My daughters and I had a feeling today would be the day that one of the Cornell hawks would fledge. So capitalizing on the flexibility of schedule homeschooling gives us, we made the hour’s drive to Ithaca on this glorious sunny morning.
We were watching the cam when the first hawkling made its appearance after a spring snow. We’ve been watching the cam through numerous feeding and flapping sessions. But it was a thrill indeed to be there at the moment of the first fledge!
Where did it go? After an anxious search of nearby trees, a fellow hawk-watcher located the fledgling on the ground at a busy corner of the building across the street.
A crowd was congregating, and I was getting nervous. It’s an awfully busy spot for a young hawk. But the crowd served the purpose by alerting drivers to something unusual going on, and any cars that drew near slowed way down.
After perhaps ten minutes on the ground, the young hawk gathered its nerve and flew, screeching, across the street and into a small oak — where it landed upside-down and dangled for a minute. It was a tense moment, but eventually the fledgling righted itself.
Red had flown over a few times, way up high. She was on a light pole across the fields when the youngster took flight. We left, hoping to give the bird some space to calm down and get reconnected to its parents. Ezra was on a roof nearby, preening, and I’m sure Red wasn’t far away. I got some great flight pics of her; I’ll post them tomorrow, as well as a few more of the chicks in the nest.
We’re grateful to Cornell for this experience! We’re wishing the young hawks well as they move into this next steep learning curve on their way to adulthood.