Observation Log
2006 Season

GBB=Gauranty Bank building
FNB=Frost Bank building
CBB=Chase Bank building


Early April

All of April the pair soared together in a small area

May 10th-15th
Female disappeared, indicating start of incubation

June 24th
In the one hour I watched the nest area I saw the male deliver food once.  He made a soft landing in the canopy, left the food and was off in 15 seconds.

June 26th
At 9:15AM the male left the nest area, began a lazy glide at twice the canopy height to where he was two blocks south of the CBB.  He then dropped among the trees and began to weave around the taller trees.  He caught his first prey, a baby bird by 9:30AM.  So he needed only 15 minutes to get food.  The hawk took the prey in one talon over to the top of the CBB, landed somewhere on the roof and ate it himself.

July 1st
The male is still bringing food.  Around 1PM he brought a large heavy item, rat-sized, at a fast glide.  This time he stayed in a nearby hackberry tree for 10 minutes to preen, before leaving to hunt again.


July 5th
At 10:15, the male came in with food from the west.  The female drifted over from the south to join the male descending to the nest.  The male came down gently, the female dove in fifteen seconds later.  Fifteen seconds after landing and delivering food, the male was off again, gliding back up to hunting altitude.  The female stayed behind a while at the nest.  At 10:25 the female launched and joined the male, hunting more or less together.  This marks the first long flight away from the nest for the female since very early May.  At 11:15, one of the adults descended to the nest with more food. video here

July 7th
At 9AM, both adults perdched on the south side of the GBB roof.
At 9:02 both birds launched.  One glided over the nest, took a look down, flared and returned to the bank building.  Both birds glided above the bank building.  Typical soaring at GBB here.
At 9:10, gusts allowed one adult to glide efficiently and begin hunting.  Breeze died and both birds returned to the roof of the bank.
At 9:25 a breeze allowed both birds to launch again and they began hunting within a few hundred yards of the bank building.  Breeze died again and birds returned to GBB.
At 9:34, a breeze again and both birds circled upward to 200' above the bank and set a glide south.  At three blocks south of the bank building the birds seperated.  One bird went east and descended rapidly to hunting altitude.  The other turned west, gradually losing altitude.  Both birds began hunting.
At 9:45, both birds returned to the GBB as the breeze stopped.
At 9:58, slight breeze.  One bird circling the bank building, the other out hunting somewhere.
I did not see any prey caight during this first hour of on-and-off activity.

July 9th
No birds visible from 10 AM until 10:40.  At 10:40, one adult appeared a half mile NW of the nest at 400' altitude.  It had prey and was circling roughly above the Tesoro towers.  At 10:45 the adult began drifting over loop 410 towards the nest and over the next minute glided to the nest at pretty high speed, flaring just above the treetops.  Video here.  The adult left the food at the nest and was in the air in about 15 seconds, returning to glide above the Tesoro towers..  By 10:58 the bird had captured another prey but ate that one rather than bringing it to the nest.  This is further north than I had previously seen the hawks hunting.

A Red-shouldered Hawk, having a slightly overlapping territory to the east was seen several times soaring over the eastmost side of the Swaisnon's territory between 10 and 11 AM.

July 10th
10 AM; One adult showed up drifting along the south-facing side of the GBB.  It then glided over to the nest and settled into the canopy there.
10:08; Both adults landed on the south face of the roof of the GBB.  One then glided away while the remaining bird hopped back from the edge and become unseen below the raised edge.
10:45; both adults again perching on the south-facing edge of the roof.
No additional observations until after 4PM.
4:35PM; One adult came gliding past the top of the south face of the CBB and continued to the west hunting.  The bird continued a block west, then three blocks south, then one block east.  At that point, it dove into the trees, catching something smaller than usual.
4:42PM; The female with prey, flew towards the nest, looked down on it and then turned back to the GBB updrafts.  It then went over to the CBB south face, still clutching its small prey.  At this time it was joined by the slightly smaller male bird and they soared together a few minutes, still with the prey.
446PM; The adults seperated and the female took the prey at a high speed glide-dive to the nest where it stayed at lest for 10 minutes.
4:56; stopped observing and went home.

July 11th
8:45AM; One adult began soaring above the south side of the GBB, occasionally gliding SE between the FNB and the nest.  The bird disapeared around 8:53.
No further observations until afternoon
4:30PM;  One adult gliding  between nest, FNB, and GBB.  By 4:40 the bird was gone, probably hunting north of GBB.
No further observations this day.

