Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hawk Commotion

As soon as we posted about the early spring, the weather began a slight cooling trend.  Cloudy, cooler weather has done nothing to dampen the spirits of the Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus) as they called incessantly just above the treetops of the old-growth swamp at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest.  Even the loud drumming and calling of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) could not compete with the pair of hawks circling the area above and north of the picnic tables.

Red-shouldered Hawk outside the office - Mark Musselman
Last year, a pair (possibly the same pair as seen and heard today) built a nest in the crook of a pine tree near the bus loop picnic tables.  Two fuzzy chicks were observed in the nest as they received food from the regularly visiting adults.  However, we were not present to see if the chicks fledged.

Red-shouldered Hawk chick in nest - Mark Musselman
Red-shouldered Hawk chick in nest - Mark Musselman
Today, we observed adult hawks making quick visits to the old nest site.  Although we did not observe anything being carrying to the nest site, it is possible that they are preparing the nest for use this year.  We'll keep an eye on their activities during our lunch breaks in the future.

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