Practice makes perfect

The red-tailed hawk chicks across the canyon from us continue to practice their flapping, preparing to take their eventual first flights. We frequently see one of the chicks standing up in the nest, flapping away and whacking its sibling in the head. They’re too big now for both to be flapping at the same time.

The parents are being kept busy bringing food to their hungry offspring. One or the other is often perched on the top of a pine tree within sight of the nest occupants, usually being pestered mercilessly by a marauding crow, while the other is out hunting. The grown-ups are also, I think, trying to entice the kids out of the nest, by hanging out where the they can be seen and showing the kids how it’s done. I expect that the young ones will fledge in the next couple of weeks. We may not see the actual fledging flights, but I’m certain we’ll hear about them.

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2 Responses to Practice makes perfect

  1. PamelaR says:

    We had hawk parents teaching their offspring how to catch/dispatch a snake. Talk about fun to watch. It was quite funny to see young hawk trying to deal with a reasonably good sized snake.

    • algong says:

      From what we’ve been able to see, our young ‘uns are being raised primarily on rodents, but they’ve probably eaten their share of snakes, too. There is certainly no shortage of gophers and such around here!

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