Red-Shouldered Hawk Nest ***UPDATE May 29, 2020***

May 29, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

At this time, all the young hawks are 30 days old, or slightly older. It showed today when I visited the nest. Look at the comparison photos below taken exactly one month apart! On April 29, the young hawks were barely able to stand. In just one month's time they have flight feathers, can feed on their own, and stand, hop and fly small distances.

At least two of the young hawks have fledged the nest, which means they've grown enough to fly and/or hop out of the nest onto nearby branches. The fledglings aren't mature enough to survive completely on their own. They'll stay by the nest for the next few months and continue to be fed by their parents while also practicing their own hunting. As I saw today, they may fly back into the nest to get fed by a parent. Two of the young hawks were fed today when I visited. One parent flew in and dropped the prey item down. Both young that were in the nest were able to tear apart and eat the prey by themselves. One of the young hawks displayed "mantling" of the prey item. Mantling is hunching, crouching, or arching shoulders and spreading wings over a kill to conceal it from other birds and predators who would be potential thieves. See the photo below! Here's a photo of one of the fledgling hawks perched near the nest, about 25 feet away.

Not too far from now all three young hawks will have fledged the nest, but still be nearby. If you're visiting the nest and don't see any signs of birds, look closely in the tree canopy near the nest. If they continue to do well, they'll be there for most of the summer.



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