June 24, 2014
The young hawks are developing their feathers quite nicely now. Here is Sundance, perched on the rim of the nest, showing off his/her big-guy juvie plumage. Notice the down still clinging to the top of his/her head, looking very much like dandelion seeds.
Tiny dark feathers covering the ears develop early in Cooper's hawks, and by this stage of their development, begin to poke out, making them look like little clowns or zombies.
June 26, 2014
Today Butch decided to go exploring. These photos are taken at two different angles of the nest. In the first photo, he is perched on a stout stick above the edge of the nest, peering down at me intently. I like this photo because it captures the true color of a young Cooper's hawk's eyes. They are blue-grey, and will gradually turn yellow, until after the first year. Then they begin turning red, deepening in red with the passing years.
In the second photo, he has moved to the nest rim and seems to be thinking about his next move. Notice the brown feathers appearing high on his breast and on his head.
Butch's flight feathers, at the wings and tail, have developed nicely too. Watch this video, as he hops outside the nest, teeter-totters on a support limb, then quickly heads back to the safety of the nest. Notice Sundance watching from the center of the nest.
Continue to Chapter 14: Billy the Kid
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