Red-Shouldered Hawk (Case History #1)

Older nestlings reunited using a laundry basket nest

Two young Red- shouldered Hawks were found on the ground after a storm in Meadowbrook, a residential development just south of Birmingham. The homeowner readily gave permission for us to place a laundry basket nest in a tree next to the original nest tree, since the original nest was beyond reach. The young birds were “tested” at the Wildlife Center, and it was determined that although their feather development indicated that they would soon become branchers, at the time of reuniting they were still nestlings, and needed the support of the nest basket.

(Above) Testing the nestlings in a flight cage

Tim Leopard climbed the tree and secured the nest basket, and then hauled the nestlings up in a bucket and settled them in the nest basket. About a week later, the homeowner reported that both birds were back on the ground, but that he had moved them to the roof of his garage, which was right next to the nest trees.

The young branchers remained on the roof for several days, and the homeowner was able to observe the adult birds bringing food to the roof.  Eventually, both branchers gained strength and coordination and moved from the roof onto adjacent branches, where the parents continued to feed them until both birds fledged.

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