July 12th
9:00AM; no activity between 9 and 9:30AM.
9:30AM; Both adults showed up and landed on the edge of the south side of the GBB roof .  The female stayed on the roof while the male (smaller)  soared on updrafts along the building's edge.
9:33AM; Female launched from the roof and both adults glided away, gaining altitude to 150'.  They then drifted north together and wheeled to an altitude of about 250' directly above loop 410.  They continued gaining altitude to about 300', then seperated.
9:35AM One adult glided SW past the CBB and on toward Broadway.  The other adult apparently went north toward the Tesoro towers.
9:47; Both birds were back at the GBB soaring around 100' to 150' altitude.
9:48AM; Both gained altitude to 200' to 300' and drifted NE over loop 410 between GBB and FNB.
9:55AM; Both birds out of sight somewhere.
10:03AM; One adult gliding at hunting altitude of about 60'between FNB and the nest, then over to GBB.  The bird then ascended to 120' and hovered without flapping, above the GBB.  It then sunk and landed on the south edge of the roof of the GBB.
10:06; The adult launched, descended to hunting altitude and worked the area between GBB, FNB, and the nest.  The bird then landed in a tree about 50' east of the nest.
10:30; One adult appeared over the GBB and began a steep fast glide on partly closed wings to deliver food to the nest.  It landed at the nest.
10:35; There was no activity from 10:35 through at least 11:20.
No observations between 11:20AM and 1:15PM
1:15PM; There was no activity from 1:15 through 3:45PM.
No further observations that day.

July 13th
8:45-9:13AM; no activity
9:13AM; One adult landed on GBB.
9:25; Bird launched off GBB and two blocks south at 60 to 120' altitude.  Bird alternated gliding and perching on GBB until 9:42AM.
9:42AM; Both adults perched on the south side of the GBB roof.
10:00 to 10:30AM; both birds alternated perching on the GBB with hunting.  Hunting was done in the narrow area between the Tesoro towers, GBB, and the Bill Miller BBQ.
No further observations that day.

July 14th
9:05AM; Both adults have flown to the GBB and are perching on the south facing edge of the roof.
9:07AM; both birds have left the GBB.
10:43AM; One adult rests on the edge of the GBB roof, the other glides in circles above loop 410 with a prey in eack talon.  Bird accidentally dropped one prey, plunged downward carching it with the free talon in less than 20 feet.  Bird dropped some altitude to about 150', circling over to the nest.  Bird circled the nest six times then glided back over loop 410, still with two prey objects and rose to about 200' altitude.  The adult dropped a prey again but caught it as before within 20 feet of the drop.  Bird then raised one prey to its beak and either bit or ate part of the prey in that talon, all the while circling and drifting from loop 410 to the area between GBB and FNB.
10:47AM; Bird with two prey objects descended to the nest.
10:52AM; Bird that had brought prey to the nest flew over to the GBB  and joined the other adult circling around the building.on the roof.  One adult settled on the roof, the other drifted north toward the Tesoro towers.
10:54AM; The bird on the GBB roof launched and circled over to the nest.  It then made a spectacular dive from about 150' straight down to the nest where it stayed.
11:06AM; Adult at the nest left and  circled over to the FNB, then over to the GBB where it landed
11:15AM;  A mockingbird has joined the hawk on the roof and is attacking the hawk's head, back and tail.
11:17AM; Mockingbird succeeds in getting the hawk to fly off the roof.  Hawk flies off toward the FNB while the mockingbird flies back down towards the ground.
No observations between 11:20AM and 2:20PM.
2:20PM; One adult back on the GBB roof.
3:35PM; both adults on the GBB roof.
No further observations this day.

July 17th
8:45Am to 9:12AM; nothing happening
9:13AM; Both adults join at soaring around roof level of the GBB, then circle ENE to between GBB and Tetco building (Salado Creek) north of loop 410, at an altitude of 80 to 120'.
9:16; Both birds out of sight, probably over by Tesoro towers.
No further observations until afternoon
12:30 to 1:58PM; no acivity
1:58PM; One adult glided from the Bill Miller BBQ, past the CBB, west towards the New Braunfels-Loop 410 intersection at 120' altitude on partly folded wings.
2:PM to 4PM; no activity
No observations after 4PM.

July 18th
9:13; Both adults circled GBB, landing on the roof.  Short copulation session, then at 9:15, one bird flew away.
9:17AM; Remaining bird flew off.
No activity between 9:17AM and 2:00PM.
2:08PM; Both adults arrived back and circled the GBB at 100', then glided over to FNB and back.  Neither bird had any prey in its talons.
2:10PM; Both adults spiraled to 350' above the GBB, drifting west.
2:15PM; Adults seperated, one rose to 500' between GBB and FNB, while the other went north or northwest.
2:48PM; The female was circling at 100' altitude at the extreme east edge of their range.  She set her wings and went into a fast descending glide all the way to the nest.  She probably had prey.  She landed there and did not leave for at least 15 minutes.
No observations after 3PM.

