Saturday, June 17, 2006

Youngest Finally Does It, 17 JUN 2006

The word from John Sheehr, birder, photographer, and viewer of the fledge, is the time for take off was 10:20pm. Youngest flew into the London Planes adjacent to the nest where she was mobbed by Catbirds. Divine Mom soon showed with half a squirrel.

12:40 Youngest on the scaffolding west of the nest.

Off nest and no comb.

Investigating the east end of the scaffold stage.



What is THAT?

1:02pm Into the shade.
1:57pm Mom off Gabriel.

2:01pm Youngest looks.

2:03pm Youngest watches.
2:04pm Mom flies into nest from NW. (?)

2:o5pm Mom comes out of nest with small rodent, flies into London Plane east of nest where Eldest was heard begging earlier.

2:10pm Mom comes out of trees and SE.

2:15pm Dad lands on pinnacle near nest with Spread Pigeon portion.

2:21pm Youngest suddenly focuses up.

2:21pm Youngest finds food.
2:22pm Mature Red-tail, possibly Dad, circles, circles, circles over parking lot area, then over trees to north.
2:25 Mature RT appears from behind Cathedral then south.

2:28pm Youngest starts lunch.

Is Youngest licking her "lips"?

That's what it looks like to me.


2:32pm Too big a bite.

The "dot", seen on other local Red-tailed Hawks during molt.

2:30pm Mature Red-tail comes from Cathedral area and flies south.

2:47pm Crop full, breezing her wings to cool off.

3:23pm Youngest watches the trees where Eldest was heard begging.

3:35pm Youngest about to eject a pellet.

FLASH! Youngest Fledges!

This morning at 10:20 am, Divine the Youngest fledged into the trees East of the nest and was bombarded by cat birds. Mom came with half a squirrel. More to come later...

(Posted by Samantha, 12:45pm)

Somehow I was left off the phone tree this morning, so I didn't find out about the fledge until I arrived at the Cathedral at 12:30pm and therefore was afraid I wouldn't get the report first hand. But as luck would have it, I was in time to speak to John Sheehr, birder and photographer, who was one of the few who did manage to see Youngest take her big first leap into the world.

Youngest was acting as Youngest had acted for days when off she went in a reasonably smooth maiden flight into the London Planes east of St. Andrew. The Catbirds gathered and mobbed her. Her Mom arrived in a short period of time with half a squirrel to take the edge off the experience.

Field Notes and Photos of today, up next.


Friday, June 16, 2006

The Divines are hot and Eldest tends to be heard and not seen. Friday, 16 JUN 2006

12:25PM When I arrived, Youngest was sitting on St. Andrew's head.
12:38PM Eldest perched on the balcony railing west of the faux tower, panting. She then marched to the side of the tower, into a patch of shade, almost disappeared and then popped one eye back out and stared at me.
12:47PM Eldest still in shade on balcony.
1:02PM Eldest? For hours we hear her beg on and off in the same area but can't find her.

1:55PM Divine Dad, panting, flies by the nest and lands on a pinnacle in full view of Youngest, with a headless Blue Bar pigeon.


Youngest gets very excited, jumps around, flaps, leaps to top of Andrew's head, looks as if she may try to get to Dad on pinnacle...does not fledge.
1:50PM Dad to nest then to Plant Pavilion across the street.

1:55PM Divine Mom to nest. Mom further prepares prey, plucks more feathers. Mom and Youngest share lunch.
2:15PM Mom off towards east, and Morningside Park.
2:20PM Youngest chews sticks.
3:00PM Mature RT from behind Cathedral, then back towards school. Youngest lying in nest, head in St. Andrew's hand.

3:20PM Mom to Gabriel and preens.

3:53PM Gargoyle in training.

4:17PM Youngest stands on St. Andrew's head, wings out from body. Usually a cooling strategy.

5:50PM Eldest who had been standing on the Saint's head for sometime freshening her wings in the heat suddenly took on an odd different stance. What is she doing?

A close up of the "stance". Her right talon is curved around a strongly placed nest twig keeping her firmly anchored to the nest. The bird is taking no chances that a breeze will blow her off. The "sit" is also slightly reminicent of the flat bottomed position that the two eyasses on the Trump Parc practiced last season.

