Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cathedral Hawks and Woodcocks

Isolde on Gab's Head Photograph by Donegal Browne
From Cathedral Hawk Watcher Robert Schmunk
(See link for his Bloomingdale Village blog in links area.)

I did not see Isolde in the Cathedral nest today when I checked between6:10 and 6:25 this evening.

First hawk sighting came at 6:45. I was down near the pond and heard somedistant shrieking from the near the Cathedral or to the south. A moment later Tristan was circling about in the air and then flying over to the hospital roof.

When I got up to Morningside Dr. it was apparent that he was eating. A minute or two later, he flew over toward the 114th St. entrance to the park, carrying food with him. Shrieking in the treetops followed, to the extent that I figured Isolde was there too and that hawk sex was occurring. But no, when I got there it was just Tristan perched right over the dog run entrance. He was

there by himself until close to 7:00, eating more and shrieking a few more times.

Isolde then showed up and started on the leftovers. Tristan took off for partsunknown. Isolde was still there at 7:20 when I left. No idea if she then opted to spend the night in the nest or elsewhere. So... apparently all the shrieking just meant "Honey, I have take-out".Also, the take-out was a rat. The first picture I got of Tristan clearly showedthe long skinny tail. It must have been a big one if it took two adult hawks that long to consume.


Photograph courtesy of UCM Ed.

Get ready folks for a drenching. Here in Cheeseland ,as a friend from long Island calls it , we were getting ready to build an Ark by the time evening was coming on around here.

It was reasonably quiet at the Fifth Avenue Nest today, according to hawkwatcher Katherine Herzog but there is always a new adventure in Central Park somewhere nearly everyday.

Here's Katherine's report:

The Fifth Avenue nest was relatively quiet having settled into the incubation mode and Lola taking short breaks and apparently eating all meals away from the nest. Then returning and assuming the incubation sitting position. Status quo...nothing too exciting except several intruder hawks which were guided out of the area by another hawk who we couldn't identify as Pale but it might have been. Saw a mystery bird flying high over the nest which some people thought might be a Turkey Vulture but the color patterning looked more like a Bald Eagle. The little Woodcocks have been the center of attention for CP birders since they have not been seen in such quantities for many a year. The ones in the oven section of the Ramble are only some of the individuals throughout the wet, forested parts of the park. Chickadees were the great missing bird species this year, especially in the Ramble...only a relative few sighted in a place which is usually thick with them in the winter and yet the related species, Tufted Titmice, have been unusually abundant...(but the Black-capped Chickadees have been seen a plenty in other areas of the NY Metro Area)...I suppose it's a food availability issue but the huge swings in the appearance or absence of difference bird species is always an interesting topic of conversation and wonder especially when the abundant vs. the scare species seem to feed on the same food source. Nature is endlessly interesting and surprising.

All the best, Katherine

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