Monday, June 12, 2006


When I heard that a fledge had taken place, the eyass was in the park but no one knew where, I ran it into the computer and then ran myself to The Chathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Coming from the subway and up the hill, north on Morningside, I'd stop every few feet, lean over the park wall ever so slightly and listen. That's how you find a fledged eyass, with your ears. There are very few beasties in the wild who want a hawk hanging out near their home base. Therefore, the squirrels, the Crows, the Blue Jays, the Robins, the Cardinals, and most everyone else will join in the harrassing of a hawk to get it to move on.
But it was quiet. As I walked I bumped into birders in ones and twos, doing the exact same thing. They were coming up empty as well.

Then when I was opposite the nest, I heard a Catbird scolding on the park side of the street. I listened, tried to pinpoint the Catbird and then tried to scour the nearest trees for a visual sighting of the young hawk. James O'Brien appeared and we both listened and scoured. We couldn't see a thing. I went over to the regular viewing spot of the nest and there was Youngest sitting on the nest looking as if she suddenly hadn't much too do. What with her sibling no longer around to try and steal her nestside perches. So she'd preen a little, flap a little, and then sit.

I set up the scope, and of course as the news was out, the Hawkwatchers funneled in. With all those people with binoculars, spotting scopes, cameras, video equipment , passers-by couldn't help but want to know what was going on. And then they found themselves staying around tp see how the drama ended.

3:00 Suddenly my cell rings. It is James O'Brien, he's found the fledge. He'd gone back to where we were searching earier. She is exactly where we had been looking earlier when I heard the Catbird scolding. Equipment is briskly hefted, poked into cases, and slung over shoulders. Sure enough there she was.
(By the way, I'm using the pronoun she, though I've no idea what sex either eyass is. I'm adverse to it and in Medieval times if the sex of a raptor was unknown, the bird was called, "she". Also of course if the raptor actualy was a "she".

Eldest in Ginko. Hiding in plain sight.


Whoa! Bad perch.

Straight at the camera.


3:49 Eldest standing one footed just like Dad, can't keep her balance as she's chosen yet another scrawny perch, so she has to lean against the equally scrawny trunk.
4:00 Dad to west with prey.
4:30 Dad into nest with prey.
4:50 Dad on Plant Pavilion.

Eldest takes a short disco nap.

5:06 Mature RT flies from west to east.

5:11 Youngest, nest left/east sits and waits.

Mom lands, calls, and mantles prey.

Mom checks on Eldest.
5:23 Mom lands on decorative element SW back corner of Cathedral. She carries prey and mantles it while her beak works, looks to be calling but though I'm only about two stories down right there on the sidewalk, I can't hear the call. Possibly very high pitched. Before taking off she fixes her eyes on Eldest in tree across the street.
5:27 Mom flies from from south to north past Cathedral and looks to land on roof of Plant Pavilion, eventually she takes prey and feeds Youngest on nest.

A squirrel threatens Eldest on her branch and she makes baby screams at it. They both go into a freeze.

Youngest alone on the nest, it's getting late.

6:19 The squirrel is back "menacing" Eldest and Eldest is making her version of a "menacing" Red-tail call at it. Some flavor of an adult Red-tails, Kreeeeeeee. Except it isn't nearly as piercing, a touch croaky, and more than a touch pitiful. It's a stand off.
6:29 Youngest flaps a few times, sits back down, looks around the sky. Looks over toward the Morningside park where she can undoubtedly see her sibling in the tree. Eventually Mom does deliver food to her before dark.

7:20 While Stella the avid animal lover, Marianne of the Mallow, J.D a hawkwatcher who started watching hawks today, and I, were the last remnants of the watchers attempting to wait out sunset to see if Eldest was brought some food, Stella saw a very young Robin fledgling standing under a parked car on Morningside Drive. A very poor place for living things as people come down that hill driving like maniacs. Therefore we decided he should go back into the park and into a bush where he was safer and his parents would be safer feeding him as well. Stella picked him up and if you look at the above photo carefully, you'll see the tail end of a baby Robin hiding under the leaves up left.

Fledglings all over the place today.

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