Good news and bad news!
In May I shared pictures of two red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) chicks that I am observing. First the sad news: One day I went to check on the young hawks and could only see one baby in the nest. I was concerned that something happened to one chick but could not be certain. Perhaps it was deep in the nest and I could not see it thirty feet above me. I doubted that though because both young hawks were always visible before. They were active and always moving about the nest. I looked under the snag to see if there was a chick, dead or alive, on the ground. Nothing! Over the course of several days I did not see any sign of the missing bird and finally conceded that it must have either been snatched from above by some raptor or fell (was pushed – sibling rivalry?) onto the ground, only to become the victim of a predator. I never found any trace of the second chick. Darn!
The good news: The second baby hawk survived and is thriving. It looks about ready to fledge (leave the nest). As I moved about taking pictures it watched me with those cute eyes. This season the red-tailed hawk pair in the nest I watch managed to raise only one baby (two is more common for this nest). Happily one surviving juvenile is much better than none!
This young hawk was photographed in Ash Creek Wildlife Area near our home (Modoc County CA).