The exciting news this week was the arrival of two hungry all-white fluffy nestlings! John’s photos record the male Swainson’s bringing breakfast, a low altitude reconnaisance flight, and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher escorting the hawk away from its nest at the golf course. This week the male has brought food to the female and their young but in about a week she will leave the nest to share in the hunt for food as the growing nestlings demand more calories. The dark side of fratricide could occur in the next couple of weeks if there isn’t enough available food for both chicks. But with the abundant rodent, bird, and insect populations on base there should be plenty of food to satisfy both of them.
Other creatures spotted on base: two coyote pups exploring the world outside their den, an oblivious porcupine pretending to be a branch, and a colorful Desert Kingsnake who had trouble staying in one place.
What can you expect in the next few weeks? The upcoming kite festival will take to the air soon; four Mississippi Kites were photographed waiting patiently for their females to incubate their eggs. These four represent only a small portion of the larger population of kites that breed on base (Last year at least eleven pair bred on base). Western Kingbirds, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and other birds will soon fledge young and perhaps with luck we can show you their pictures, too.