On a balmy day just gone by this present February, a couple of big wildbirds soared above a midtown river city west of the Missouri River valley, while up in vivacious cerulean skies of a tainted bit of greenery amidst an otherwise dreary urban setting. Thermals were appreciated as the pair of birds - two dedicated hawks in this instance - showed their essential pairing behavior for another pending season of a dedicated couple.
Their vital residence - a successful nest - is a bunch of sticks atop a white pine tree, among a constricted grove between two streets, among so many people and so much developed country known as urbanization.
The subsequent day - while one of the two was perched near the nest, and the other soared nearby over Wood Creek - provided just a brief yet glorious glimpse of potential by a lowly person cleaning up some of a winter's accumulation of trash spread among timber of the ravine by students of the adjacent University of Nebraska campus. A bunch of them obviously have a slight or more than nil concern for a unique, urban green space but would rather carelessly trash the place.
This couple of cream-coloured buzzards - using a bit of historic lingo - deserve to have a clean place for their pending time of breeding when a female nourishes eggs created by the pair. Nearby or off on a hunting foray, will be the male in his role as protector and provider of a nourishing tidbit of some edible animal.
Another new season is just getting underway for a pair of Red-tailed Hawks, in an ongoing and dramatic scheme of events that transcends a single year, but are basics across eons of time, hopefully unending. This species of hawk has been noted here since 1915, with more numerous observations in the most recent years during their season of prominence. And now, another nesting season has arrived.
Last year two hawks had a successful season. Two young Red-tailed Hawks were raised by a dedicated couple of adults. For an observant bird-watcher, which does not include any students except for a rare youngster walking along that just happened to look up, the young hawks could be easily seen sitting upon a hefty tree branch.
Urban Red-tailed Hawk, ripping on a rabbit carcass.
Looking closer one day, there were two young fledgling sitting together, patiently, just east of a parking garage. The two were together along the road where the primary interest is usually getting a parking place. This pair of young hawks indicated so much for a season to appreciate.
Rabbits are an essential part of this scheme and understandably a good trade if a bunch of these critters provide sustenance for a couple of magnificent raptors and their young. One instance of an adult ripping apart a carcass were a profound few minutes over on the Hamilton Street hilltop.
There are some bird-moments to appreciate pending for this season in mid-city. Best wishes to the hawks, with an expression of concern and hope that something idiotic does not thwart your attempts. There may be many unknown and potential threats by ignorants that could wreak havoc on your attempts.
Continue on red-tails, and may you have another year of success!
Fledgling Red-tailed Hawks from the 2008 season among the pines.
This is the 200th retained posting on this blog, placed here on the day of the Full Snow Moon, when there was rain around with balmy conditions.