June 19, 2013
Written by Jack Sanders
Thursday, 24 February 2011 13:50
Hawks continue to dominate the observations we receive, and Myra Kreiman of North Stamford offers a report of an unusual scene she witnessed Dec. 28.
“I looked out our side window and saw a Red-tailed Hawk on a far stonewall, one foot holding down a squirrel by its head.
“The hawk is a female who has bred in a large pine in our back yard, more of a small acre of protected forest, with a lot of cover. She and her mate had one chick two years ago, which I saw fledge for the first time. This past season the pair had two chicks. Both successfully fledged, in spite of the second fledgling’s being mobbed by Blue Jays on its first clumsy attempt at flight. The next morning it was safe in another pine, and we watched the female bring it food, and even preen it.
“As they have for the past two years, the adult pair have been repairing their nest all winter, bringing branches from time to time.
“Now, back to the morning of the squirrel: The female (white breast, pale streaks) started eating. After a while, another hawk flew to the same spot, and the female gave the younger bird access to the kill. After a few moments, the female flew to a spot overlooking the site, and kept lookout.
“This second hawk seems to be a juvenile. It ate for a while; then the female returned and number two left.
“Since then we have seen two hawks go into the nest every week. I have read that juvenile red-tails generally don’t spend more than a month or so with their parents so I am of course, curious about this pair.”
Does anyone have any thoughts on why the female would have allowed an older juvenile to share its meal?
Luke Tiller reports that a new club for young birders has been established at Audubon Greenwich, and will meet this Sunday, Feb. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Kimberlin Nature Center at the Audubon Center.
The Connecticut Young Birders Club is open to birders under 19 years of age of all levels of skill, experience and interest. The club organizes monthly field trips to sites in Connecticut and in neighboring states — providing transportation, when possible — and holds one or two meetings a year to plan trips and discuss club management.
Audubon Greenwich helped launch the club, and staff provides organizational support and guidance. “However, the young birders are very much involved in running the club themselves, making decisions regarding activities and trips, communication, membership, and finances,” Luke said.
Sunday’s meeting “will help to decide on the calendar of events for the rest of the year — so it’s a great time to come get involved — as well as dealing with any other business that members wish to look at,” said Brian O’Toole of Audubon Greenwich.
“First Sundays,” bird walks open to all ages and skills, at Greenwich Point, with Meredith Sampson, first Sunday of the month, through May, 9 a.m. sponsored by Wild Wings, Inc., Bruce Museum and Audubon Greenwich, 203-637-9822.
Copyright 2011 by Jack Sanders. Send sightings or comments to: jackfsanders [at sign] yahoo.com, or to Bird Notes, Box 1019, Ridgefield, CT 06877; or call 203-438-1183, extension BIRD (2473), and leave a message with your report, spelling your first and last names and telling us your town. If you need help identifying a bird, try your local nature center. If you find an injured bird, call wildlife rehabilitator Darlene Wimbrow of Redding, 203-438-0618, Wildlife in Crisis of Weston, 203-544-9913, or Wild Wings of Greenwich, 203-637-9822. The columnist’s website is www. sandersbooks. com.
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