Saturday, May 5, 2012

Raptor update

The young Red Tails are still in their down feathers. They sit absolutely motionless and only the blinking of those huge eyes betrays that they are alive. There's one chick to the right -

The other one is facing to the back of the nest, with those ready to burst saguaro buds as a backdrop. It's getting rather hot now, in the nineties, and there is little shade, so this one is panting.

Mom still objects to my visits, so I only go once a week for a few minutes.

The little Kestrels, there are at least three, are now calling out to all birds that fly by - they aren't any better than I at telling  doves and night hawks from their parents than I am.

Since this afternoon, the two biggest ones are pushing their heads and upper bodies into the entrance. They look like they are ready to jump. I hardly ever see the adults. I guess they are so busy providing food for that ravenous brood.

All those raptor observations inspired me to paint the one desert species that I haven't seen in our backyard this spring, the Harris Hawk. These social raptors seem to prefer bigger trees like the old pines in Picture Rocks. They usually appear as a group when the young ones are already independent from the nest and beginning to hunt with the group.


  1. What a great bunch of baby raptors you have -- something we almost never see in any detail around here.

    By the way, can you put me back on your list to get automatic e-mail updates when you publish a new posting? Otherwise I tend to miss a lot of your posts.

  2. Love it!! Great shots of the baby birds. The desert is full of nesting this has been extremely enjoyable observing it all.