Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ruby the queen

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this long winged beauty is 'ruby' "the worlds best mom" she is sitting on eggs and her freinds are all waiting with baited breath for this years surprizes. she is leaving the nest in this picture to go to her favorite place (i am not telling) and have a little lunch! (in her talons). enjoy the day, george mclean

Saturday, March 19, 2011

early morning light

i have always loved early morning light, it has a certain quality? i had been sitting from 6:30 a.m. when buzz took off. i have sharper images of him but i love the lighting on this remarkable bird. so please accept a gift from me at 7:00 a.m. sat ( i am an early bird). " enjoy the day', george mclean

Friday, March 18, 2011

sitting pretty

I just had a few minutes so I went by to check on the nest, and Ruby was there sitting pretty in spite of the gale force winds. So nice to see her back there! Amy

a neighboring red-tail

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here is 'hamlet " from 'mount auburn' cem. his mate 'ophelia' is sitting on eggs. his markings are different from "buzz" the red tail at 185. compare him and a look at the eye following me as i photographed him eating a vole. george mcean

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

another intruder

on sunday 3/13/11 this is one of the hawks that were driving the hawk ruby and buzz frantic by flying within ten feet of the nest. it was real small to be a 'red tail'? its wings slope back, and it moved real fast. any one have a clue? have a great day, george

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action at the nest

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over the week end there was all sorts of action. hildy and susan were there on sunday and the two parents were acting crazy. zooming in and out of the nest. they wre listening to hawks passing in the sky and went up to meet them . (click ) i got long shot of buzz with his talons down right over one of the offenders. then a young small juvinile wizzed by the nest(click) i got his picture.(red tail). i have so many picturesi am just putting them away and picking out the great ones. when the parents went back to the nest the second time they just stood there and listened.(click) this is the picture

susan said "look buzz has got his talons down"! i couldnt even see the hawks hovering over the buildings a half a mile away? i just started taking pictures of the dots in the distance? this took pace sunday afternoon for a few hours at 185 and again all we did was laugh and have fun. i confess they are responisble for the pictures . i think i am going blind ? all i could see was dots? oh so what keep moving and snapping!

i was quite surprised when i seen the results from the nikon, a shot from half a mile away, very good ! please take this picture ,and print it out or send it to a "hawker" it or to whom ever. remember "a thing of beauty is a joy to behold" g.mclean


Great shot, George! You know what? It almost looks like the second hawk is Ruby - which makes sense since they were both in the air chasing (?) the third hawk (which is not visible in this photo). I think it was right after you took this photo that Buzz flew back to the nest and Ruby kept after the third hawk, flying back behind 185. -Susan

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Monday, March 14, 2011

laying low

She was low in the nest about 3:40 PM today. I tried again at 4:30 and could barely make her out but thought she was still there. No sign of Buzz or any other hawks for that matter. I think she looks a little ‘fed up’ with this…!

a little stretch

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Ruby was low in the nest at 2pm on Monday, the 14th, today. I went to Trader Joe's and came out as she had a little stretch...Was out about 3 minutes and then sunk back in.. This pic was taken around 2:30 today. Nancy

Sunday, March 13, 2011

intruding cooper's hawk

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i have been at 185 so many times i am losing track(easy for me)? this is the hawk that every one wanted to see that dived at the nest several times last week wed. or thu. i was waiting for buzz to come back or i wouldn't have got this picture he was so fast. ,george

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

doing things differently

Cantabridgians apparently love to do things differently. For example, if a Red-tailed Hawk female had laid an egg and was beginning incubation, you would expect the female to spend 90-95% of the day on the egg or eggs, incubating. Ruby might have spent the first night on the egg, but around 7:15 a.m., according to Susan Moses, Buzz replaced Ruby on the nest. Buzz remained on the egg and fussing about the nest until 9 a.m., when Ruby flew in. Both were in the nest briefly but then Ruby “assumed the position.” She fussed about the nest too, moving many smaller sticks around, and shifting her body frequently. She was obviously not quite comfortable. Another example was when I saw a middle-aged man with wire rim spectacles wearing a black English bowler, a narrow black tie, a conservative English suit, and a “man purse” (shades of Seinfeld). He looked like he had just gotten off at Alewife following a long “tube” ride from London! Maybe a 40-year ride; at least he looked like many Tory London businessmen I saw there 40 years ago! Only in Cambridge!

