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Red-shouldered Hawks Building and Refurbishing Nests

4-5-13 red-shouldered hawk nest IMG_8573With winter temperatures still upon us, it can be challenging to find signs of spring in the hills of Vermont.  However, subtle signs do exist if you know where to look!  Notice the fresh greenery in this nest – it confirms that recent refurbishing has taken place by returning red-shouldered hawks.  Roughly two feet in diameter, a red-shouldered hawk’s stick nest is lined with moss, lichen, bark and conifer sprigs.  Other  items that have been used as building material for these raptors include ears of corn, corncobs, corn husks, tissue paper, nests of songbirds, straw, mullein, leaves, twine, various deciduous tree leaves, entire plants, dried tent caterpillar webs and plastic grocery bags. The pictured nest will serve as a nursery for two to five red-shouldered hawk chicks in about a month’s time, and as the nesting season progresses, sprays of conifers such as the hemlock sprigs you see here will continue to be added.

4 responses

  1. Emmylou

    Awesome!

    April 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

  2. Charles Astbury

    Broad wing hawks near my home also add green stuff to old nest & dive if I to near nest.

    April 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm

  3. ann

    Have you been watching the SprectraAccess web cam (NH Audubon site) on the Brady-Sullivan tower in Manchester NH filming a nesting peregrine falcon? 8 yrs. together at this nesting site!

    April 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm

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