Thursday, April 18, 2013

Red-shouldered Hawks on nest along the Little Miami River...

I took the afternoon off work today and headed to the Little Miami River. It's been so long since I've spent an afternoon looking for birds, and I loved it. The spring migrants are moving in, and I could hear their new birdsong filling the river corridor. I saw lots and lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and heard and saw my first Northern Parula and Indigo Bunting of the season, but seeing a male and female Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) on their nest was the highlight....

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
A male Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) on a nest. He flew in to relieve the larger female (hidden from view).
This nest is located on the Little Miami River and bike trail about a half mile from the abandoned Peter's Cartridge factory. I saw it last year, but construction was only half-hearted and the hawks never occupied it, but earlier this year, when snow was still on the trail, I noticed the nest was slowly being beefed up, and today I saw why...mama and papa have settled in!

...eventually the larger female Red-shouldered Hawk starts to pop up. It's time for her to fly out.

...there she is. You can see how much larger she is.

...stretching her wings.

...right after this shot, she flew out of the nest to an adjacent tree. Then she took off. I can't wait to see the babies after the eggs hatch. Let's hope the couple is successful. 

15 comments:

Montanagirl said...

Oh that's really exciting, Kelly! Great photos, and I hope they are successful. Maybe you'll share photos of the babies with us!!

TexWisGirl said...

very cool find! glad they're using it this year!

Janice K said...

Great pictures...I hope we all get to see the babies. I'll keep watching your blog.

Stacy Walker said...

Beautiful! I too hope we get to see the babies!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

"Red and the Peanut" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-sunday-drive_21.html

thatoneoldguy said...

What a great view! awesome as always

Chatty Crone said...

Just stopping by to say hello- Jerry has your blog posted to look at today - my son lives in Cincinnati too - we have been there many times - never thought about it being a place to look for birds! They are pretty.

sandie

Merri said...

gorgeous, and what a find!
The Equestrian Vagabond

DeanO said...

This is beautiful

Elaine said...

What a treat for you! I think you'll be back often to check out the status of the nest.

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

This is a lovely series of photos, this a hawk I don't think I have every seen so it was a real treat.

Regards
Guy

Tammie Lee said...

such beautiful birds and photographs of them Kelly!

Banjo52 said...

Isn't the female red-TAIL also larger than the male?

Where is your lady flying of to, or to do what? Hunt, I suppose. What will Himself do? Sit on eggs?

Kelly said...

Thanks, everyone! I can't wait to get back and check out their progress. Their nest is in a tree on a busy bike trail along the Little Miami River, so these two are used to and okay with a little traffic...true suburban birds I guess.

Banjo....yes, Red-tail females are larger than males also. Yep...the male sat on the eggs while the female flew off to hunt. Mainly just the female incubates the eggs, but while I was there, the male flew in and they exchanged places for a while.

Kathie Brown said...

How wonderful to have a hawk nest to monitor! I am always amazed at the size difference between males and females!