At 9:15, Buzz flew in from the south with a beak full of long strands of some vine. Dead vine, but it looked soft and more comfortable to sit on than some of the spruce branches in the nest! Ruby continued to work on the nest. When Buzz incubated, he tended to face the west wall, and his butt was often sticking up into the wind, showing off his white undertail coverts. Ruby, however, was constantly fidgeting. Those damn sticks just weren’t right, and she often faced into the moderate but cold east wind.

At 9:26 Ruby leapt from the nest and flew west. The nest and the presumed egg were totally exposed to the elements and anything else for 17 minutes, with no adult present.

At 9:43, Buzz returned to the nest, moved some sticks about, and began to incubate, facing west. This is not how it is normally, at least in my limited experience. With Rocco and Jolene in Medford, Jolene spent almost the entire day on the nest. She is a large, experienced mother to several generations of Redtails. Rocco would replace her relatively briefly, one or more times a day. She spent 90-95% of her time on the eggs. I was most aware of Rocco coming in in the afternoon and relieving her. It was like he came in and she went out to fly around the block and work the kinks out. She was never gone for very long. But today, Ruby spent very little of the morning on the nest, while Buzz took on more responsibility.

At 10:04, Ruby flew in. Buzz got up and took off, flying to the Social Security Building. (Trying to get a Social Security Number for the first egg?) At 10:19, the apparently moody Ruby left the nest again and flew towards the Social Security Building. Buzz then appears, flying in from Fresh Pond and goes into the nest, but six minutes later, he leaves and flies towards the Social security Building where Ruby is sitting and lands next to her. They then soared low around the building and over CVS, with Buzz doing a few stutter courtship flaps.

At 10:28 Buzz returned to the nest, faced the west wall, and shifted occasionally. His mate was nowhere to be seen. At 10:50, I left, with Buzz doing his filial duty, and perhaps we were both wondering what was egging Ruby!

NOTE: Yesterday I spoke with a man from Rhode Island (Richard??) who had purchased a camera to photograph the hawks should they nest again this year. He said his lady friend, Pat .... worked in the area and told him that Ruby was Buzz’s second mate. I took that to mean that Pat was saying Buzz had mated and apparently raised chicks with a different Red-tailed Hawk earlier. If anyone who reads this knows who Dick or Pat might be, please email me directly. Last year I thought it likely that it was Buzz and Ruby’s first year together, or their first year with young. This reference to “Pat’s opinion” is the first I’ve heard where someone might have closely followed the Redtail pair nesting across from the Shell station closely and could identify Buzz and his previous mate. I’d love to talk with “Pat.”


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

food deliveries

BUZZ 3. 8.118 BUZZ 3. 8.119

We’ve been seeing a lot of activity at the nest, which is a good sign. Buzz has been bringing in plenty of food for Ruby, to the point that she is not eating it all when he brings it in. Another good sign that suggests she has accumulated the nutrition and weight to lay eggs, a significant drain on her physically. Intriguingly, of the food deliveries I have seen, none have been birds or squirrels. Everything I’ve seen has been a vole (microtus sp)., presumably meadow vole. I impressed that Buzz is finding so many voles at this time of year and that he appears to be avoiding birds, especially pigeons, and squirrels.

I’d be grateful if observers who have binoculars when observing – or take photos of – food deliveries would attempt to record the species or prey type brought in, including when Ruby is incubating in the nest. (Photographers, even if it is a bad photo that you would never want to print, a bad photo can still indicate what prey was brought it.)

Voles are chubby balls of fur, with short legs and a short tail. They look chunky.

Mice (meadow mice, deer mice, house mice) have a longer, leaner look and a long tail (compared to voles)

Chipmunks may be leaving their dens any time now, but are substantially larger than the mice or voles.

Birds would generally be obvious by their long, bare legs dangling down (most obvious on chicks, for whom it is too soon). Pigeons would be very plump.

Squirrels should be pretty obvious, like a side of beef.

When feeding the three amigos last year, Buzz brought in primarily squirrels early, and then birds, especially young birds, with chipmunks fairly common, and several snakes. I do not recall seeing him bringing a pigeon. If anyone did, please let me know.

Voles and squirrels would be highly nutritious food for Ruby at this critical time. We have an unusual opportunity to document food preferences at this stage of courtship and breeding, so I encourage people to keep their eyes open and carry a little pen and notebook with them, or document in an email from the site. For those who don’t want to, I fully appreciate just wanting to enjoy the birds.

One final comment. Don’t take any of this for granted. Nothing is guaranteed with a hawk or hawk nesting. We were very fortunate last year. May Buzz and Ruby, and us, be as fortunate this year.




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Friday, March 4, 2011