February 29, 2012

Mama Hawk

SDP  2-29-12
This is why the pedestrian bridge at Urfer Family Park in Sarasota is temporarily closed: red shouldered hawks are nesting. Children playing loudly on the playground nearby don't bother the hawks at all. But, apparently, they get upset when people walk over the bridge, which is quite close to their nest. The hawks actually become defensive and have been known to swoop down and smack people across the head. (I met a woman who told me her personal account of being swatted in the head by one of the hawks.) The hawk in this photo, I believe, is the female. Even from a distance, Henrietta (as I've nicknamed her) looks quite substantial. I certainly wouldn't want to mess with her. The entire time I was there, she was quite vigilant, standing guard over her nest, staring into the distance (no doubt wondering where her mate (who I've named Henry) had disappeared. Occasionally, she glanced down, presumably to check on her eggs. They should hatch anytime...with the little ones learning how to fly within 6-weeks. I cannot wait to catch a glimpse of them! In the meantime, I'm enjoying my hawk behavioral observations from a safe distance.  By the way, a huge tip of the hat to SDP follower (and MSU Spartan fan) Daniel, who emailed me about this nest. Thanks!

10 comments:

cieldequimper said...

Oh wonderful! So glad they are being left alone!

We are: clamco said...

Henrietta is gorgeous! We had hawks nesting in trees behind our house once. It was the most exciting summer. We heard their calls to mama at feeding time and we watched them learn to fly. There were 5 babies! Sadly they never came back. I'm looking forward to this new series of photos!

Ernie said...

Cool! I've never stumbled across a hawk's nest. We thought they were going to build one out behind the shop, but it didn't happen. Keep after it so we can see the wee babies!

Meghan said...

Nice capture! Henrietta is taking her job very seriously. I hope you get a view of the babies (from a safe distance).

Kate said...

It is such a thrill to see this bird in the wild, and you are so respectful of her. Good behavior on your part! Hope that you get more good photos of Henrietta and Harry and their brood when they finally hatch!

Lowell said...

Very nice! I've been smacked in the head, too, but by a crow not a hawk! Henrietta is cute! Well, also by a couple of teachers when I was youthful and full of ... well ... whatever, I was full of it!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I like the way you set this shot up SRQ. How lucky are you to be able to take pics of this fantastic scene, although Mama Hawk does look like she would see you off no problems if you got too close! Cannot wait to see more of this regal looking family.
btw your macro pictures from the Butterfly Estate are exquisite!

Halcyon said...

Ooooh! I can't wait to see the babies either.
This is a beautiful shot of a proud mother. :)

Jack said...

Nice capture, SRQ. I took a photograph of a hawk two weeks ago but I can't figure out what kind. Your knowledge of the birds (and butterflies) of Florida is impressive.

Ali - Scituate Daily Photo said...

So cool! She looks very fierce. I wouldn't want to get too close to her nest!