We visited a red-shouldered hawk nest, and got to watch a banding!
Jeff (from RAPTOR) is the resident crazy tree-climber.
This was a very tall, very beautiful sycamore.
Melinda prepped her banding stuff while Jeff made the climb.
Here's the first chick....and guess who got to hold the chicks?
(I thought they would be able to maybe touch a chick with one finger, or something!)
There are three chicks in this nest and the girls named them: Kissy, Fiesty and Skittles.
(And for my in-laws and anyone else who would be worried about the safety of my kids: 16 day-old hawk chicks don't have the strength in their legs to do any damage. They can't even sit up at this age.)
It was 90 degrees today, and since birds don't sweat, they have to pant.
I think this one is Kissy....
"This is very undignified, lady."
Susan Gates, a fellow RAPTOR volunteer, came by to see the banding, too.
Measurements of the 10 th wing feathers were taken...
...and also the length of the toe pads.
They were weighed, and all are healthy.
The bands were placed, and the legs do not get any bigger, so there are no worries about the bands someday getting too tight.
Imagine this drama going on in your front yard?????
You know I had to get one in my hands.
They look very fluffy, but they don't really feel fluffy. It was more like a cat that is left outdoors...gritty and kind of rough.
Lorelei helped Melinda take the bag of chicks back to the tree so they could be lifted up to the nest, where Jeff was waiting.
Melinda has received SuperHero status with Isabelle and Lorelei. I asked Isabelle what she thought of Melinda for letting them hold the chicks, and she said, "Melinda ROCKS."
People who do this sort of thing must be a little crazy. But gutsy, too.
What a neat thing to be able to do on a regular basis!
(Photo by Jeff Hays)
All chicks were returned safely to their nest.
And just as Jeff was finished, one of the parents came back, landed in the nest right in front of Jeff, suddenly realized that a person was in the tree, dropped a meadow vole in the nest, and took off. He came back again and again, screaming and swooping at Jeff.
Did I get pictures of that?
Nope. I was too caught up in the moment.
Did I remember that I can take video with my camera? Nope.
(He wasn't hurt...but he felt the wings of the parent as it zoomed by)
So, Birdchick and Lynne may have seen a peregrine banding, but I got to hold one and so did my kids.