Shari Navarette, 2018 and Chapter Photographer
In the early spring of 2021, while Covid kept most of us home, I spent a lot of time with my camera at the Heard Museum, at Hagerman NWR, and at Erwin Park. One morning at Erwin, while the trees were still bare, I spotted a pair of hawks at a nest. One was sitting on the nest, the other kept it’s mate company just off to the side. I watched for a while. They changed positions like a coordinated team – the one sitting on the nest flew off and the mate immediately moved on to take it’s place.
I was pretty excited to think that there might be young red tails soon. By mid April, tiny heads that looked like ghosts could be seen peeking out from the nest.
I visited sometimes twice a day, sometimes every other day, thru May and into June. The youngsters grew and I saw them eat snakes and whatever else their parents caught. I watched them practice using their wings to make little hops in the nest. They may have seen the glint off my camera lens as sometimes they seemed to be looking curiously in my direction.
One morning I pulled up and saw a hawk at a tree near the nest. One of the youngsters had made his first flight! The other was still in the nest that day, but within a day or two, it too had fledged.
What a privilege to have been able to witness this family! And I’m excited to say, the nest has been in use this spring as well, but this year, mom and dad are being kept busy with 3! It won’t be long before this trio is ready to join their parents in the skies over Collin County.
(I mentioned this nest to Dave Powell. While I have watched it for the past 2 springs, he says it has been there at least 4 years. I assume the same adults are returning year after year – how cool is that?)