Saturday, June 16, 2007


Photograph by Donegal Browne
Youngest in 2006 when he finally made it into the bushes and off the sidewalk and street while traffic was stopped and with the help of drafted passers-by, gently herded him towards Morningside Park. He spent the rest of the day, under hawkwatcher eyes, branching his way from this bush a few feet off the ground to a small tree and onward until he finally made it up to the branches of a tall tree where his parents fed him. They tempted him with food to move up, out of harms way. He had already been off the nest for some days and could not as yet get himself off the ground in flight.

Bird likely injured trying to fly, but that's no falcon
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The large brown-and-white bird found by a dog-walker in Jersey City is a young red-tailed hawk, not a falcon, a veterinarian said, and it may have been injured falling out of a tree while practicing to fly.
Dr. Laura Acosta, a veterinarian at Jersey City Animal Hospital, said it would be easy to mistake the hawk for a falcon.
They (Jersey City Animal Control) thought it was a falcon because of its size," she said. "It takes time and a lot of working with birds to recognize the differences."
She said hawks are larger than falcons, but this one still has some growing to do.
The bird of prey was spotted on the ground by a man walking his dog in Bayside Park on Thursday afternoon. It hopped away but apparently could not fly.
It's not unusual for a young bird to fall out of a tree when it's in the "branching" stage, Acosta said.
"They go branch to branch to develop their wings," Acosta said.
The bird's sex couldn't be determined because its height and weight couldn't be accurately measured due to its injuries, Acosta said - the gender is generally determined by the bird's size because the sexual organs appear similar.
And, though some were surprised by the bird's presence, others say they have spotted this hawk - or, more likely, older ones - at Bayside Park for at least two years.
"I thought it was an eagle myself," said Kenny Dobson, a Jersey City school district custodian. When he saw the bird in yesterday's issue of The Jersey Journal, he realized he'd seen it before.
Jersey City resident Derrome Pressley also has spotted hawks or similar looking birds in the evenings as well.
"We sit there and actually watch as they catch and eat mice and stuff," he said.
There's also a large nest on top of one of the field's skylights that corresponds with the type of nest typically built by hawks, an expert said.
"Red-tails build a nest that is about 2 feet across," said Brian Moscatello, a manager at the New Jersey Audubon Society-sponsored Cape May Bird Observatory Center for Research and Education.
As recently as 20 years ago, it would have been quite rare to spot a red-tailed hawk in an urban area, Moscatello said. Now they're known to frequent high-rises and even tall trees in cities.
"I've seen red-tails in Bergen County, Liberty State Park and Palisade Park," he said.
As for the Bayside Park hawk, it's done fine, Acosta said. In fact, its appetite has returned - it ate a mouse yesterday, she said.
The bird was sent yesterday to Raptor's Trust, a bird rehabilitation facility in Millington. It will eventually be released back into the park.
Thanks to Rob Schmunk, for sending in the story.
From Karen Anne Kolling - Pennsylvania's approach to stranded Eyasses
6/12/2007 :: Watch and Rescue Begins/Eyases are Treated
Watch and Rescue Program: The watch and rescue program in now being conducted. Volunteers work two-hour shifts, reporting, by radio, activity at the ledge to “falcon central” that is the DEP Environmental Education Center. If a fledgling lands on the street or any other situation the would put it in harms way, the young bird is rescued, examined and placed on the roof of the 16 floor Rachel Carson State Office Building. Eventually, the fledgling will fly again, usually landing on a nearby building. Within a day or two after fledging, the young birds develop the strength and skills necessary to return to the nest ledge.

The Peregrine DEP version of what Central Park Hawkwatchers have done unofficially in the past. Basically the same premise applies; get the fledglings out of harms way...unfortunately no radios. Thank goodness for cell phones. And perhaps we might want to think about an official version for next season. Get communication going and everyone on the same page before the fledglings start coming off the nest. Everyone working together. What do you think?

Dear Donna,
I'm broken hearted. I've been looking for Red almost everyday. Last saw her on June 1st (not 3rd.) There's absolutely no sign of her. Remember the the last tree she stayed at that's 50 feet away ? It turns out there's a racoon sleeping there. Maybe this is why she also decided to abandon that one.
Couldn't reply sooner to your emails. My system's been down. Gotta keep looking. Please let me know if you hear anything from anybody. Can't do much hawk watching lately because of missing Red. Call me crazy, but I think she said good bye when she looked at our faces for a long time that evening we last saw her on 6/1.
As I told Stella, there is still a chance, as Red's neighborhood has become so crowded, that Red has found a home in a totally different area of the park, perhaps even the sanctuary within the park where very few people are allowed.
Donegal Browne

Friday, June 15, 2007

All The Divines Do It! The Cathedral Nest is Empty But the Roofs Aren't!

