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.

Published by texasflashdude

Photography and Travel, specifically adventure travel and backpacking in remote North America, give me an excuse to stay outside. If kayaks, bikes, backpacks, Jeeps, archeology, geology and wildlife can be included, all the better. Having spent my life working in the fashion and photography industries, I love the unusual, the spectacular, and the beautiful. God has given us a wonderful world in which to live, and I try to open others’ eyes to its wonders. I have shared nearly 50 years of this indescribable wonder with my wife, Jodie, and we go everywhere together. I hope you will share some of our journey with us.

6 thoughts on “Family Ties

  1. I like the new theme, or the new arrangement of things, whichever it is. The photo at the top is marvelous.

    From time to time I’ve watched osprey nests, but never a hawk nest, and never any nest in such detail as this. It’s really fascinating, and that chick is beyond adorable. Now, as for the prairie dog: I’m a little more ambivalent than I might have been had I not lived in close proximity to a friend’s prairie dog for several years. Close, as in it had the run of the house. The critter was given to my friend, and it’s not something either of us would do again, but once Scooter arrived — well, we learned a lot. Did you know prairie dogs adore sweet potatoes? True. Also: it’s the nature of the beasties to dig, and if the only thing available is the sofa or a mattress? Onward!

    1. Thanks for the comments, Linda. Yes, it’s a new theme. The old one kept the images too small, according to some of my viewers, including myself. The top image was taken one morning from the south rim of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. It was one of my highest scoring images in PPA competition a few years back, titled “Islands in the Sky.” Glad you like it.
      No, I did not know prairie dogs liked sweet potatoes. We don’t have many of those growing out here on the prairie. That said, every time I now eat a sweet potato, I’ll think of prairie dogs. There’s a prairie dog town a few miles north of Marathon, a very large one, and some of the prairie dogs have even burrowed through the asphalt on the shoulder of the road to create their entrances to burrows.

      1. Coincidentally, I happened to find the refuge staff mowing a field down at San Bernard yesterday. The number of hawks cruising the mowed section was substantial. I finally decided they were doing the same as birds that follow plows to pluck up grubs and such; the hawks were after the field mice and other small creatures that suddenly had lost their shelter. Bad for the mice, but good for the hawk babies.

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