There is so much happening at this time of the year it is difficult to decide what to post – avian nests, eggs and chicks, wildflowers, trees in leaf, insects. . . my table overflows.
A day after I first photographed the two red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) chicks, I returned to the nest. The parents apparently left a small rodent, vole or mouse, in the nest with their chicks. One baby took the small creature in its beak and began to shake and toss his head. I do not know if the nestling was playing with the vole, or if it was frustrated because it could not manage to eat the animal. After a half hour or so the prey became battered and bloody, yet I saw no evidence that the chick managed to ingest anything. It appeared as though only one chick controlled the food, while the second chick looked on and tried, without success, to grab the vole. It was so interesting to watch!
This nest is located in Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Modoc County CA).