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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Red-Tail Hawks

When I started thinking about this entry, I planned on telling you that I hadn't noticed any nesting activity among our local red-tail hawks.  Now I'm not so sure. While I haven't actually caught the hawks working on their nest, They are sticking pretty close together.
In the photo above, the couple is perched just to the right and above their nest
While each has been noticed perched close to their nest, before Sunday, I had only seen the birds individually. 

 Red-tail hawks are mostly monogamous.  For hawks, nesting is an important part of a couple's bonding. It is called "twigging." Observers have noted that a pair seems to take part in the nest building process because they enjoy it.  While I suspect there is more to the activity than mere enjoyment,  it is something nesting pairs do even when they have already chosen to re-use a nest. 
Each winter a pair re-chooses their nest site, often reusing a nest from the previous spring though sometimes picking a new site to raise their offspring. Some birds will half-heartedly twig on a new nest even when they have apparently already chosen to use their old site.  
This particular nest has been used at least the past three summers.  It could have been used before that, but I had been too busy to notice. Last year they raised two eyasses (young hawks). If you would like to read about them, just click on this link. Redtail Babies  I am really hoping they have another successful year.  
Stay tuned as I will continue to check the nest

1 comment:

NCmountainwoman said...

I do hope they nest there again. Great shots of these wonderful birds.