2008 Red-Tailed Hawk News
Archive June 1,2008 - June 30,2008
June 1: A very exciting day at the nest, two of the youngsters have fledged today. One fledgling, the oldest of the three
was just four trees or approximately 150 feet to the West of the nest and about thirty feet up on a strong limb in a Maple
tree. The second fledgling was located in a tall Oak tree about 100 feet up also on a sturdy limb two trees or approximately
75 feet to the North East of the nest. Upon our arrival at the nest site Mama was in the nest with the remaining third sibling,
she may have delivered food a few minutes earlier. Mama stayed in the nest for another ten minutes, she then flew to the
tall Oak tree landing fifteen feet away from the second sibling staying there for almost two hours. The first fledgling played
and preened for about two hours exploring the Maple trees many branches. Eventually the first fledgling returned to the
nest late in the afternoon. Mama decided to leave the second fledgling in the Oak tree as Papa was watching from one of
his favorite tall apartment buildings to the West. At 5:45pm the second fledgling decided to fly past the nest to the South
landing in a another Oak tree about fifty feet away. Mama was circling overhead when we had to leave for the day. As far
as I'm aware the Briarwood hawk youngsters are the first Red-Tail hawks to fledge their nest in the NYC Metro area this
season. I have posted new images of our hawk family in the Raptor Gallery on Page 22 from May 10th through June 1st
including images of the two fledglings that left their nest today. There are additional new images of the two fledglings in the
Raptor Gallery on Page 23.
June 2: We didn't have much time to observe our hawk family today. On a brief visit with no camera gear we found the first
fledgling enjoying itself in the numerous mature trees around the nest site. Prior to leaving for the day the fledgling
returned to the nest to join its two siblings. We didn't see Mama or Papa.
June 3: Once again today the first fledgling was out of the nest sitting in an Oak tree just to the West of its nest. Eventually
it moved to nearby Pine trees jumping and hopping from branch to branch and tree to tree. The second fledgling was in the
nest with its sibling that has yet to fledge. The first fledgling returned to the nest after an hour and a half to join its siblings.
About ten minutes later Papa landed in the nest very briefly to deliver some food. Previously, he had been sitting for about
45 minutes on his favorite tall apartment building antenna. I will be posting new images of the youngsters from this
afternoon on Wednesday.
June 4: We were not able to observe our hawk family today.
June 5: I have been delayed in posting the 6/3 images, I will post them with todays new images during the next day. Today
was a truly wonderful day with all three of the eyasses out of the nest exploring their new territory together. All of them are
doing very well and appear very healthy and well fed. The first fledgling was in his favorite tree when I had arrived. The
second fledgling was just a 100 feet to the South in a tree eating a Pigeon. The first fledgling eventually joined the second
and they took turns sharing the meal. Papa was very active hunting for his family taking time to rest after each hunting
attempt. I couldn't find the third eyass during the first hour and a half while I was observing the other two eyasses and
Papa. The first fledgling is very strong and confident in flight since it fledged the nest and today attempted to catch a
Squirrel. Judging from todays attempt it will catch one very soon. Papa delivered a Squirrel to the two fledglings not long
after the first fledgling attempted to catch its own meal. Shortly after Papa delivered this food the third fledgling appeared
from East of the nest and for five minutes all three fledglings were about eight feet apart from one another in the same
tree. Of course this would be the day I didn't have a wider angle lens with me to capture the special moment. Earlier in the
day Mama and Papa spent time together on their favorite tall apartment building antenna, however, during the above
observations Mama appeared not to be in the immediate area. I will be archiving the month of May over the next couple of
days to the news archives where they and previous months can always be accessed.
June 6: We were not able to observe our hawk family today. Please see the new images of the fledglings taken 6/3 and
6/5 posted in the Raptor Gallery on page 23 and page 24.