Photograph and report by Rob Schmunk of
As of today, all three red-tail hawk babies from the Cathedral of St.John the Divine have fledged. And true to hawk nature, one kid managed to do something amazing and unexpected.

Bruce and I both arrived around 5:40-5:45, and saw that the nest was empty. Bruce had seen one of the parents circling about, and Immediately spotted a fledgling on a window railing on the 7th floor of St. Luke's overlooking 113th St.. A few minutes later, from one of the good nest viewing spots on Morningside Drive, I also noticed another fledgling in one of the "usual spots" from last year, directly behind the cross on the roof of St. Savior chapel.Those two fledglings were not the interesting ones. They stayed pretty much put for the next two hours plus.

It wasn't until just after 7:00, after Bruce had left (I presume for another nest location) and so had falcon watcher Liz, that the third fledgling was spotted. Back over on 113th St., two infrequent bird/hawk watchers whom I had just spoken pointed out that there was hawk on the rooftop finial directly above the statue of St. Matthew(one right of St. Andrew). I figured it was Isolde, who had been up Gabriel's horn just a few minutes earlier but had disappeared.
Tawny breast feathers revealed that it was the missing fledgling.To the best of my knowledge, neither of last year's fledglings got up on the roof of the Cathedral until around June 15. This one apparently did it first day. Applause, please.

Anyway, a minute later she fluttered down to the crenellation son the turret above St. Andrew and the nest. She stayed there half hour or so, then switched over to the turret directly above St. Peter (one left).Between 7:05 and 7:20 there was also interesting activity from the parents, with Tristan flying over to the hospital window with food, _not_ giving it to the fledgling, and then flying over to the top of an air conditioner. Isolde also joined Tristan on the air conditioner for a moment. Maybe they left food for the fledgling, but if so she never went to get it.

I didn't see if there was a food delivery to the one on St. Savior chapel.Both Tristan and Isolde made separate visits to the nest in this 15 minutes. Why? Heckifiknow. I was guessing that they might be leaving food for the fledge perched 15-20 feet above,but again if so, she didn't go down to collect.

Come 8:00, Tristan's on the hospital roof, Isolde's on a cathedral finial directly above St. Peter and occasionally getting buzzed by a kestrel, one fledgling is on the crenellation above St. Pete, a second fledge is on top of the cross on St. Savior chapel, and the last fledgling is still at the hospital window.Seems like time to leave, but literally as I'm starting to walk up113th St., the fledgling above St. Pete jumped and soared over the parking lost and into a tree directly above my head, a distance of about 275 feet. I of course saw none of it, although Dottie and a couple people retrieving cars from the lot saw it all.I only believed that she was up there after the parking lot guard showed me where her white feathery posterior was moving about in the foliage.

rbs-- Robert B. Schmunk

Having been busy sorting out the NYC hawk situation, I'd not looked at the Robin's nest for awhile. And when I did...oh dear! Whatever happened to the nestlings. Did the Cooper's Hawk, raid the nest? Certainly I would have heard the mobbing birds wouldn't I?
Perhaps instead of panicking I should just look around. Makes sense.

Ah, and what's this? A resident adult hiding behind a tomato plant and staring at me as opposed to going about it's business like usual. Is there a fledge it's keeping an eye on somewhere?

Gone. My, when you really look at them tomato plants are rather fantastical and bizarre.
Okay where did the Robin go?

Nope. That's Little Bit preening in the garden. Amazing what the light and shadow does to the color of his feathers. He's looking quite blue and purple. By the way, he is actually a he. Yesterday I saw just the beginnings of iridescence on his neck. Iridescence being the way to sex Mourning Doves. The females don't have any.
So where's the Robin?

Ah, there he, NO, they are.

A chick flightless and fresh off the nest learning his first lessons in food gathering.

There he goes into the Sunset, with Dad in hot pursuit.
Later today, I saw one of the adult Robins collecting dried grass for their third nest of the season. And there is a newly discovered Cardinal's nest...

Photograph by Eleanor Tauber
This one to me is the Grackle Magician. Look at those eyes. Talk about drama!
Which we have had a good bit of lately, now haven't we?
By the way, I have it on good authority that the Central Park Coyote was not in the care of a rehabber when it died. Bobby Horvath, who had rehabbed it previously and is now caring for the Ziegfield Follies 888 Fledgling, was not responsible for it's death.

Donegal Browne

888 Fledgling NEWS! Red the Squirrel Hasn't Been Sighted Since June 3rd


Friday, June 15th 2007, 4:00 AM
The fallen baby hawk rescued in Manhattan was nursed back to health yesterday with the help of a surrogate mama.

The fallen baby hawk rescued in Manhattan was nursed back to health yesterday with the help of a surrogate mama - and he may be ready for release soon.

