I checked the Red-tailed Hawk nest at the corner of High and Dwight streets Friday morning to find this year’s brood-of-one milling about on the fire escape. For most of the spring, the young bird had simply been out of sight, and I’d only caught glimpses of it.
Expecting another week or so of jump-flapping and other pre-fledging exercises, I didn’t check the nest Saturday.
By Sunday morning, though, there was nobody home, and I couldn’t find any trace of the fledgling in the neighborhood. Both adults were present in Veterans Park.
There’s a good chance the fledgling left the nest sometime between Friday and Sunday morning, and found its way to a large rooftop where it’ll practice its new flight skills. There’s also a chance it was hunkered back down in the nest, and hasn’t fledged at all — the nest is in a difficult spot to see, unless the hawk is up and walking around.
Whatever the case, it’s a reminder: life moves quickly, especially in the world of birds. If you really hope to observe and document it, there’s not a lot of room for a day off.