June 7: All three fledglings were observed today and doing well on their first very hot day. It took a while to find the third
fledgling as it seems to like the area to the West of the nest. The other two siblings tend to stay on the Easterly side of the
nest. Most of the day they interacted with one another and stayed within one or two trees that were in close proximity. The
three fledglings did there best to stay cool by panting and spreading their wings away from their body. They also stayed in
the very most shaded areas of the trees. They didn't fly much today due to the heat, most of their time was spent sitting,
walking on branches and the occasional hop to another limb. Papa delivered a Chipmunk landing high in a tall Oak tree
about 5:45pm and all three fledglings converged quickly for the meal. Unfortunately, while handing off the meal the
Chipmunk fell to the ground. Papa flew off shortly after probably to get another meal for his family. We did not see Mama
today. Please see the new images of the fledglings taken 6/3 and 6/5 posted in the Raptor Gallery on page 23 and page
June 8: Today the heat and humidity was greater than Saturday. The fledglings are still staying in the general area of their
nest. The heat is keeping them in the most densely shaded areas of the many mature trees around their nest. Fledglings
one and two appear to be keeping each other company most of the time. The third fledgling joins them every now and
then but for the most part seems to enjoy time by itself, however, all three in general stay reasonably close to each other.
We didn't see Mama or Papa today. Please see the new images of the fledglings taken 6/3 and 6/5 posted in the Raptor
Gallery on page 23 and page 24.
June 9: All three fledglings were very active today even in the extreme heat (99 degrees) and high humidity. It seemed
that they had not eaten as they were vocalizing for food. They moved from tree to tree as they vocalized for about an hour.
Eventually, Mama came to deliver food. It seemed to be another Chipmunk as Mama landed in the nest leaving the
Chipmunk for the three siblings, they converged on the nest with excitement to eat. After they completed their meal all
three fledglings stayed on the perimeter of the nest and rested. Papa was also in the area flying around hunting but we
didn't see him make a kill or deliver any food while we observed our hawk family today. Please see the new images of the
fledglings taken 6/3 and 6/5 posted in the Raptor Gallery on page 23 and page 24. I will be adding more images from this
weekend over the next day or so.
June 10: Another hot day and the fledglings were doing their best to keep cool. All three of the fledglings were very low to
the ground today when I had arrived, the third fledgling was resting on the ground under some trees in the dirt. One of their
parents was being harassed by some Robins East of the nest, some strong vocalizations appeared to have calmed things
down with the Robins. Eventually Mama delivered some food to her family that stirred up the fledglings as they all became
very excited to eat this afternoon. I have added images of our hawk family from this weekend to the Raptor Gallery on Page
June 11: Two of the fledglings were resting in the shade in two different trees about 20 feet apart. The third fledgling was
further away to the West in a mature maple tree. Even though the waether was cooler then previous days the fledglings
were not overly active today. They flew to different trees within a 200 foot radius of their nest resting for long periods of
time at each tree. Mama delivered some meals in the late afternoon, this always geets the fledglings excited and active. We
didn't see Papa today.
June 12: One of the fledglings was sitting on a stone late this afternoon and eventually flew over to a low branch in an
Oak tree. Soon after it moved again to a tree next to the one where its sibling was sitting. The third fledgling flew overhead
and between it two siblings from East to West landing in a Maple tree. All three of them stayed in their respective trees for
about 20 minutes when all of them started to vocalize. A few seconds later it became apparent why they all vocalized at the
same time as Mama approached with a late afternoon meal. She landed high in tree a few yards to their South and all three
of the fledglings converged to greet Mama and their food. Only one fledgling received the Pigeon that Mama delivered as it
flew off with the meal landing on the ground under the nest to eat. The youngster mantled over its meal and vocalized very
strongly on a number of occasions letting its siblings know it was not going to share at this time as the two looked down
from their tree branches from above. Please see new images from 6/10 posted in the Raptor Gallery on Page 25.
June 13: We weren't able to observe our hawk family today. Please see the new images posted in the Raptor Gallery from
6/11 and 6/12 on Page 25.