"He's stretching, he's exercising his wings. He's doing everything he should be doing," said licensed wildlife rehabilitator Bobby Horvath, 44, who has been caring for the red-tailed hawk, dubbed Ziggy by a reader at, at his Long Island home.

The 7-week-old fledgling was grounded Wednesday after losing control during his first flight and plunging into a courtyard near the Ziegfeld Theater on W. 55th St.

Yesterday, Ziggy took a step closer to a return to the urban wild.

After spending the night resting in Horvath's home, the brown, white-speckled hawk migrated in the morning to the backyard, where Horvath keeps a 25-by-12-foot flight cage. It's 9 feet tall.
The hawk immediately befriended the cage's other resident: a permanently flightless red-tailed hawk named Diana.

"He went right up to her," Horvath said.

Ziggy let out a piercing scream - hawk baby talk for, "I'm hungry."

The 10-year-old mama hawk, who was shot in the wing at age 3, went to work.
Using her beak, Diana fed the youngster a breakfast of chopped rodent. Then she sat beside him on a wooden branch, feathers puffed in a sign of maternal protectiveness.

Still, Horvath worried about the hawk's recovery time. There's only a narrow window for returning missing hawk chicks to their nest.

By the end of the day yesterday, the baby still hadn't taken a full flight.
"We want to get it back, but we don't want to rush it just to satisfy people who want to get it back in the wild," Horvath said.

Meanwhile, city birders anxiously awaited Ziggy's return.

Accountant Brett Odom has been monitoring what he believes is the hawk's nest from his midtown office window since the parent hawks arrived there this spring.

Since the fledgling went missing from the nest on the 36th floor of 888 Seventh Ave., Odom has watched the mother hawk waiting in the now-empty nest and searching the area.

"I hope he comes back soon," said Odom, 36, of Chelsea. "She's probably wondering where he is."
(First kudos for Diana the surrogate Red-tail mother for feeding the fledge. Well done on rehabber Bobby Horvath's part for putting them together! The best possible mode of feeding under the current rehab circumstances. So a correction on my part that Red-tails in the wild probably wouldn't feed just any old eyass that showed up. Some just might as Diana in captivity certainly did.
Though my heart does go out to Junior and Charlotte who are frantically searching for their fledgling.
That being said, perhaps there is a misunderstanding or lack of information. I didn't know that surrogate feeding was an option. Perhaps others don't know that urban fledglings often have very limited flight skills for a few days. A little informed communication on everyone's part could make a big difference. As far as I can tell everyone is doing the best they know how to do, but as emotions run high, we forget that none of us knows everything and the passing on of experience and knowledge from everyone concerned could help things go better for the hawks.
After watching nests daily for three seasons, I've seen that it is perfectly normal for some urban fledglings to have limited flight abilities. Not everyone is going to know that unless they've watched a number of fledges come off buildings for the first few days, right? As building fledglings do not come from a tree nest but rather a building, the urban fledglings sometimes skip the "branching" stage of their development before cruising off the nest for the first time. In a tree nest, eyasses will flap and climb to first one near by branch, to another close branch, than another, and another, then return to the nest intermittently. As some buildings do not have a practice area to "branch" the eyasses do not get this kind of practice unless they land on a roof or make it to a green space where there are trees. Those that don't can get "stuck" on the ground until they find a place to "branch" themselves up and off the ground.
The fledgling's flight skills will improve when she's allowed to work on this stage of her development. Limited flight skills are common for the St. John's Cathedral fledglings for instance due to the peculiarities of that nest. Donna )
From Charmain Devereaux , long time urban hawk watcher. She's spent many hours watching the progress of Charlotte and Pale Male Jr.'s breeding efforts--
Hi Donna—
Each day that passes, our hawk fledgling's captivity becomes more critical. According to today's article in the Daily News, the rehabilitator Bobby Horvath is "concerned" about the narrowing window of opportunity to get the hawk back to its parents, when in fact, he is the one that's responsible for this. His concern is that the hawk has still not made a full flight. As most of us know, a fledgling's first flight, and several thereafter, are rarely complete or graceful. As long as this hawk was stabilized and found not to have any injuries, this rehabilitator should have no reason hold it, for any further length or time.
At any rate, at this point, the more press and pressure we can create to see that the "right" thing be done, the better. (To communicate,right? D.B.)Let's just hope that we can make it happen, FOR THE HAWK'S SAKE, not as Mr. Horvath said, "just to satisfy people who want to get it back in the wild. Aside from the phone numbers already listed in Lincoln's site, here are a few more possibilities to contact...
Nicole Bode - writer of Daily News articles
Adrian Benepe-Commissioner-Dept. of Parks & Recreation
BTW - It was great seeing the St. John's family last night with Rob and Winkie. Lots of action going on with all, although still only 1 has fledged. Hope you're well.—
P.S. I saw Clare on the way home from St. John's last night—she told me that they haven't seen "Red" since June 3rd(?), and they're fearing the worst....she said the grey squirrels and even pigeons were of late ganging up on her. I told her not to give up hope yet.
Everyone please keep an eye peeled for Red the Squirrel and let me know if you see her
And "Falcon" News ;-) from Ben Cacace of
Found this in the news. From the description of the location (see below) it appears to be a huge falcon.;-D"
[...] and the falcon was found on Third Avenue between 50th and 59th streets, parks officials said.",0,5684598.story
Here's the original place I found reference to the falcon:

