Family Ties Update

A week ago, I posted a story about a family of red tail hawks that had just hatched a little one and were tending the nest just outside of town. A return visit to the nest today begged for an update to the story:

After a week of absence, we dropped by the red tail hawk nest today, and to our great surprise, we spot a second little hawk on the nest. Mom & Dad were not far away, hunting for lunch and keeping a watchful eye on their brood.
A short time later, Mom returns and fills the bottomless bellies of her little ones, who immediately stretch out for an afternoon nap.

Family Ties

Spring has always been a time of renewal of life, a busy time of birth, new growth, and an awakening of all species. Nothing is more representative of that than a family of raptors nursing eggs to life, and caring for new youngsters. Just outside of town we’ve been watching a pair of redtail hawks tending to a nest, and yesterday we were treated to a special event…the first look at a 3-day-old chick being fed in the nest by a proud mom and an attentive dad.

Here, Dad is returning to the nest carrying a prairie dog, freshly harvested from a prairie dog town a few miles away.
The “handoff” as Mom helps by grabbing onto the meal as Dad lines up the nest for a landing.
Our first good look at the chick, as Mom begins to prepare the prairie dog for feeding by pre-digesting it in her gut, the new chick not quite ready to handle fresh meat straight from a kill.
Proud Dad admires his brood, as Mom seems to be saying, “You call that a meal? Go get desert!”
With that, Dad is off again. It’s a non-stop job, feeding a family of three or more.
Catch, deliver, repeat…
Meal preparation, redtail hawk style.
Mom and Baby.