Sometimes life is just life. For weeks, for years, my wife has been following the fates of red-tailed hawks nesting at the Franklin Institute. There’s a website that shows the nest, the eggs, the hatching, the shifts of both parents bringing food to perpetually hungry mouths, and then, finally, the fledging. First flight.
Last year was especially affecting. Hawks are monogamous. But one day dad didn’t return from a routine foraging expedition. Somehow, he died. Then came the young male web watchers dubbed T2 (for Tercel 2). He stepped right in and did everything possible to raise the three chicks he didn’t sire. Cool, huh?
This year the chicks were his. Three more bobbleheads my wife has been watching in her damaged condition. The fear this year was about the third chick, who hatched days after the first two. We were worried. That he’d be neglected, slow, lost in the fledging race. So many times we’ve seen the last to take wing get into trouble. One year, the first flight of the last chick ended up with a fledgling walking across the JFK Parkway all by his lonesome self while web watchers stopped traffic to save his sorry ass.
Not this year. The first to fly was the one called Peanut, which was the name given to the last chick to hatch. Apparently, he’s the true son of the noble T2. Long may he rule the skies.