June 14th Cathedral Reports and The Zieglield Follies Eyass-Critical Time Frame and Imprinting on Where Food Comes From

The male House Finch that periodically scolds Isolde up on the urn is back again.
Photograph and the first report from Rob Schmunk of
As of 7:30 tonight, still one fledgling and two nestlings.
However, the fledgling has shown some quick flying skills,as she was first spotted high on the roof of St. Luke's hospital.
Thanks to an assist of passers-by saying there were three hawks up there, as we knew Tristan and Isolde were up there, on separate decorative urns.If I understand the story correctly, a hospital employee told Winkie that Isolde left food for the fledgling on an air conditioner on the east (Morningside) side of the hospital. When we first saw her she had perched on one of those little drainage protectors above a window on the south (113th) side of the mansard roof.

What made the fledgling's location up on the roof somewhat amazing is that when we subsequently saw her try to fly to a higher point a couple times, she couldn't make it. After about 6:30, Tristan was perched on a rooftop urn close to the employee's entrance to the hospital at mid-block, and there were at least three episodes of kestrel dive-bombing. One episode included 12-15 dives. We were beginning to suspect a kestrel nest somewhere in the tower above the hospital clock.
Donna, Winkie was still there when I left, so you may get a report with later details from her. rbs
(And indeed she did send a report, see below.)

Photograph by Donegal Browne
And now Winkie's report--
Hi Donna,
No lack of confidence here!

6:15 p.m. The two eyasses still on the nest and subdued.

It's been a cool and dreary day: but no rain. Not sure if it ever made it to 70 degrees. I noted that it was 65 degrees when I headed out to the cathedral. When I rounded the corner at 113th St., there was Isolde on the urn and Tristan on the roof of the hospital.

Rob and Charmain were over near the stone yard. Rob was calling me to come! There was Miss Precocious, our #1/AKA Tailbiter, perched on one of the roof bosses -- that is on the hospital roof, too! Pretty amazing! Getting that kind of loft out of her tender wings.

For over an hour and a half, I watched number one's perpetrations in the name of flight. She did a lot of sliding on the roof, some flapping from boss to boss and some walking along the window ledge on the western addition to the Plant Pavilion. Thankfully, walking less like a sailor on land.

She certainly noticed her own reflection in the windows -- with the requisite amount of curiosity. Not once did she loose her courage or her cool, although she did loose a considerable amount of down. With Tristan still on guard, she settled into the corner of the roof and the new addition.

At several points, I thought that she was going to attempt flight back to one of the chapels roof. She appeared quite attentive to the noise that the kestrels were making. They were, of course, not going to let Tristan stay on an urn for too long. And their fearless dive bombing across the sky seemed to keep her from venturing the long trek back across 113th St. She was contentedly preening when I left.

My last glance was back at the nest, where #2, Cohort, had ventured on top of the saint's head -- still not much flapping. And #3 appeared to be snacking again, maybe this eyass is the domestic one and just attending to the nest maintenance.

We'll see if tomorrow brings another fledge!


Now to thoughts on the Ziegfield Follies Eyass

I've not been able to find anyone who has the answer to this question. What is the critical amount of time between when a fledge disappears from his parent's care and then reappears in which the parents will no longer pick up the care of the fledge? Does anyone know or know someone who might? I've just about run out of possible answer people. I suppose it doesn't really happen all that often so maybe no one truly knows for sure.

Obviously better for a fledgling to learn the ropes from her parents as opposed to a human who doesn't know all the urban RT techniques for survival. Or is capable of demonstrating them for that matter. Remember Junior demonstrating pigeon nabbing in the air above the second fledge so he could see it in the air above him? A human just doesn't have the physical equipment to do that.

In the case of an orphaned fledgling, an injury, or one that must be retrieved early from a nest for it's safety, a human caretaker is the way to go, but this bird according to my understanding doesn't fit the categories. She just came down in a rotten spot. We know the parents, we know the proper territory, we have people willing to watch to make sure the parents pick up the care. It seems to me there is no reason not to get her back out there post haste and give it a try before Charlotte and Junior will not longer be cued to do it. It isn't just begging or Red-tails would go around feeding each other's fledglings, which as far as I know, they don't. It can't just be begging plus territory or none would have to be rehabbed, you could drop them off in a territory where you knew eyasses were being fed by parents. Nope.

