Welcome to the world, little hawks of Holyoke

(c) Greg Saulmon 2013

(c) Greg Saulmon 2013

Three chicks have hatched at downtown Holyoke’s Red-tailed Hawk nest.

I got my first look at one of them last Saturday morning, in a view from above the nest. The little chick was huddled close against its parent (above), its siblings hidden from view.

Today, though, was the first day I’ve been able to see the little ones from the ground. One tottered around the nest, craning its neck to see over the edge, with one sibling barely in view and the other hiding out toward the rear of the nest:

(c) Greg Saulmon 2013

(c) Greg Saulmon 2013

(c) Greg Saulmon 2013

(c) Greg Saulmon 2013

It’s hard to believe these new arrivals will be ready to fly in just over a month, and ready to strike out on their own just a few weeks after that. I stopped seeing the young hawks from last year’s brood around mid-July. This year, that day will again come sooner than I’d like.

Today’s observation had another interesting twist: while watching the chicks on the nest, I heard a commotion on a nearby rooftop and turned to see two raptors taking flight. One of the other parents, of course, but what was the second bird?

It turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon, and the two sparred briefly before the falcon fled:

(c) Greg Saulmon 2013

(c) Greg Saulmon 2013

I’ve been seeing the falcons very irregularly this year, but it’s good to know they’re still visiting the city.




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