Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Houston Nest and Branching Opps from the Ground

The Houston St. formel finally makes an appearance. When she is deep in the nest, though the nest is not all that deep, she can't be seen at all from the street in certain positions.

I spent a good bit of time with this view.

Before much to my pleasure, a red tail began to appear towards the rear of the nest. She then looked the area over carefully and put her head into the bowl of the nest.

She begins to turn the eggs.

She shifts slightly and continues.

Tip of tail visible nest right.

Tail disappears and a section of lighter feathers appear. There is a wiggle and once again there is the look of an empty nest.

I haven't seen all the urban nests in New York City as yet, but this one will be another in the running for "worst for fledges."

The nest is just out of frame on the building in the top right hand corner of the photograph. First the six lanes of traffic, the median and the park cars must be flown over in order to get to the London Planes on the other side of the street.

The "green space" across the street isn't really much of a green space. It is the front yard of these housing projects. There is a park of reasonable size a ways up the street but it is surrounded by a tall solid brick wall, with entry for grounded eyasses only through sporadically placed gates.

Yes, there are trees in this space but note the lack of branches until far up the trunk. Even if an eyass manages to fly into the London Planes, once she goes to ground to retrieve dropped food, kill a rock, or any of the other reasons eyasses end up on the ground, she isn't likely to get back into the tall trees until she's much better flighted than the usual newly fledged bird. And when it comes to branching opportunities the pickings are slim in the immediate area.

Note the lack of anything on which to climb in the yard in order to get back into a tall tree. One of the few options in the area are the two smaller trees near the building. But they only lead to the dead end of the small ledge on the building. No tree branches will be near enough for them to use until they have the flight elevation powers that usually take about a week to acquire. It does get them off the ground however.

The building on the other side of the yard, had two smaller trees but the evergreen isn't close enough to anything else use it for transfer. The deciduous tree's branches may not start low enough for a very new fledge to jump into.

Another option, is the playground equipment. The eyasses can get off the ground but they are left exposed and not much in the way of transfer opportunities are available her either.
Fish Park as I mentioned is up the street and I assume that green space would be the safest place to resituate an unhurt eyass found running around grounded on the sidewalk.

I've not compared the measurements between the bars here with those in Morningside which we know a newly fledged eyass can squish herself through with effort, but I think the space is adequate. Which is very good as there is a great deal of this fencing across the street from the nest. A plus is the lack of the taller concrete base found in the fence at Morningside Park.

Here is the side view of the nest. The formel is doing her job and sticking tight. This one is going to be interesting.
I did not observe the tiercel while I was noting the nest and the immediate area.
Donegal Browne
P.S. No, I haven't forgotten about Pale Male and Lola. They will be receiving a visit by the beginning of the week.

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