Actual recognition? Maybe. I just read a paper in which they prove to my satisfaction that certain Swallows recognize their own young in a group after they've fledged.

Or is it once again the sequential cues necessary for the hormones to induce proper parenting? The lag in a cue over time could cause the reciprocating response to fade? Maybe.

There also seems to be some confusion about the meaning of imprinting in this case. I spoke to a rehabber here in Wisconsin, lots of Red-tails so lots of practice. The Wisconsin rehabber says the imprinting problem about being fed by a human you can see, isn't a case of "who-are-my-parents" but rather an imprinting issue about where to get food. As in "I was fed by humans before. There's a human, they should feed me too." Which may totally flip some people out even if the fledge isn't even as pushy as a Red-tail fledge could be.
In the example of the first Fordham fledgling the other day, who saw her mother eating a pigeon and instead of doing the usual begging, just silently dove at Mom and the pigeon talons first. Mom being a hawk, zipped out of the way but humans aren't nearly that quick. Of course few humans will be hanging around eating raw pigeon or rat but I'm not sure what the food cues for young hawks are since I have seen them leap on and gnaw just about anything.

Donegal Browne

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Charlotte and Junior's Eyass-The Ziegfield Follies

A wing and a prayer
Stranded baby hawk brings midtown to a screeching halt
Thursday, June 14th 2007, 11:14 AM

A downy red-tailed hawk plunged from the sky after leaving its nest for the first time yesterday.

Urban Park Rangers director Sara Hobel holds the rescued fledging after it was found on a courtyard near the famed Ziegfeld Theater on W. 55th St. The bird was taken to a sanctuary on Long Island.
Our feathered friend
Red-tailed hawk nests in city: 45
Wingspan: 42-56 inches
Length: 17-25 inches
Weight: 1.5 to 3.3 pounds
First Flight: Six-seven weeks old
Age expectancy: 28 years
Offspring: Usually hatch two chicks each spring
Most famous red-tailed hawks: Lola and Pale Male of Fifth Ave.
How many New Yorkers does it take to save a fallen baby bird?
For a downy red-tailed hawk that plunged from the sky after leaving its nest for the first time yesterday, it took practically an army.
Nine cops, three city Parks Department rangers, a volunteer from the Audubon Society, a licensed hawk rehabilitator, a half-dozen good Samaritans, a homeless man, a gaggle of paparazzi and 50 gawkers converged at a midtown courtyard after the brown-and-white speckled bird touched down.
"People were taking pictures of it like it was Angelina Jolie," said Chris Ferretti, who was walking his dogs when he spotted the bird huddled against the back wall of the famed Ziegfeld Theater on W. 55th St.
The only-in-New-York saga began around 8 a.m. yesterday, when several people saw the dazed hawk struggling to fly away. The bird seemed desperate to get off the ground. Natural predators were everywhere.
Moments later, a homeless man picked up the bird and tried to run away with it.
But he didn't get far.
"There was an angry mob and we were like, 'Where you going with that bird?'" said Ferretti, 44.
The vagrant placed the hawk back on the pavement and slipped away.
Over the next 90 minutes, concerned onlookers called Animal Care and Control, the Bronx Zoo, the city Parks Department, the Audubon Society and anyone else they could think of to come rescue the hawk.
"I never thought it would be so hard to get anyone to help," said Dora Amerio, 34, an accountant from Astoria.
Finally, about 10 a.m., three cops from the Midtown North Precinct blocked off the courtyard to keep pedestrians away from the bird. Soon after, the NYPD's elite Emergency Service Unit truck rolled up.
Almost simultaneously, a volunteer from the Audubon Society, a freelance licensed bird rehabilitator from upstate New York and three uniformed members of the Parks Department's Urban Park Rangers arrived.
Another hawk, perhaps the chick's mother or father, was seen circling high above the courtyard. But Sara Hobel, the director of the Urban Park Rangers, said the older hawk did not dive down to feed the baby because it was surrounded by so many people.
All of them wanted to rescue the little bird.
"It's like it's a custody fight," said Sarah Iams, the Audubon society volunteer who is trained to rescue injured wild birds.
Iams added, "The largest thing I've ever saved is a sea gull."
The would-be rescuers conferred and the Parks Department won out. Rangers covered the bird in a blanket and whisked it away to their E. 105th St. headquarters to check for injuries — but found none.
The bird is not related to the city's most famous red-tailed hawks, Pale Male and Lola, who won the hearts of New Yorkers by making their nest atop a Fifth Ave. co-op. Hobel said she traced yesterday's hawk to a nest near Central Park South and Seventh Ave.
Bird watchers had spotted the hawk taking its maiden flight from the nest some time late Tuesday, Hobel said.
With the overnight storm, it's likely the hawk got disoriented and crashed into a building and then fell to the ground. Its weak flight skills kept it trapped in the courtyard, Hobel said.
Many fledglings falter during the first flight, she explained. Typically, the hawk parents will fly down to their chicks and feed them until they get their strength back up and can fly again.
If the baby bird hadn't been rescued, it probably would have died of dehydration or injury, Hobel said. Only about 15% to 25% of fledglings survive their first year. But this hawk's going to be fine, rescuers said.
By 2 p.m., the hawk was on its way to a trusted rehabilitator on Long Island. When it's rehydrated and ready to fly, the bird will be brought back to the city and released, hopefully within the next few days, near Central Park South.
"He will find his way back to his nest," Hobel predicted. "The most important thing for us it to educate people that we're the right people to call."