June 14: Today the fledglings have started to expand their territory from the general area in and around their nest. Two
of the fledglings seem to stay together and the third explores on its own most of the time. I was able to hear the third
fledgling this afternoon in the distance while I observed and photographed the other two. One of the fledglings came very
close to capturing a Squirrel by the tail, luckily for the Squirrel it got away this time. Mama and Papa were busy hunting and
keeping an eye on their family. The fledglings were very active today exploring a couple hundred yards to the East and
South East of the nest. They are all very strong in flight and doing very well now in their second week out of the nest. Late
this afternoon Mama and Papa delivered the fledglings Pigeons for their meal.
June 15-16: We weren't able to observe our hawk family on these days.
June 17: One of the fledglings was eating a Pigeon when we arrived today. All three fledglings were very active flying and
exploring in their expanded range from the nest area. One of them was walking on the grass playing with bugs and sticks
before settling down for a rest on the roots of a large tree. Eventually, on the move again it explored a large pile of dirt and
played with some more small stones. The other fledglings were flying from tree to tree darting all about from West to East
and North to South vocalizing and enjoying themselves. Mama and Papa were hunting for food before we had to leave for
June 18: The fledglings continue to expand on their range now going further to the East of the nest where the dense
mature trees thin out to a more open space. Mama and Papa are being harassed in that area by Kingbirds and Kestrels. A
number of times a Kingbird actually attached itself to Papa's back and wing as he flew away to the North East as he tried to
shake the bird from his back. Once Papa was far enough away from the area the Kingbird returned to its nesting site
leaving Papa alone. The youngsters are eating very well as Mama and Papa are suppling plenty of food.
June 19: Shortly after arriving today two of the fledglings and Papa were flying overhead near their nest. The two
fledglings were very vocal as Papa circled. Soon after most of the activity shifted to the South East where the Robins were
very loud defending their nests, Mama and Papa were in the immediate area hunting. We noticed a Robin nest situated at
the edge of a branch in a Maple tree with three youngsters calling out to their parents. All the adult Robins in the area were
focused on Mama and Papa trying to drive them away from the area. Mama was sitting at the top of this tree and Papa was
in the neighboring tree. Then we noticed Papa being chased by a Kingbird, then a Kestrel joined in, then two Kestrels. We
watched as Papa flew off to the West into the mature trees and out of sight. Within an hour of all this activity all three hawk
fledglings had meals delivered to them by Mama and Papa. Upon closer observation all three were eating baby Robins, we
returned to the Robins nest we spotted earlier, all three babies were gone and the nest was disturbed. We can only
assume Mama and Papa found this nest due to the youngsters calling out to their parents during the time the Robin
parents were attempting to drive away Mama and Papa.
June 21: Sorry for the lack of updates since the 14th, I've been delayed in posting new images and news of our hawk
family this past week. Over the next few days I will try to catch up on posting new images of our hawk family.
The fledglings are for the most part staying in the South East and Eastern sections from their nest location. They are
continually on the move exploring actively. Mama and Papa seem to be feeding them later in the afternoon as the
fledglings are attempting to hunt more frequently on their own, however, with infrequent success. They have been very
vocal as they fly around the last few days. Two of the fledglings were on the ground eating as they shared a Pigeon in the
mid-afternoon. Anytime Mama and Papa enter the Eastern section of their territory they are quickly met by the Kestrels and
Kingbirds that aggressively harass and dive at Mama and Papa.
June 20: Today we had limited time to observe our hawk family. Two of the fledglings were once again spending their time
in the same general area together. We didn't see the third fledgling, however, we assumed it was spending time off to the
South East where the Robins were not happy. Mama and Papa were on their favorite antenna on the tall apartment
building to the West watching over their family so it was probably safe to assume the third fledgling was causing the Robins
to be a bit edgy. Papa started to hunt prior to our leaving for the day.
June 22: We weren't able to observe our hawk family today.
June 23: We found two of the three fledglings today, we thought the third fledgling may have been in the Southern section
a couple hundred yards away from the nest. We discovered the fresh remnants of an earlier meal that appeared to be a
homing Pigeon, only the legs and feathers remained. Mama and Papa were in the Eastern section sitting next to each other
in an Oak tree with one of the fledglings sitting below them vocalizing for food.
