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The good father

In case you were wondering, here's what our red-tailed hawk nest looks like from our deck:

Red-tailed hawk nest in eucalyptus tree, 16 April 2015. © Allison J. Gong
Red-tailed hawk nest in eucalyptus tree, 16 April 2015.
© Allison J. Gong

See that little red circle? That's the nest. Without the spotting scope, even with binoculars it's hard to find.

WITH the spotting scope, we can spy on the nest from our deck. And using a nifty gadget that clips an iPhone to the lens of the scope, we can take photos and video. This video shows the dad feeding the bigger of the two chicks. I can't see what the prey is, but I hope to god the hawks are eating a lot of gophers.

In hawks, as is typical for raptors, the female is larger than the male. But when there's only one bird on the nest it's difficult to tell if it's the bigger one or the smaller one. In general, the dad has longer looking legs, while the female looks a bit bulkier and heavier. We know this parent is the dad because he was seen flying in with food. The mom hopped out of the nest for a bit of respite while her mate took over the feeding duties. I think that as the chicks get bigger they'll need more food, and both parents will have to spend time away from the nest foraging.

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