Unless Charlotte and Junior's eyass was injured, which does not seem to be the case so far, she should have been walked to the south end of Central Park so the guarding parents could see what was happening. They were watching her as a Red-tail was circling above. When arriving at the southern end of the park the eyass should have been helped to a high enough branch where well meaning people could not "help" her. Her parent would then have proceeded to take care of her, even if some people were standing around. They did in 2005. Even if her parents didn't see where she went, the minute one flew over her in the park, they'd be looking, she would have begun begging loudly, and the same would have ensued. Her parents would have found her and begun to take care of her.

My fear is that too long a lag will occur before she is released, if she is going to be released , and Charlotte and Junior will not have been cued properly so they recognize and care for her. Red-tail parents as the Hawk Watchers know, not only feed their young for a good bit of time after fledging they also teach them to hunt...that ability is not innate.

Well Folks, an important part of being a hawk watcher is to help others learn about them too. Numerous are the misconceptions. Therefore how many hawk related inaccuracies can you find in the above article that perhaps someone without your interest in hawks might not recognize ?

Donegal Browne

Green-Wood Cemetary Red-tail Nests-Mini Update

The ever vigilant Dad, Hawkeye at Fordham


From Rob Jett

I received a call from Marge yesterday and it appears that the Green-Wood Cemetery youngsters are total slackers. They've both fledged successfully and seem to have little trouble getting around, but they keep going back to the nest. From what Marge said, as long as Junior sees them at the nest, he keeps bringing them food.

Donegal Browne

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

St. John's and Fordham Updates Plus Photo of the Day

A Cathedral nest update also from ardent hawk watcher Rob Schmunk--

As of 6:55 p.m. on Wednesday, still one fledge and two nestlings.For quite some time, I wondered if one had secretively fledged shortly after I got there, as I saw two nestlings around 5:15 and then only one in the nest every time I looked that way in the next hour. Also, there was a noisy robin and other chirping coming from around the park entrance at 112-1/2th. But close to 6:30, there were a few moments where all five members of the family were visible: Tristan up on Gabriel's horn, Isolde on a finial above the statue of St. Peter (one left of the nest), two nestlings, and the fledgling on the railing around the roof of St. Ansgar chapel.

The fledgling spent more than half the time I was there perched on that railing, not doing much of anything except for looking at the ground below and preening.One nestling did some very serious flapping out on St.Andrew's hand just before I left. She looks ready to go on Wednesday.

rbs-- Robert B. Schmunk

Photo by D.B.

From Chris Lyons, long time watcher of Hawkeye and Rose--

The situation here at Fordham today is that while there was only one youngster on the ledge last night, there were two this afternoon--meaning that at least one of the fledges came back to rest there.

And for all we know (and indeed, for all we'll ever know) all three have fledged. If we see one fly out now, we'll have a hard time saying whether it's a newbie or not, though I guess if it's hanging upside-down from a branch, that would be a good hint.

Christopher Lyons

(So far none of Isolde and Tristan's fledglings in the last two years have ever made it back to the Cathedral nest though not for want of trying. Nor did any of Charlotte and Junior's fledglings in 2005. Though there is word that now and again some of Pale Male's have. D. B.)


Birds and Blimp Photograph by W.A. Walters

Have an avian photo of the day? Send it in!
Donegal Browne

One of Only Two Dozen Free Flying Peregrines in Wisconsin Is Shot

Courtesy of WSAW Channel 7 News

Father of Nesting Peregrine Falcons Found Shot Near Weston 3 Power Plant
Posted: 3:26 PM Jun 12, 2007Last Updated: 10:52 AM Jun 13, 2007
Reporter: WSAW Staff

The father of a Peregrine Falcon family nested on top of the Weston 3 Power Plant is being treated for a gunshot wound to the wing, according to Wisconsin Public Service Corporation.

WPSC says it was found weak near the cooling tower and had been shot in the wing.

The bird is being cared for by the Antigo Raptor Education Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for injured or orphaned wildlife.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Natural Resources are investigating the matter.

Violators face a maximum of $100,000 in fines and a year in prison.

