Red-Tailed Hawk

Family

Nesting

We initially saw one of the hawks (couldn't identify if it was the male or female) on the nest on March 11th.  When we came back to check on them later that day, the hawks were nowhere to be seen.  On March 13th, we spotted one of the hawks on a tree close to the nest, and the other hawk further away, but still within view of the nest.  Once again, we couldn't find them the following day.  On March 15th we spotted both hawks sitting side by side in a pine tree and on March 16th, Mom began to lay on the nest.

 

Red-tailed Hawks typically nest in the crowns of tall trees.  This particular nest is refurbished from a previous year.  The inner nest is lined with bark strips, fresh foliage and other dry vegetation.  We have witnessed both the male and female bring in additional twigs after they began incubation of the eggs. Clutch size is between 1-5 eggs, but the typical size is 3 eggs. Typical incubation period is between 28-35 days, so we can begin to look for chicks somewhere around April 12th-19th.

Both the male and female incubate the eggs. Typically, it is primarily the female's responsibility, but we have witnessed the male and female trading off on a fairly consistent schedule during the day.   

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