The year is 2021. The 5th consecutive year of my observations of a family of Swainson’s hawks in Calgary, Alberta. This is their story (and mine) through my lens.
Note: The accounts herein were written in 2023 – the photos, notes and email messages from the time helped me write the story.
NOTE: This is not a scientific journal. However, I am fully aware that once the birds have left the nest, they aren’t “babies” anymore. By the time we see them out and about, they would more accurately be called fledglings and juveniles. I will use baby/babies/young ones/littles/juveniles interchangeably when referring to the offspring of Mama and Papa hawks.
AUGUST 5, 2021
Three babies confirmed in the nest tree.
No photos taken.
AUGUST 6, 2021
Went back to the nest tree to see if the babies were still there – yup, they are. And Mama and Papa hawk are right there too, so probably best not to hang out here for too long.
Though we know this is the nest tree, we hadn’t actually seen the nest until today.
AUGUST 9, 2021
The babies have finally fledged. They are out and about exploring their neighbourhood.
Mama hawk is keeping a close eye on her brood.
AUGUST 12, 2021
I got to the area right at feeding time.
Just enjoying the experience of watching these curious young raptors do their thing.
AUGUST 13, 2021
Just another day watching the littles (not so little) out exploring their surroundings.
Managed to capture the three of them feeding in the grass.
AUGUST 15, 2021
It’s quite smokey today. Tried taking some video today (without the tripod). Turned out quite shaky but might be able to stabilize them. Managed to get a couple of photos too.
AUGUST 17, 2021
Finally got a few videos while using the tripod – yay me!
Also took a couple of photos.
AUGUST 18, 2021
It’s interesting to watch the babies around feeding time. Like when one baby has the food and the other just has to wait for the parents to bring them their dinner.
Papa was keeping a close eye on me.
AUGUST 20, 2021
I followed one of the dark morph babies today. They were hanging around a light standard pole. Almost got those elusive in flight shots that I strive to get every year… so close.
AUGUST 29, 2021
Over the last few days I’ve seen the babies out exploring but I’ve only managed a shot or two each day. Almost got a good shot of one of the babies flying overhead today. It looks good until you zoom in. One day…
Sightings are getting fewer and farther between. Until next year…