Redtails and Wolves, Foxes and Kestrels --they're not all that different.
After I posted John Blakeman's essay explaining why egg-laying in June would be hugely disadvantageous for red-tailed hawks, Californian Steve Watson [ the guy who set up the kestrelcam for Dash and Lili] sent in the following comments corroborating Blakeman's ideas:
I enjoy John's answers...learning a lot about hawks from his posts. One thing that I found interesting was his comments on fledglings having to learn to hunt by fall, because the "easy pickings" are gone by then (surviving young have learned to avoid becoming food)...it's very analogous to wolves, as we've learned from studying them in Yellowstone. Come fall, the pups are big enough to travel, but aren't much help in hunting. They need more food, but as with pigeons and squirrels in CP, the young elk and bison have learned about predators (and they're much faster on the hoof by then, as well). Fall is a tough time for wolves, maybe more so than deep winter, when elk and other ungulates are at their worst condition (and easier to kill).
It's no wonder that the average lifespan of a wild wolf is around 6 months. But if they make it through their first year, they've got a good chance at making it for quite a bit longer.
All this has really added to my appreciation of the similarities of problems (and sometimes, solutions) that predators of all kinds have to solve...from wolves and coyotes and foxes to red-tails and sharp-shinneds and kestrels. Very interesting stuff to study...