Only two dozen peregrine falcons exist in Wisconsin.

WPSC is offering a $1000 reward to anyone with information leading to the prosecution and conviction of the shooter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Did you get that number? There is thought to be only 24 Peregrines in the entire state of Wisconsin and somebody just shot one of them. To add to the injury, it is the male of a currently nesting bonded pair with young. The nesting site was created and waited for Peregrines to take up residence for five years. This is only their second year with a successful nest.

Also take into account that the other pair that resides in the other successful site supported by the power company has had 36 young. Do the math. As of now there are still only 24 birds in the state. The attrition rate for Peregrines is still very high. D.B.

And on a lighter note....THE DRAWING OF THE DAY

Young Joe McAdams dropped by the scope the other day and after checking out the view, assured me that, yes, there were still three eyasses on the nest. Here is his drawing of one of them on the St. John's nest. I thought that the feathers were particularly good.

Donegal Browne

Pale Male Ponders

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

June 12th with THE DIVINES-Fledge Confirmation!

Tail feathers to the rain, as Winkie reports.

Saturday Flashback. Eyass One, Tailbiter on the hand and Eyass Two, Cohort next to Andrew's head. Cohort is steadfastly refusing to look up where Tailbiter is looking no matter how many gyrations Tailbiter makes with her head. Cohort knows the you're-just-trying- to-get-me-to-look trick when she sees it.

AND...Fledge confirmation from Robert Schmunk of the Bloomingdale Village Blog who reported on the possible fledge yesterday at the Cathedral Nest of Tristin and Isolde.

From Rob----

There was some doubt expressed about the Cathedral fledging on Monday, but Jim O ( and I can confirm that as of Tuesday evening, one of the kids was running around on the chapel roofs.

We first found her on the top of Boniface chapel at 5:45, but a bit later she flew over to Ansgar chapel, explored the roof-edge railings and even tried to fly up to a finial. She took a brief look at the top of the Baptistery before returning to Ansgar. Then the cloudburst hit and we lost track of her. Papa Tristan perched on an Ansgar finial for most of the adventure.
The other two kids were still in the nest when we left just after 7:00.
rbs-- Robert B. Schmunk

Next up, the June 12 Report or Winkentary from Pale Male Irregular, Winkie, with added sightings and color commentary-

Hi Donna,


I arrived around 7 p.m. and it was beginning to rain; at first, softly then buckets. Rob (Robert Schmunk of ) and several others were on the North side of the church. Tristan was on the finial of one of the turrets.

At least Rob said it was Tristan. In the rain I was never sure which of the adults was perched there for most of my hour's visit. Sorry, I don't know the chapel names. It's the one with the beautiful fenestrated railing. I'll come back to this railing later.

There are still the two younger eyasses in the nest. The rain was still bad and the youngins turned tail feathers to the viewers. The whole time I was there these eyasses were not very active. The Third is definitely more hesitant than the first two. And the weather had Cohort down.

Rob said he had spotted number 1 fledge on the other side of the church. I split off to go searching, but never saw anything on the East side around the apse. No adults nor fledgling. Alas, the trees were very wet and heavy. Not such good visibility!

When I finally came around again to the North, voila! There was Tailbiter! Now taking over the railing just under Tristan's finial.

No person was left to observe, so I don't know from whence she came. I watched for a good 20 minutes, thinking I'd better head home. But the weather was holding out and the rain slight.

Patience paid off. Tristan flew off to the urn on the hospital corner. And the fledge finally started to walk the rail. At first, she (again, just a guess that she's female) was like a drunk pirate on a gangplank -- very clumsy. Then she got her sea legs and walked the whole length of the railing. That is until she got to the support and finial in the middle. Her flight to the triangular side of the finial was awkward at best. There she fluttered, trying to get a toe hold (excuse me talon). Whew! Safety. I watched for another couple of minutes, but could tell she wanted to move on. Then away she went to the scaffolding and alas out of sight. But it was a decent flight for a fledgling. It seems that she is calm and in control of her movements.


regards, winkientary--

And just what will tomorrow bring? You never can tell!
Donegal Browne

Double Fledge Day! Divine Tailbiter Takes Off! (Three is relieved.) And one post down is the first Fordham Fledge.

What it looked like yesterday.

What it looks like today.

Why is Three relieved? Now she can vie with Two (Cohort) for the oldest eyass, Tailbiter's viewing spots. Before she didn't have a chance at the plum perches and always got stuck on the left.

First I received this email from Pale Male Irregular Winkie which gave me a hint that things might have changed at The Cathedral Nest of Tristin and Isolde--

Hi Donna,

Couldn't tell you for certain, but I could only spot two eyasses in the nest. Light rain and poor visibility made it impossible for me to see back into the nest.