July 19th
No activity  from 4PM until 4:45PM
4:45PM; The female landed on GBB and preened.
4:49PM; the female launched and was immediately joined by the male.  After just a minute or two of circling, the birds seperated.  One adult landed again on GBB and hopped down out of sight away from the foof edge.  The other bird flew out of sight.
4:55PM; One adult circling at 200' altitude above GBB.  Other adult at 300' altitude hovering without flapping.  Both birds rose, dodging a departing commercial jet at about 600'  One bird remained under a cumulus cloud until 5:PM, then  partly folded its wings and descended back down to a few hundred feet.
No further observations.

July 20th
9:00AM; One adult perching on GBB roof.
9:05AM; Both adults perching on GBB roof.
9:40AM; One bird remaining on the GBB roof.
9:50AM: Both adults on GBB roof preening.
No furtherobservations this day.1

July 21st
8:58AM; One adult on GBB roof, other circling at 60' altitude at the east edge of the territory.
9:02AM; The adult on GBB roof flew off and glided at hunting altitude to south of the nest, then back to GBB roof.
9:06AM; Both adults on GBB roof.
9:15AM; One adult crisscrossing loop 410 between GBB and FNB at about 150' altitude, other adult not in sight.
No observations from 9:15AM until 11:AM.
11:AM; Both adults back on the roof of GBB.
11:10AM; Both adults circling and flapping after each other around the sides of the GBB.
11:17AM; One flying adult is chased and pecked by a grackle between CBB and GBB, while remaining adult circles over loop 410 at much higher altitude.
No observations from 11:20AM until 3:55PM.
3:55PM; One adult alternating hovering and circling at an altitude of 400 to 600' between CBB and FNB, in the path of departing jets. 
4:05PM; Bird still drifitng at high altitude.
No further observations this day.

July 24th
8:43; Both adults on GBB roof preening, perched shoulder to shoulder.
9:17AM; Male takes one glide around the GBB, returns, lands on top of the female and copulated for a few seconds, then settles down next to her.
9:19AM; Male launches and glides over the nest, staying at 50 -100'.  It then wheels around and sets a straight descending glide to the north, crossing loop 410 at about 30' altitude.
9:30AM; Female launches from GBB roof and flaps at 40' altitude to Broadway Bank building-Tesoro towers area.
9:35AM; Both adults circling between GBB and Broadway Bank building, one has prey in talons.  Bird without prey glides over to GBB roof and lands.  Adult with prey circles south and then sets a descending glide to the nest and delivers food.
9:38AM;  Adult at the nest launches and joins the other adult on the roof of GBB.
9:41AM; Both adults launch from the GBB and glide east at 80', then drift over the Broadway Bank building.
9:42AM; One adult returns to GBB roof.
9:43AM; Remaining adult returns to GBB roof.
10:25AM; Only one bird on GBB roof.
10:27AM; Bird on GBB roof launches and flies at 60' altitude over nest and beyond.  Bird then dives for prey and misses.  Bird lands in a nearby tree for a few minutes.
10:29AM;  Bird flies out of tree and flies at 60' altitude to the north, over the nest and over loop 410, circling to 100' altitude over Bill Miller BBQ.  Bird then circled over to GBB and landed there.
10:31AM;  A mockingbird has flown to the GBB roof and is kicking the hawk.
10:32AM; Hawk gives up and glides around the GBB, landing again after a circle or two, when mockingbird is gone.
10:45AM; Adult began hunting at treetop level 1 block south of GBB, then circled east to one block outh of the nest, then rising to 70-100' altitude.
10:58AM;  One adult returns to GBB roof.
No observations between 11:00 and 11:58.
11:58;  Both adults on GBB roof but one is only momentarily visible as it hops down away from the edge and out of sight.
1:00PM;  Both adults glide in unison at 80 to 100' altitude, matching each other's turns and rise to 200' altitude.  One adult suddenly dives exactly vertical to the nest, plunging below the canopy at very high speed.  One second later the bird vaults 20' above the canopy and drops vertically back into the trees.  Remaining adult continues circling and drifting  east to one half block south of loop 410.
1:10PM; Soaring adult rises to 400' altitude.  Other adult, which was at or near the nest, is back in the air at 100' altitude.  It rises to 200' altitude between GBB and FNB, then turns north to Bill Miller BBQ, then joins the other adult at 300' altitude over the nest.
1:14PM; Female descends and lands on GBB roof.
1:22PM;  Male continues circling at 300' altitude making a half circle between FNB, GBB, CNB, Wells Fargo Bank, and intersection of Nagadoches and New Braunfels to the south. Female remains on GBB roof.
1:30PM; Male is circling and drifting a block south of Wells fargo bank with prey.  Bird works its way east towards the nest while pecking at or eating a few pieces of the prey in the air.
1:34PM; Bird with prey drifts over loop 410 just north of GBB.  Bird then works its way  toFNB at about 200' altitude, then sets the glide to the nest.
1:37PM; The male, having delivered food at the nest is back in the air, soaring east of the nest.
1:39PM; Male returns to the roof of GBB, joining the female which is still there.
2:04PM; Both birds launch and circle at 100' altitude to the area between Bill Miller BBQ and Tesoro towers.
2:08PM; Both adults circle back to loop 410, one descends to the nest.  Unable to determine if it had prey.  Remaining adult continues to circle in the GBB vicinity.
2:18PM; One adult is at hunting altitude one block south of CBB
2:24PM; This bird rises to 150' altitude and circles over to CBB, then rises to 200', sets folded wings and glides over loop 410 to hunt around Tesoro towers.
2:30PM; Both adults in the air at 80 to 150' altitude between Bil Miller BBQ and Tesoro towers.  Birds seem to be playing rather than hunting, swooping in deep arcs and flapping when they don't need to flap.
3:15PM; One bird with prey two blocks south of CBB circling east, then north, then south.
3:21PM; Bird finaly has positioned itself for the descent to the nest and delivers the food.  Other adult continues gliding around east of the nest.
3:23PM; The female lands on GBB.  Male soars to within a few feet of the perched female, then glides off to the north.
3:27PM; Male lands beside female on GBB roof.
3:33PM; Both adults launch and circle in unison, drifting east over FNB at 200' altitude, then rising to 400' altitude while over the nest.  They then drift east to the east edge of the territory, about halfway to Salado Creek. 
3:38PM; Both birds engage in deep dives and climbs while on the east part of the territory.
4:04PM; Female returns to roof of GBB.
4:07PM; Male spirals down to the nest with prey while female stays on the BGG roof.
4:11PM; Male leaves the nest and circles toward the GBB, gaining altitude to 100', then circles north of loop 410.
No further observations this day.

