Still recovering from our Great Day at Tiny Marsh, etc, and recognizing that these beautiful young hawks will be on the move shortly, I returned to the SCC for three hours early the next morning.
It's taken me this long to sift through another 400 plus photos from my time well spent there, but I now appreciate them more than ever, as I received sad news while there. It had been several days since Ann had seen all three Eyas together, and I was hopeful to perhaps see the third one that morning, but it was not to be...
A city worker reluctantly approached me to let me know that a Red-tail had been found dead just south of the SCC on the Tuesday prior, and based on his description, it was one of the young ones. It was devastating news that I had to share with Ann, but given that this nest is in the middle of an extremely high density, high traffic area, surrounded by TTC buses, commercial trucks, high-rise condos, and construction sites with cranes, it's truly a miracle that they're able to survive at all with these odds. There was no apparent trauma to the hawk, so one theory is that perhaps it starved to death and/or succumbed to the extreme heat of this brutal summer. One of Ann's hawk experts shared that once the Eyas fledge, if they lose more than 10% of their body weight, it's high risk for them to survive, so perhaps this was the case, but we'll never know for sure...
So here are my photos from last Sunday morning of the two remaining siblings:
This poor fellow had a bit of a crash landing on a domed lamp, so he flew over to this light standard to rest his wing:
He quickly recovered, though, and flew into a tree over a lawn sprinkler to enjoy a bath, it was too funny for words! Water droplets can be seen in the background:
Now he's in this evergreen, but not for long:
I love the clenched foot, this isn't the first time that I've seen them do this:
Checking out the curb in the SCC parking lot, thank goodness there was minimal traffic that day:
Back up in one of their favourite haunts:
I may return there once more before they leave their first home, but if not, I feel extremely fortunate to have been so "close-up and personal" with these special hawks in the wild (even if it is the CITY!), knowing that it may never happen again in my lifetime!