Thursday, January 28, 2010

The construction business

If I were in the nest construction business I'd want to pick a spot with overhead protection, side protection on at least one side, sturdy foundation, quiet neighbors, availability of food. My reaction yesterday was, "Oh, NO!!!!!!!"

The Riverside Park hawks are building again. Last year's nest has blown to the ground, an interesting mound of twigs, leaves, fabric.

That nest spot sits vacant. A couple of trees over has drawn their interest, a little sweetgum tree. Instead of a sturdy branch, they've chosen a not-too-sturdy branch. There is no overhead protection. The tree is closer to the river..... more blasting wind exposure. The nest has no protection on any side, so that it's open to attack from any direction. And as for neighbors, there is a squirrel infestation in that cluster of trees, squirrels living in that nest tree, rambunctious squirrels...... think Alvin and the Chipmunks x 50. I was laughing my head off at their antics, -bouncing off trees, flying from limb to limb, romping all over the area. P.T. Barnum, where are you? They ran up and studied the nest while Mrs. Hawk sat on a branch nearer the highway. Mrs. Hawk made no move to chase the squirrels. It would have been futile. There are so many trees in the area with solid spaces for a nest, protection above and on at least one side. Why the hawks are building on this flimsy branch is beyond me. It's similar to the Ramp nest of two years ago. It has that same tilt, higher at one end than the other. Hopefully, this will be a practice construction. It could even be a social activity as they both bring twigs, move them around, stand side by side.

It was so nice to have a chance to chat with these hawks, to tell them how lovely it is to see them hale and hearty, to tell them how beautiful they are, and to whisper, "that's not the best spot for your next home".

And while Mama Hawk took in the sun along came the brat pack, a couple of blue jays. They strafed her, but didn't scream, two attacks and they moved on.

It was worth freezing by the river. Nature is miraculous. Hopefully, this is a practice nest. It's too open to the elements. More solid, more protected locations are available.

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