July 25th
Very busy day, not much time to observe.
8:30AM to 11:45AM; both adults spent most of the time perched on the roof of GBB.  I photographed them there from two vantage points.
3:00PM; Both adults soaring in unison, mostly within 20' of each other but occasionally at 30 yards apart, always in unison on turns, and at 60 to 90' altitude.  This went on for five minutes while both birds hunted through the residential neighborhood (south) but without success.
3:05PM; Birds seperated and widened hunting effort, mostly north of loop 410.  Occasionally the birds would swoop up vertically, then drop about 30 feet, but mostly they hunted.
No further observations this day.

July 26th
no morning observations
12:05PM; female on GBB roof
1:07PM; male landed on GBB roof but out of sight from the edge
1:11PM; male launched and rose to 200' altitude
1:12PM; female launched and began rising
1:13PM; male is at 400', female at 200'
1:14PM; male is at 600', female at 300'
1:15PM; male makes an impressive steep glide down to 200' at high speed to check territory north of loop 410 while female settles down to hunt from 200' altitude
1:16PM; male turns back and lands on GBB roof, female has already landed there but is barely visible, back from the edge
1:28PM; male dives down to the nest with smallish prey, delivers it and flies off to a tree 25 yards from the nest.  Female is still on GBB roof.
2:12PM; both adults are on GBB roof
butterflies peak this week at 75-200 per minute passing in front of the window

July 27th
8:40-9:30AM; Both adults on GBB roof, doing occasional short flights around the immediate area.  A pestering mockingbird is present kicking and pecking at the perched birds on the roof.
9:30AM-1:20PM; no observations
1:23PM; both adults on GBB roof
2:00PM; no birds visible
3:00PM; no birds visible
4:10Pm; no birds visible
4:58PM; both birds back on the GBB roof

July 28th
8:30AM-330PM; no birds visible
3:45PM; one hawk awkwardly balancing in the tops of a canopy tree at or close to the nest, probably a flegling

August 1st
8:45AM; one adult on GBB roof
9:00AM; adult still on rof
9:30AM; adult gone from roof
9:30AM-4:45PM; no hawks seen anywhere

August 2nd
8:50-9:00AM; one adult on GBB roof
9:30AM-3:50PM; no birds visible
3:55PM; female soaring over Taco Cabana at 150' altitude, then going over Tesoro building

