The Hawk Family – Part 2 A Lot Happens In A Week
Posted by Kathleen Prince on April 29, 2016
It has been a week since I took the first photographs of the Ferruginous Hawk family that has taken up home in a water tower, just a few minutes down the road from my house, so I thought it was time to pop over and see how they are doing. The three were up and about this morning, and boy have they grown in a week!
Now I don’t know how old these eyeas (the baby chicks) actually are. A bit of research tells me that they are at least 4 weeks old, because the female will brood the young for the first three weeks while the male provides food for the family. After that, both parents hunt. Since both parents are now hunting, I assume that they must be at least 4 weeks old now. Apparently the young begin leaving the nest at approximately 38 days old – so these guys should be getting close to taking off. As I watched them today, each took turns stretching and flapping their wings, and peering over the edge of the nest looking down. I wonder if they’re thinking “Why did Mom & Dad build this darned nest so high!”.
Fledglings can kill prey soon after leaving the next, but they tend to stay in the vicinity and remain dependent for several more weeks. The adults usually leave once the young are catching prey. Unfortunately the mortality of the young is very high due to starvation, collisions with power lines and other factors.
At the rate they are growing, I’ll have to pop back over every few days or so, as I suspect they’ll be flying before long.