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Call of the wild: Dad brings dinner

Posted by Marcia Dick  May 22, 2012 09:30 AM

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Medford photographer George McLean continues to follow the tale of Ruby and Buzz's three Red-tail Hawk babies, growing by leaps and bounds in a nest near the Alewife Parkway in Cambridge:

"These are not chicks anymore. They are as big as the parents. From left to right, Dawn, Sleepy [lying down as he usually does], and Orion, the hunter to be. Of course names are fun and its much  better than numbers 1, 2 and 3.

"I took over 200 photos to come up with three good ones. The light, branches growing, and a crowded nest make it much more difficult than on the building ledge at 185 Alewife, where Ruby and Buzz previously nested.

"I have watched as the two oldest helicoptered up and back down to the nest. (click). Mom and dad have taken to sitting on branches and watching (click). To my eye, the young look  like two males and a female, but who knows.
 
"This is what the 'kids' were staring at so intently in the nest photo. Dad brings in bird [below]. I am shooting at a good distance and after waiting three hours for this shot, I took it. Buzz is an older hawk and quite an experienced hunter. He spun to the left, dropped the game, and went to a side branch to rest. I took a photo of mom 10 feet out on a branch on one side of the nest and dad at the same distance on the other side.

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"In not so pleasant news, I found the female turkey and her 15 chicks [polts] on Saturday at Mount Auburn Cemetery. I saw  she was stressed by people who had to get 'that picture,' so I backed off and came back Sunday. Too late.

"Predators had taken 11 of her babies and one of her female sister turkeys was dead after she fought with the Red-tail Hamlet. trying to protect the young.

"Life is fragile in the animal kingdom. To make matters worse, it looks like the eggs from the other turkey nest at the back gate were taken from the nest by humans. No broken eggs, no ripped up nest ... What fools we mortals be."

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