National Geographic : 1994 Jul
NE of the dangers nestlings face is each other, and pecking order goes by size. As chicks begin to mature, parents drop prey in the nest and let their young fend for themselves. That leads to conflict, and at the Montana site one chick, notably smaller, got worked over by its nest mates. The first one to grab prey gives the kack, kack call, which makes the others turn away. Once the smallest hawk ignored that law and tried to feed when a sibling was in control. The larger chick attacked for about ten minutes (opposite), until the mother returned. The small one lay in the nest for an hour without moving. I expected it to die within a day, but it I should say he-survived the attack of his big sister. As the birds grew, the male chick managed to get enough of the food to reach the "brancher" stage. That's when the fledglings hop out on branches to test their wings before they actually start to fly. There's the male, still the smallest one, standing on the nest (below). Even after they learn to fly, the young hawks stay in and near the nest for about a month, and the adults continue to feed them, at least part of the time.