Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red-shouldered Hawk Nest eating lunch at one of the picnic tables under the trees in the parking area at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest, we noticed a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) fly through the trees along the edge of the swamp.  In less than five minutes, we saw a Red-shouldered Hawk fly in the other direction with what appeared to be a lizard in its beak.  We have learned that birds flying with food in their bills are almost always heading toward a nest.  Therefore, we watched.

Our watching paid off when we finally spied the nest in a crook high in a Loblolly Pine.

If you are having difficulty seeing the chick on the nest, follow the arrow! This view is from the parking slot in the bus loop where the ROC is stored.

There appeared to be only one chick in the nest.

An adult returned approximately every five minutes, though we could never see what was being brought as a meal.

Just beyond the entrance ramp at the center, is a Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) nest in a Horse Sugar leaning over the driveway.  The female has only been sitting on eggs for a few days.

Near #121 on the boardwalk, we spotted A250 foraging.  A250 was the male with the nest in the cypress knee in the channel near the Meeting Tree at #120.  The chicks were gone from the nest sometime this weekend, but we could not confirm that they had successfully fledged.  However, following close behind A250 was a fledgling , so at least one of the chicks is still in the game!

Beidler Forest is always full of life, but spring accentuates that fact!

Images by Mark Musselman

1 comment:

birdgirl said...

Wow! I've never seen a Red-shouldered Hawk chick! Great shot, Mark! I'll hunt for him this week