poured down. I tucked my camera under my shirt (which I'm sure looked lovely to all the bikers racing to their cars) and walked back to the car. Totally soaked through, I was very thankful it was warm. Feeling the warm rain streaming through my hair and down my face was actually fun, and as long as I kept our camera dry I didn't care how wet I got. As I climbed in the car, my cell phone rang. It was Rick and Matty and they were stuck on the expressway in the middle of a hail storm. Yikes....at least I didn't have to dodge balls of ice!

Bonus! My niece, Maria (who just turned 14), sent me these photos earlier today. She was outside in her front yard when a huge Red-tailed Hawk swooped in and landed on her neighbor's roof. Maria, being a budding photographer (and birder too), ran in and grabbed her camera and captured this photo. Maria...your quick thinking paid off. I love that you captured his red tail feathers in the first photo!






28 comments:

E said...

Hello, Kelita, all the pics wonderful, the ones from today, awesome, thanks God you were not harm by a storm. The other pics of the owls, birds and herons, incredible, I remember when we saw them like tiny little babies. Wonderful nature! Hugs.

HBFG said...

Those are very nice shots! They really look good, growing so fast. I wonder how many more days it will be that they leave the nest... Thanks for "risking your life" for those shots! ;-)
just kidding, I am also not very fond of thunder and lightning.
:))

holdingmoments said...

They certainly have grown up quickly. Going to be handsome adults very soon.
And quick thinking of your niece Maria for getting such good shots.
I think you may have some 'family' competition. ;)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Wonderful pictures Kelly. It is amazing how fast they grow. Someone just brought me a Barn Owl which they found and it cannot fly properly so I am going to feed it for a couple of weeks until it can manage on its own.

Jayne said...

Holy cow, how they grow! Glad the camera stayed dry Kelly!

Midmarsh John said...

Great photos of the young Red-tailed Hawks. Young birds really do grow up fast don't they.
We shared the same sort of weather yesterday and like you I don't like being out in electrical storms.
Well done to Maria for her quick thinking and the photos.

E said...

Kelly, the pics of Maria are wonderful.
Great timing. :) Hugs to her and family.

Roy said...

Yup, baby birds grow fast, especially eyas. They have to - they have to be ready to fledge in July or early August and build up those wing muscles enough for the October migration. Keep up the great shots; it'll be interesting to watch them grow up.

I'm keeping my eye on a Great Crested Flycatcher nest. They should be hatching this week, so it'll be cool to watch. Also, the Canada Geese should be hatching soon too; soon we'll see the little mini flotillas bookended by Mama and Papa tooling around on Gooseneck Cove.

Montanagirl said...

Kelly, those are great photos you captures. The little Red-tails are sooo cute. Your niece will do just fine in the photography world. She got a couple of good ones there!

Laure Ferlita said...

Wow, who would have guessed they would grow that quickly! They look so gaunt. I'm sure they next few weeks will hold just as many changes.

Way to go, Maria! I have yet to catch our resident hawk in a photo and that even if I have my camera with me! Love those long tail feathers - very cool!

Ginnymo said...

Awesome photos of the baby hawks!! They do grow fast. At least I know from my experience with a Cockatiel. He was flying by 28 days. Their feathers grow in real fast. Great shots of them Kelly and your little niece took some awesome photos of that hawk too!!

Rene said...

Amazing looking birds! You know, next time there's thunder and lightning, I hear that a good trick is to carry an aluminum umbrella. Makes for fantastic photos! ;)

Thank Maria for a great view of the hawk.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly. Your right, the raptors do grow very quickly when they start. It is surprisinghow they change from little balls of fluff to how they are. Next time you go they will be gone. Great pictures of the Hawk.
PS.re your blog report, all I can say is, lucky camera. HaHa.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kelly, Those baby Hawks are growing up much too fast!!! WOW!!!!!

Your niece IS a budding birder and photographer. She took some great pictures of the hawk.

Have a great day.
Hugs,
Betsy

Chris Petrak said...

I don't think any one has mentioned the PARENTS - think of how much work they had to do for those chicks to grow that much in a week! And think of how many chipmunks, mice, voles, pigeons, doves, or whatever have donated to feeding those chicks. When we see those cutesy little animals and birds, remember - they're hawk food. Nice pics.

Chris said...

I Do not know but they are getting big. beautiful pictures. Congrats.

Jenny said...

All I can say is that they must have great parents! Great to see them so far along. Hope you can dodge the thunder and lightning to go back again soon. By the way, when's the happy day? The birth of your camera! (-:

Steve said...

Hi Kelly, they are growing up fast, soon be off on there own. Great photos again, nice ones by Maria as well. Tell her well done.

ShySongbird said...

How quickly they grow, lovely photos Kelly. We have very heavy rain tonight but thankfully no thunder and lightning, unlike other parts of the UK it has escaped us. I really don't like it and it terrifies Louis!

Heather said...

Wow, what a drastic change! They are so cute! Glad you didn't get stuck in that hail storm! We've been lucky so far, and haven't had any damaging storms (just some heavy downpours). Also, I really love the photos from your niece. She's got a good eye and quick reflexes to get those shots before the hawk flew away!

Steve B said...

Zowie! They're getting big!

Neil said...

They grow up fast nice photos.

Vickie said...

Great images of the juvenile hawks! It is hard to believe they can change so rapidly. Also like your friend's image of an adult. A great start!

gwendolen said...

The little hawks are looking quite handsome already.

Good for Maria getting those shots. Well done. :-)

yen said...

Are they fully develop?

Kelly said...

yen.....not yet. They still have a bit of growing to go through. Then they have to learn to fly. They were not yet hopping out of the nest.

Susan Gets Native said...

Wow...that one standing looks like it has a full crop...or was the wind just blowing hard?
Will you please pitch a tent nearby so that you can take pictures of their fledge and then share it with us? Thanks.

:)

Kelly said...

...hey Susan...I missed your comment. I was on vacation all week and when I returned I ran over and they were gone!! All of them....I'm going to keep heading over to see if any are hanging around the trees, but so far...nothing!