Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Red Tail Roost Rebuild

It started out as a normal Tuesday.  Boyo off to school, me and Sweet Pea back home for a little snuggling and watching 'Tangled'.  But we got a call from our friends at The Raptor Center wondering if we could go help out a baby Red Tailed Hawk in our area.  It seems with the recent storms and high winds, their nest of several years gave way and spilled out of the tall pine tree it was in. 

Included in this "bathwater" was the Baby. She (and I'm not sure of the sex, but to keep it easy I'll just use 'she' since I called the Great Horned Owl 'he'. Gotta keep things fair.) was huddled next to a tree doing her best impression of a rock.

According to the nice folks who discovered her, the parents had been around and had even fed her. Sure enough, when we arrived the momma hawk was high in a pine tree screeching a warning to us.

I brought along a few supplies and spent some time fashioning a new nest for my fine feathered friends. I drilled 12 big holes in the bottom and packed it in with sticks and padding from the old, blown down nest.

A friendly neighbor loaned me an extension ladder and I scaled the tree to get the 'nest' in place. It is ShafferBuilt, so I could sit in that nest and it wouldn't come down.

Then it was time to get the Chicka back up the tree and into her new home.  She didn't put up a struggle as I draped a towel over her and gave her a quick checkup.

 No broken bones, no wounds or weakness.  She was ready to go back.

I took her up the tree like a football, and did a very gentle slam dunk over the rim of her new home to get her in the nest.  Then I climbed up a bit more and got her out of the towel.  She looked around a little bit, packed the pine needles down a little, then turned to face me.

"Alright buddy boy.  You've done your good deed of the day, now back away slowly for I am a FIERCE predator and will rip your face off if you should try to approach me."  At least, this is what I heard her say in my head.

A few more pictures and I climbed back down to terra firma.

As we left her, she was poking her head above the edge of her new 'nest', looking for mom and dad, who were still nearby.  I wanted to get home quickly and send pictures up to TRC so they could sign off on my first nest build.  That way if I needed to change something I could get back there today.  The family that called it in were going to keep an eye on her to make sure mom and dad found her again.  I'm not too worried.  Hawks are pretty smart.

UPDATE: At 2:30 the folks watching the nest called to let me know that Mamma Bird found her nest and climbed in to make herself at home!  Woo hoo!

My first nest build is complete!  That was a lot of fun, and that baby Red Tail was absolutely beautiful.

More Later


Grammy said...

Nice job john! I didn't see this u til after my first post. Where was this? Far away, or close enough to go visit?

John said...

It is close enough to visit, I may go back in a month or so to see how it's doing!