5:54PM Finally Eldest comes out, exactly in the area we'd suspected her to be, the staired buttress and scaffolding region, and can be seen as well as heard. She alternates between begging and intensive preening.
6:15PM Exit.

(By the way, Eldest is being fed. It's just that young hawks seem to be wired to beg at the appearance of a parent, whether their crop is full or not. And a second note, there is no reliable way to tell without very close examination which sex the youngsters are. I use the feminine because in medieval times all hawks were spoken of as female until their sex was known. I don't know, the usage of "it" seems better suited to talking about lampshades or spark plugs. )

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Peregrine Attacks Divine Mom, Mockingbird goes after Dad, and guess who stayed put...

Eldest on the roof.

4:00PM When I arrive I discover a bit of note paper tied with a long pink deflated balloon to the chain link fence of the St. Luke's parking lot. The prime viewing area from which we've been banished, unfortunately. The note says, "Donna, Stella, 3 PM Wed., Second Chick still in nest, did not fledge yet." No signature. I wonder who our benefactor is?
4:03PM I grab my binoculars. Where is she? Did she dive off when no one was watching? Aha, I see a section of wing behind St. Andrew's head. Yes, she's still there.
4:38PM The twigs on the nest are now covered with wafting baby fluff. Note Youngest breast just below the gold spot. There is a patch of pink flesh showing, where her last clump of baby fuff has fallen out but the next phase of feather hasn't come in yet.

4:40PM Mom lands on finial next to nest.
4:48PM Mom is off the finial, talons down, attempts to nab squirrel crossing the roof of St. Savior Chapel. She misses, then goes into London Plane that Eldest was tended in last night.
5:25PM Mom is up and perches on Gab's head. Peregrine appears in the north.
5:28PM Peregrine dives at Mom, with Peregrine scream, Mom is up, chases Peregrine north on Morningside Drive, lost in foliage. Constant Peregrine screams as he returns south, Mom giving chase. Where is Dad? Where did the Peregrine go?

5:35PM Mom slides her feet along Gabriel's trumpet until she is centered.
5:40PM The Peregrine is back, dives at Mom, she postures down, Peregrine retreats west.
6:20PM Mom still on Gabriel.
6:30PM Eldest discovered on small roof, St. Savior's Chapel, at rear of Cathedral.

Eldest at the foot of the praying angel.

Eldest comes closer to the eaves and looks down.

There is just something about a baby's foot.

Youngest on St. Andrew's head stares north.

6:46PM Both Eyasses stare fixedly north, the direction the Peregrine came from previously, before Eldest hits the foliage, Youngest disappears into the nest, and Mom takes off for the Plant Chimney.

6:55PM Eldest flies from the St. Savior Chapel roof and is lost in the trees beside the Cathedral. All observers search and do not find her in the foliage. Crop full, there is no begging to give her away and possibly because she may not be on the park side of the street the local birds aren't helping either. Or it's okay to beg or scold in front of humans but only a suicidal bird does it in front of Peregrines.

7:03 Mom to Plant Pavilion Chimney, stares N, the direction of the Peregrines. The wind is up and there is a sprinkle or two of rain.

7:44PM Youngest on the nest, I'd say watching Eldest. Of course all the hawks know where he is, it's just the observers who are in the dark

7:55PM Mom is back on Gabriel. Note direction of focus.

8:16PM Divine Dad is perched on the railing of the roof of 217 Manhattan Ave. He's just been buzzed by a Mockingbird who then had the cheek to land on the railing and cock his tail at him. The Mocker then flew behind Dad. Dad is alert but currently not responding. (Why has he been among the missing up at the Cathedral instead of helping Mom with the Peregrine? Maybe Mom doesn't need any help?)

The Mockingbird goes in for the hit. Dad responds.

Note feet, one foot forward, one foot back. Dad facing opposite direction, done in nanoseconds.

Note feet.

Completely turned around, comfy, awaiting the next attack.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More on "Cheeses", the fruit.


