I’ve mentioned before that we watched with great interest as the Cornell hawks grew from fuzzball to formidable in a short span of time. They’re still running the nest cams now, but there’s far less to see.
What was once hours-long entertainment of nest antics and edge-of-your-seat moments has been reduced to scanning buildings and treetops for a glimpse of the trio. The two boys fledged (left the nest), and everyone let out a collective cheer (and some shed a few tears). We got to see them return to the nest for some rest and eats that mom or dad would drop in and leave for them. Who knew they could order takeout?
On the day we thought the final bird (called C3 by the nestcam chatters) would fledge, we packed up the family for a field trip. It was a school day, but we planned to include plenty of learning by watching the birds and visiting a science museum and nature center. I’m sure that’s all legal.
We ate lunch very near the light post that houses the nest. We also ran onto the adjacent field and waved to my sister in California on the nestcam while watchers from hither and yon wondered who the “morons” or “idiots” (Yes, those were actual comments on the chat. Fortunately most chatters were nice and waved back from their chairs at home) were under the nest. I think some were just jealous that we were close enough to those magnificent birds to be decorated with droppings. Thankfully we weren’t but I’m sure neighboring cars weren’t so lucky.
Fluffy bird butt!
The release (bird folks call this slicing):
If you look closely at the lower-right side of this shot, you see the projectile in motion.
I know what you’re thinking: Awesome, Wombat family. You drove four hours to see these magnificent raptors and you came away with poop pictures. No wonder you had hecklers in the chat room.
We did take some non-poop pics. I promise.
I spy with my little eyes...
I think this might be Ezra (dad) hunting nearby
I guess we're not the only ones being heckled today.
The crows chased him all the way to one of the hawk family perch sites.
Meanwhile, back at the nest(s):
The hawklet in the "top bunk" of the two-level nest interrupts his nap for a peek at us.
My favorite thing about #3 are her "Say What?!" head-cocking moves.
I realize I officially look like a crazy bird lady now. They’re just so cool, though. I can’t help it. Maybe I’ll add a short video later. For now, some prose to seal the crazy bird lady deal.
The Hawks of Cornell
We counted the eggs 1, 2 and 3,
And wondered who they would grow up to be.
Big Red sat tight with Ezra nearby,
He’d take over warming when Big Red would fly.
Soon they appeared–scrawny and weak,
Three in a row with wide-open beaks.
Feathers grew in, down faded away,
The hawklets grew stronger with each passing day.
When 1 departed, 2 & 3 were nonplussed.
(Was that on purpose or wings swept by a gust?)
Soon 2 would follow, but 3 just stayed put,
She tidied the nest and stood on one foot.
The day finally came when away flew the third,
Much less like a baby and more like a bird!
We still peek in just to see if they’re fine;
Mom and dad drop them critters to dine.
Though they’re in good hands and soon to be grown,
We can’t help but think of them all as our own.
©Wombat Central 2012