Wish I could tell you more, but can only report what I observed.When I arrived around 6:15pm there was a lot of circling by Isolde, especially on the school side of the apse. I would have to say that she was particularly active.

Tristan was at first on the trumpet and then off. The Third is still there, but as the left bookend. And it looks to me as if Cohort has taken over St. Andrew's finger and the right side of the nest. But in the bad light, I couldn't say for certain which eyas was on the right.

I was there for over 40 minutes. Isolde visited the nest as the rain came down harder. The eyas on the right was slipping around; first, on the finger and then, on the edge of the nest. And Third headed for as much cover as could be found.

Never from any place could I see a fledgling, nor did I hear what is the normal chatter of the other creatures when they know a newbie is around. When I left John had arrived. But as far as we know, no one else has been their earlier.Sorry, I cannot be definitive. I'll be there again tomorrow evening.

Then came the kicker from Rob Schmunk of --
Fledge at St. Johns, supposedly at about 11:10 Monday.
At 6:45 p.m. when I swung by, only two nestlings were visible. Mama Isolde remained perched on Gabriel's horn through the rain that fell over the next half hour plus, so plainly she was keeping close watch.
Three of us that were there initially suspected a fledge, but could not see anything nor hear anything, despite checking chapel roofs and ogling treetop foliage.
Captain's person came by around 7:30 (Captain is a sweet bandana wearing dog. D.B.) and told us that when she'd been walking Captain earlier in the day, she had seen the fledgling on one of the chapel roofs. It wasn't clear whether she meant Ansgar or Boniface, or perhaps both. An elderly gentleman hawkwatcher had apparently been there to see the "flight" (given the slow development of the Cathedral nestlings, one wonders if it was more if a "barely controlled fall") and I suppose he must have told her when it occurred.
At 8:40 tonight, Isolde was still on Gabriel's horn, the two kids in the nest were still awake, and I had never found the fledgling. I wondered if it might be back on the roof of Columba chapel, as that's the most obstructed from view.
I saw Tristan only for a moment once, when he flew across 113th St. halfway to Amsterdam at 8:20.
Next post down find the days events and the fledge hunt for the first to go of the Fordham Eyasses. Didn't I say it was a DOUBLE!
Donegal Browne
P.S. Part I of the Divine Red-tails vs The Kestrels etc. as soon as I catch up on the eyasses flying out of their nests.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hawkeye and Rose at Fordham-First Fledge Takes the Leap

2PM Chis Lyons has graciously invited me for a visit to the Fordham Hawks. We arrive at the nest and he explains that this morning he only saw two of the eyasses. Of course if they are lying flat as a pancake asleep they're invisible or too far back they're invisible...but still. As we look, we only see two now as well, sheltering from the sun.

2:10 PM After a hopping flapping run across the nest, this one looks over the edge with real interest. A group of excited folks come by for a look at the nest through the scopes. They love the hawks.

Glen an employee of the school comes by and tells us he saw a hawk on the roof of Dealy Hall around 7 this morning , and whips out his phone, with which he's taken a picture....and he says the tail was brown. There has been a fledge!

2:38PM One of the parents. Hawkeye? Let's go look at the roof and see if the fledge is still there.

2:41PM There's the eyasses on the nest from above.
2:57PM And Rose, she prepares and eats some pigeon. (Note the band on her right leg.)

2:58PM Rose looks.
3:01:58PM There she is!!

3:02:38PM ROBIN!

3:03:32PM Forget the Robin. Rose is eating something on the adjacent roof.

3:04PM Fledge notices us?

3:06PM Fledge flies over and lights exactly where Rose was standing, nanoseconds before. Rose whisks off the edge on the fly. Training exercise? Food doesn't come by drop off, one has to go and get it? Or is this a non-begging stealth fledgling? We heard no begging before the eyass went over to the prey. Maybe the wind was in the wrong direction, but it really wasn't that far away in begging feet.

3:07:22PM Where did Mom go?

3:07:47PM Now to the pigeon.

3:13PM Rose flies to Stadium lights where Hawkeye is already perched.

3:28PM Hawkeye flies to the cross closer to the nest. His markings are quite interesting. He has a good amount of pure white on his face with a darker head but also streaked with a lighter feather and the low brow like Pale Male which makes him look concerned.

3:44PM Rose and Hawkeye on a light of the sports field over looking the fledged eyass and the nest.

3:38PM Back at the home front a view into the nest. The two remaining eyasses shelter from the sun and one sleeps flat as a pancake.

4:41PM The sun goes under a cloud for a little and the eyass that's up and moving prowls around the nest doing a little hopping and running until-- Ah, a snack.

4:46PM Chewing with vigor. (You have to keep your strength up if you're going to fledge soon.)

4:48PM The gleam of youth and health in that eye.
4:50PM Maybe tomorrow?
Chris Lyons report when completed will be found on Rob Jetts Blog-
Donegal Browne