June 24: On the way to observe our hawk family Mama was being chased by what appeared to be a Merlin. Mama was
chased for a few minutes as she disappeared behind some buildings. It took a while to find the fledglings today as there
was not much activity this afternoon. One of the fledglings was flying in an open area briefly before it landed in a small Pine
tree to rest. After much searching the fledglings were all on the ground together staying amused with twigs, stones and
bugs. Of course this was a day without a camera in hand to capture the moment. Eventually two of the fledglings flew off to
sit next to each other on an Oak tree branch. The other fledgling was sitting in another Pine tree with a Chipmunk. Mama
and Papa were in the area when we left.
June 25: All three fledglings were together when I arrived today. Two of the fledglings were eating a Pigeon, the third was
observing and attempting to get its turn. I was able to capture images of the three siblings together as they shared their
meal. These are the first images of the three fledglings together since they left the nest on June 1st. I'm a little delayed
posting the new images from this past week but will get them posted soon. After they finished eating the fledglings rested
for about a half hour and them became very active flying all around the South Eastern section of their territory. At one point
two of the fledglings tried to catch a black Squirrel. As the fledgling swooped down on the Squirrel and missed, the second
fledgling was approaching seconds behind from a slightly different angle and also missed, the Squired dodged and weaved
its way out of harms way. Mama and Papa were in the area at the end of the day it appeared that they were hunting for a
late day meal.
June 26: We weren't able to observe our hawk family today. Please see new images of the fledglings taken on 6/14 and
6/18 in the Raptor Gallery on page 25. I will be posting more new images tomorrow.
June 27: The weather today didn't look favorable for photography this afternoon, it appeared that there would be a storm.
However, shortly after arriving to observe our hawk family the weather cleared but it was still hot and humid. We were
surprised how active the fledglings were in the heat. It soon became apparent that their parents hadn't fed them in a while
today and they were growing restless for food. This is the time of their season that the parents will be pushing the
fledglings to provide for themselves, the parents will provide food at some point if the fledglings are not successful hunting
on their own. Papa had caught a meal for himself and he was not sharing. As the fledglings converged on Papa he took his
meal and found one new tree after another as the fledglings followed him and vocalized for food. Papa was finally able to
eat on his own as Mama became the target for the fledglings request for food. One of the fledglings found a shady branch
to rest and cool off from chasing Papa all around for about 45 minutes. Please see new images of the fledglings taken on
6/14 and 6/18 in the Raptor Gallery on page 25 and images from 6/19 on page 26. More images to be posted soon.
June 28: We weren't able to observe our hawk family today. Please see new images of the fledglings taken on 6/14 and
6/18 in the Raptor Gallery on page 25 and images from 6/19 on page 26. More images to be posted soon.
June 29: Shortly after we arrived to observe our hawk family the weather changed rapidly. It became very dark, windy and
threatening with thunder in the background. The fledglings were vocalizing and Mama and Papa were in the immediate
area. I had noticed one of the fledglings flying in the Northeastern section with a large twig in its talons eventually landing in
a Maple tree to the East. The twig the fledgling was carrying made for a difficult but successful landing. Before I got near
the area where the fledgling landed it had already moved to another location. One of the other fledglings, I think the
second, was eating a bird high up in a tree in the Eastern section. The other two fledglings became interested in their
parents asking to be fed. I was able to get a few images from today but the rain cut our visit short for the day. Please see
new images of the fledglings taken on 6/14 and 6/18 in the Raptor Gallery on page 25 and images from 6/19 on page 26.
More images to be posted this evening.
June 30: All three fledglings were very active today in the Northeastern section of their territory. They were not vocalizing
much today and it seemed that they had been fed recently. Although they didn't seem hungry they were very interested in
hunting on their own. We didn't see them catch anything while observing them but they are improving their hunting
technique. Please see new images of the fledglings taken on 6/14 and 6/18 in the Raptor Gallery on page 25 , images from
6/19, 6/20 and 6/21 on page 26 and more Images from 6/21 on page 27.