Wednesday June 4 2014
Up one crick is a glorious nest of Ravens. They grew from four all-mouth featherless squeakers,
to four almost-grown shrieking juveniles about to leave the nest.
One parent always flies out of the tree whenever she sees me approaching - as if I won't notice the big nest with the four giant no-longer-raven-babies spilling over the sides. The siblings are quiet as I stand there shooting pictures and talking to them; they pretend I can't see them. I'm thrilled I have my secret nest of Ravens nearby!
Up the other crick, great horned owls and red-tailed hawks nested within 20 yards of each other (!). Granted, the cover from the cottonwoods is thick and divine, and the two probably probably have a wary truce, but I find it interesting they chose to nest in the same grove - particularly when you add the kestrels - a small hawk - to the mix, who are nesting between the two big birds of prey. The great horned owls nested earliest; the red-tails were next; then the kestrels. What possessed these little hawks to nest right in the midst of this bad-ass neighborhood is beyond me!
As I studied the hawk baby (which looked rather vulture-like at this stage),
it disturbed the hawk parents, one of which flew over and around me again and again - and was consequently chased again and again by a kestrel. Kestrels are most territorial when they are nesting. They have no problem attacking a large bird of prey to protect their nest or young.
I moved to the next trees to check out the great horned owls. An adult always flushes when I come near; one always stays, and I'm lucky if I can find him in the foliage (the adult is the top picture).
I never saw a nest this spring; but I probably should have figured out that the pair of great horned owls were hanging out together after breeding season because they did breed and produce young.
Here's one baby I spied, which has already fledged. There could be more owl babies; but with all the bird brouhahas I'd already stirred up, I didn't want to disturb anymore.