As it turns out due to Eleanor's finely detailed photograph you won't have to go down on your knees with a magnifying glass to see the fruits of the Mallow. The fruits or the "cheeses" as they are called are those green items with the six flaps folded neatly in on themselves.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ladies Night at the Cathedral...well, mostly.

The View up the hill and hence the opposite for the hawks from Gabriel. Though they've not been perching there with the same frequency for the last few days.

Eldest looks at the nest.

Field Notes 13 JUN 2006
Cathedral Red-tails
Temperature-81 F.
Wind-Light and variable
Sun with fluffy clouds

3:34PM Youngest up on St Andrew's head looks down.

3:43PM Youngest back up on St. Andrew's head. Eldest heard begging. ???

4:02PM Youngest on Head, scratches.

4:08PM Eldest begs, though last seen on the back short roof, she isn't visible now. Pigeons and other birds still enjoying the Feast of Elm Fruit up here in this neighborhood.

4:14PM Youngest jumps up on head, then jumps back down again.

4:45PM Youngest goes behind head. Eldest is up there somewhere begging. We still can't find her.

4:50PM Finally, there she is. Eldest is flapping up levels of the scaffolding west of the stepped buttress. Then comes down to stepped buttress, top step.

4:56PM Sparrows fly out of nowhere in front of Eldest. She leaps on prey.

Kill it. Bite it if it moves...even if it is your own foot.

Hop, hop, bam, bam.


MINE! No, it is not a rock.

5:08PM Dad into urn on Plant Pavilion, Eldest begs.

5:10PM PM Dad to nest with prey then out again. Eldest BEGS. Note wings slightly out from body, part of begging stance.

5:28PM E. still begging. He's gone slit eyed which is an expression of avian frustration.

5:35PM Mom feeding Youngest, Eldest begs.

5:43PM Dad off urn. Mom and eyass watch him go.
5:45PM Eldest begs some more.

5:47 PM Youngest jumps onto head of St. Andrew. Divine Mom still on nest. Arriving birder, reports Dad seen attempting to get pigeon on south side of Cathedral.

5:48 Mom off nest.

6:00PM Youngest stands nest east edge.

6:15 Eldest walks back to scaffolding then turns back to step, walks east with up focus.

6:20PM Eldest flies to nearby elevated cross with very little purchase on it's top, slides off and manages to flap back to the buttress landing 7 or 8 steps down from her original position at the top.

6:35PM Eldest runs back and forth on the stepped buttress then goes back up to top step.

6:40PM I go in search of the parents. There is an RT perched high up on the roof of the Plant Pavilion at 114th who appears to be hunting the pigeon flock that is active around Eglise De Notre Dame across the street. Then realize I've left my binoculars and the scope for new observers over on 113th so can't tell which parent it is.

6:42PM Eldest flies over to adjacent cross and manages to stay on it for a few minutes, then back to scaffolding stage.

6:48PM Eldest disappears from sight on the scaffolding stage.

6:55PM I trot back to 114th, this time WITH my binoculars. The RT is standing on one leg. That's a clue. I get round to the front side of the bird, and indeed, it is Divine Dad.

7:05PM Youngest stands on very edge of west nest stretches wings out and looks down. Then repeats the activity twice more. The day before Eldest fledged she also stood on the edge quite a bit and looked down but she did much more flapping inbetween times.

7:08PM Youngest goes behind St. Anderew's head.

7:20PM Stella Hamilton comes trotting back from checking on Dad, he's still perched atop The Plant Pavilion at 114th, Mom is still on 310.

7:14PM What is Eldest doing up there? Eating?
7:24PM Eldest moves farther to the right on the scaffold stage.

7:30PM Is Eldest still up on the scaffolding stage? Yes, a head pops up, complete with big fluff feather on her nose. Hmmm. What's she been doing up there while we couldn't see her. Her crop seems more distendedl. Did we miss a stealth drop feeding?

7:44PM Eldest still visible.

8:03-8:12 PM Youngest goes across the nest to the east side. She stands staring across the park toward 310, where her mother is perched. Crosses back west, then east, then west. Finds a leftover in the nest and eats it.

8:13 PM Sun setting on 113th St.
8:20PM EXIT.