MAY 16 2020

Libby brings the young raptors a special treat. It looks like a treefrog, but it's anyone's guess. They look eager to try it!

MAY 14, 2020


MAY 13, 2020

Every day the view from the bridge gathers more visitors.

"What's everyone looking at?",  folks ask as they pass by, before returning the next day (and the next) with binoculars.


"Is that an Eagle?", a little girl asks me.

"No," I tell her, "It's a red-shouldered hawk." She smiles and looks with that child-like wonder, as we all did when we learned what we were looking at for the first time. I think many of us are becoming Junior Rangers and naturalists amidst this pandemic.  

"Here comes the mamma!" someone yells from the railing down the way as the cameras sound click-click-click. 

Dorothy calling for mama to bring more food. Who ever said the phrase "eat like a bird" hasn't seen these guys!

Notice Dorothy looks a little different from the siblings. The dark feathers haven't come in yet.

One man from the bridge said that the hawk nest should be bigger. "City living," said another.

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MAY 12, 2020

Today was a great day because I saw "Walt" (the male hawk - on right)  in the nest with Libby. It had been several days since I last seen him, though from various sources I heard he was well and carrying out his parental duties.  The two have an excellent system. Walt is the primary hunter (or shopper, as we joke on the bridge) finding the food and preparing it for Libby. Libby will often await on a nearby branch several yards from the nest, calling out to him with a robust "kee-ahh" which escalates if he leaves her waiting for too long. Once she hears him return her call she goes to him (in an undisclosed location deep into the tree canopy) to pick up a piece of the meal to bring to the young in the nest. Then, one by one she feeds them. The process continues throughout the day, pausing only when the young grow tired with full bellies to sleep off their meals.  

MAY 10, 2020

Happy Mother's Day to "Libby" who lovingly tends to her young who are molting into their juvenile feathers. In between feedings, they are stretching their wings, revealing their soft underbellies. They will fledge (leave the nest) when they are between 35-45 days old. Did you know that a group of hawks is called a kettle?  

MAY 8, 2020

Today when I arrived at the bridge the mother [Libby] was feeding her young a small chipmunk. They were eager to eat, as usual. She is very careful to ensure each one gets food. Each day they get a little larger. After feeding, Libby leaves the nest to return with green leaves from a nearby tree. Mother hawks continually add greens to the nest, keeping house, as the case may be. 

MAY 6, 2020

This morning it was raining and there was a chill in the air. I showed up at the bridge to find the mother hawk sitting on her young ones. Her feathers looked disheveled. The newborns, known as eyasses, are covered in a white fuzzy down that doesn't keep them warm or dry so they need their mother in the nest to protect them from the elements. She's such a great mom. Later in the afternoon the Washington Post's John Kelly published an article in the Post about the recent drama surrounding the hawk family. Spoiler alert:  It has a happy ending!  

Click on newspaper to read article.

MARCH 25, 2020

Libby, mother hawk, sits on her brood. The incubation period is approximately 33 days per egg, and they hatch at different times. The father, Walt, will assist with brooding as well, but mostly hunts. Every day we check for nestlings. 

MARCH 13, 2020

Libby and Walt perch on a branch to break from brooding over the clutch of eggs. How many hatchlings will they have?  

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