The female red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) lays one to five white eggs with purple and brown spots. Since the nest is high in a snag and deep, I have no idea how many eggs were laid in this particular nest. It would be so wonderful to see inside the nest!
After 28 to 35 days the chicks break out of their eggs – tiny and helpless, unable even to raise their heads. Since these newborn hawks are deep in the nest, it is impossible to know they are there until they grow enough to move about and raise their heads over the edge of the nest. (The only clue might be if one is lucky enough to see the parents bring food to the nest.) These chicks are probably a week or more old since they are peeking out at the world around them.
The young hawks grow in the nest for approximately 42 to 46 days before fledging. With luck they will continue to thrive and provide me with more photo ops and observation time before they fly off.
This nest is in Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Modoc County) not far from our home. Both pictures were taken on the same day – one in the sunshine and the other after a heavy cloud cover moved in.