Upon return from our morning walk yesterday, we spied an eggshell fragment on the driveway that was not there when we had left earlier. An adult bird apparently had carried the fragment and dropped it away from the nest. Close examination revealed that it was a red-shouldered hawk eggshell and had been occupied very recently. A bit of baby down was attached to the margin of the shell, and I collected it for later.
We had been aware of a hawk nest in the big tree in our front yard for the past couple of months and had been watching their activity. The wait had paid off with the arrival of offspring, and juvenile hawk calls could be heard in the tree.
I took a photograph of the eggshell on the driveway, and later of the downy feather through a microscope at 40X. Then I went to the backyard and spotted an adult hawk on the nest watching warily. However, I meant it and its young no harm, and only had admiration for the new life beginning once again so high overhead in the tree.
#redshoulderedhawk #nest #egg #down #feather