Swami Predicts

by Carl Strang

We are at the point in the season where Mayslake Forest Preserve’s red-tailed hawks began to build their nest last year. This is the nest that was taken over by the great horned owls in this year’s ill-fated nesting attempt. Looking over my notes, I see that the red-tails telegraphed their eventual nesting area by spending a lot of time in its vicinity in February and early March.

Red-tail perched in the 31st Street Woods, near where the pair built their nest last year.

This year the red-tails were closed out by the owls, or so it seemed. Now that the owls have abandoned the old nest the hawks could take it back and build it up for re-use. I don’t think that’s going to happen, however. This year the hawks have been hanging out around Mayslake’s savannas, especially the south savanna. That area remained their focus several days after the owls moved out, so I think that if the hawks nest on the preserve they will build a new nest in the south savanna.

Normally I would guard a raptor nest location, but there is no nest, yet. If they do build where I anticipate, it’s a relatively high-activity area. Furthermore, there is going to be a lot of noise later in the spring when the friary demolition site is graded, topsoil is spread, and seeds planted. If the hawks are to succeed they will have to tolerate some ruckus.

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1 Comment

  1. May 10, 2011 at 6:04 am

    […] hawks should be on eggs by now. One regularly hunts the preserve, but they did not nest there as I speculated they might, earlier. I suspect that the nest is in the residential neighborhood north of […]


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