Thursday, 22 August 2013

More Gos Stuff

Further to yesterday's post re: unseasonal Goshawk behavior, Dick Forsman was kind enough to get back to me this morning. He said that in Finland, he has from time to time witnessed the same behaviour as I saw yesterday. Usually it's juveniles that he has seen, but on occasions, adults have been involved in exactly the same way that I observed. Like myself, Dick doesn't have any real reasons as to why they are doing this so late in the year, but agreed that it appeared to take the form of play, or practise for the future. I still don't know if this behaviour has been noted in the Autumn in England or not....has anyone looked?
What makes this interesting, certainly from a monitoring point of view, is that rather than Goshawks being 'visible' just in February and March during the accepted display period, a possible second 'bite of the cherry' may well present itself later in the year. I guess that a lot of people, myself included, pretty much stop looking for them once the breeding season is over, and apart from brief isolated views, take it for granted that the birds have gone back to doing their thing under the canopy. Time will tell if this post-breeding behaviour is the norm. All jolly interesting me at least.
Gonna pad out this posting with some breeding pics from 2010,which most folk wouldn't have seen. Three youngsters were fledged this year.
The 2010 nest was initially quite a small structure, so much so, that from the ride it looke no bigger than a Crow's nest. It was only by seeing it from the back, that it became a Gos nest. I very nearly missed finding this.

Very apparent in this and the next picture, is how the nest grows throughout the course of the nesting season. As the chicks grow, and the amount of dead meat being brought in increases, so the flies and other insects build up. It's believed that the pine branches have a degree of disinfectant/insecticidal qualities and so help to keep the nest relatively infestation free.

The three youngsters starting to wander around the nest tree.

Spend their days sunning themselves on nearby branches.......

but still go home to bed in the evenings!


One week after fledging, but still next to the nest and quite approachable if you don't make eye contact. As soon as they are confident enough to wander away from the nest tree, they lose this approachability instantly and forever.

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