August 3rd
8:30-9:00AM; no birds
9:40AM; both adults on GBB roof
10:03AM; both still on roof
11:00AM; both adults left the roof
11:am-4:00PM; no activity
4:00PM; one adult soaring at 500' altitude, from above the FNB, across loop 410 and NE, then north at 400' altitude
4:10PM; adult glides over GBB at 150' altitude heading north across loop 410

August 4th
8:35AM-4:15PM; no birds visible all day

August 7th
8:40AM; The female is hunting from the cottonwood perch by FNB garage.
11:05AM; Three birds are in the sky, one is shakey and flapping a lot(fledgling), SE of FNB, eventually joined by the other two birds(adults) south of FNB.  The fledgling was at 200' altitude and adults at 200-500'.  The adults descended to the fledglings altitude and they rose together to 300'.  One dived at a prey among the canopy trees and missed.  The fledgling disappeared, apparently landed, while the other two rose back to 500' altitude and drifted north over GBB and lop 410.

August 8th
9:01; one adult on GBB roof
no further obseervations this day

August 11th
9:08AM; fledgling flapped around and landed by the nest tree
9:10AM; both adults flew between GBB and CBB
9:16AM; one bird flew from near the nest to loop 410 between GBB and FNB, gliding north at 200' altitude
9:18AM; two birds circling and flapping low between nest and FNB
9:23AM; no birds visible
10:23AM; all three birds flapping and staying together between nest and FNB

August 14th
8:40AM; both adults on GBB roof
8:50AM; male still on the roof, female is out of sight
10:12AM; two birds on BGG roof, male on the edge and female perching further back and barely visible
10:15AM; female on GBB roof, fledgling in cottonwood by FMB garage.  The fledgling launched and awkwardly glided with a lot of flapping between FNB and the nest, finaly descending into trees near the nest
10:24AM; female still on GBB roof
10:28AM; male landed on GBB roof joining the female
11:52AM; both adults still on GBB roof
4:40PM; female on GBB roof, male gone somewhere

August 15th
8:50AM; both adults on GBB roof, one fledgling in cottonwood by FNB garage

August 16th
8:54AM; both adults on GBB roof
12:20PM; male circling around a cloudless sky at about 200' altitude
12:23PM; both adults ond one fledgeling circling in tight formation at 200-300' altitude, directly above GBB and drifting north.  One of the birds playfully dives on the other two.

August 17th
8:48AM; both adults on GBB roof
no further observations this day

August 18th
8:40AM; both adults on GBB roof
no further observations this day

August 21st
8:45AM; both adults on GBB roof
no observations until afternoon
3:35PM; one bird on GBB roof
no further observations

August 23rd
8:55AM; one adult on GBB roof

August 24th
8:58AM; both adults on GBB roof
10:10AM; no birds visible
3:22PM; a fledgling flying around the trees near the nest

August 25th
8:45AM; adult male on GBB roof
11:15AM; male soaring 200' above GBB, sising to 500' in less than a minute

August 28th
10:42AM; both adults soaring above GBB at about 300' altitude
no further observations this day

August 29th
9:10AM; one bird on GBB roof
9:30AM; no birds visible
no further observations this day

August 30th
8:53AM; one bird on GBB roof
no further observatons this day

Sept. 4th
8:43AM; one bird on GBB roof
no further observations this day

Sept. 5th
8:47AM; One bird on GBB roof preening.  Very dark morning, has been drizzling earlier and bird is now shaking feathers to dry.
9:50AM; Drizzle intensified, car headlights coming on.  Bird squatted down in a depression on the roof away from the edge.

Sept. 7th
no birds visible anywhere all day

Sept. 11th
8:30-10:00AM; no birds
10:00AM; one bird on GBB roof
10:32AM; raining hard now but bird still on the roof
11:25AM; drizzling now and bird still on the roof
no further observations this day

Sept. 13th
8:30AM-5:00PM; no birds visible anywhere
5:03PM; one adult on GBB roof

Sept. 15th
8:30AM-5:15PM; no birds visible anywhere
5:20PM; one bird hunting from a perch in the cottonwood by FNB garage

Sept. 16th-21st
No Swainson's Hawks seen in the area

9/18/06
Dark day with occasional drizzle.
8:57AM    Male adult on GBB roof
Bird gone the remainder of the day

9/19/06
No birds all day

9/20-9/29/06
No birds seen

9/30/06
8:50AM   Male swiftly flies from GBB past CBB.
8:55-9:35AM   Male perches on GBB roof edge
No birds remainder of the day.