Friday, May 09, 2008

Urban Hawk Update with Mama and Papa, Plus Illinois Eaglets, Goldfinch Courting, Chipping Sparrow Hide and Seek

A Surprise! Here's Mama with THREE eyasses instead of two. These tree nests can be tricky. Particularly when they're in a thick evergreen.

Here's a recap from Jeff Kollbrunner, --


The nest is higher than I had originally estimated, it is closer to 90-100 feet up in a very mature White Pine that is about 120 feet in height. This image provides the only angle of view into the nest. There are some pine branches in the foreground that obscure a totally clear view of the nest. This past Wednesday was the first time we noticed a third eyass in the nest. They all appear to be strong and healthy and will be starting their fifth week. This will also be the first time Mama and Papa will be raising three youngsters. Last season I'm sure you remember they had three eggs, only two hatched and fledged the nest. Each of the last six nesting seasons Mama and Papa have successfully raised two youngsters.

All the best,

Photograph by John Steffen.
Remember the Illinois eaglets?
John went back and here's a view of what they look like now. Look at those beaks and with their dark coloring they look rather vulture-y.

Central Park Photographer captured these three Starlings bathing at the Drip in Riverside Park.
Interesting about Starlings, they are another species which has a big urge for at least a daily bath.

12:59PM I went looking for Red-tails or Turkeys. That was my mistake, looking too specifically can often make appreciate what you do see less. After scolding me roundly this Crow took off for the back forty.

1:34PM I'd been watching this Chipping Sparrow sit quite still, not eating, on the other side of the feeder. For some reason he's the only bird in sight. Suddenly he flips to this side and begins actively eating. So why was he just sitting on the reverse side doing nothing.?

1:37:41PM Suddenly he stops and is still again.

1:38:19PM Then he seems to be checking me out.
1:38:33PM Then he looks up. He sees something.

1:38:45PM Whatever it is, he turns his beak to the feeder and freezes. He reminds me of playing hide and seek when I hide behind a tree I always kept my head turned to the bark and was completely still. (Just look at those toenails. He didn't spend the winter walking on concrete that's for sure.) I creep over and peer under the curtain What's that? I think the Cooper's Hawk is back.

1:38:55PM Though I don't see when it happens his head is slightly more left for a slightly different view.

Now slightly right and up.

And back to the frozen hidee behind a tree in Hide and Seek.

1:39:39PM He checks the view, and zoom he's gone.

2:29:09PM Ms. Goldfinch has just arrived for a snack. Though I didn't see her come in the feeder is still swinging so her arrival is very recent.

2:29:27PM Now for anothe oil sunflower seed, a girl has to keep up her strength. Look at ther feet in the first photograph. Now look at her feet in the second. Do you see it? One toe on her right foot has stretched out to stabilize her during the swing of the feeder.

2:30:33PM It's only been a minute and already she's attracted company. Guess who? She looks down. It's male Goldfinch. He looks back.

She continues to stare and he flips around on the perch and looks away.

She goes back to eating but he doesn't. He continues to watch her.

When she looks down, he quickly looks away.

She's looked away so he goes for a fast peek.

She hops up to the top perch. He pretends not to notice.

He goes to the back and she grips the wire feeder and stretches to keep an eye on him

Still there.

Bip! He's directly opposite. Look at that. It's Muckhead.

She's holding a seed in ther mouth. He stretches round...

She hugs her side a pulls away as he gets closer.

ZIP! He's gone.

Males? She has another oil sunflower seed.

2:33:51PM In the meantime a White-crowned Sparrow has been taking a wash in the bird bath.

He gets out, looks around, and zing--off he goes.

2:34:30PM Now another White-crown lands on the right side of the bowl.

In she goes--

And starts out with a frenetic head wallow.

She checks west.

What's that?

Whatever it is? It must be okay. Now for the full body wallow.

She looks SW and her head feathers stand wetly on end.

And for good reason. A Grackle bombs in and flushes her from the bath.

Who takes a drink and leaves. Seems hardly worth the trouble but then again Grackles have a way of throwing their weight around. They have a firm belief in a rigid pecking order that has to be constantly reinforced.

2:38PM A female Goldfinch arrives. I haven't figured out if this is the same as the previous one or another all together.

Yes, it's that time of year again, folks. The control freaks out out to eradicate the dandelions by spraying poison all over the place. Hasn't worked yet, why should it start now. Okay, it's lasts some number of days but the dandelions always come back. Then more poison. What are these people thinking? Most of the honey bees are dead in the country already. Just what is going to pollinate the 73% of our food that needs that service. I've yet to see one honey bee this spring. Though I have seen two Bumble Bees.

The Bleeding Hearts are out. Now don't all those dandelions make a lovely back drop.

8:19:32PM And Goldfinch Two is on the feeder. He's the one who's black face patch looks more like a Zorro mask than a slipped toupe.

8:19:42PM Two has another seed.

Zoom! Goldfinch Two is flushed off the feeder by Muckhead, aka Goldfinch One.

Tonight Indigo Bunting has come out from under the picnic table but now he's making sure to keep his back to me. It's always something.
Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Which nest has the three eyasses? There are enough nests that I don't necessarily recognize them from their surroundings if they're in vegetation.

I couldn't find the report on Jeff's site to determine this, thanks.

Donegal Browne said...

Karen Anne,

Mama and Papa nest in Queens. The exact location of their nest has never been published. Jeff is very protective of the pair and few people have ever visited. I don't know their exact location except a pine in Queens.

Anonymous said...

I just photographed a surprise visit of a hawk to our fire escape in Jamaica Queens and would like to upload it for others' enjoyment if I knew how.

Donegal Browne said...

Hello Anonymous,

Shoot me an email.

Click on the Contact Me button which is the first option in the Links section. The links section is the second box down on the right side of the main page. Click on Palemaleirregulars to go to the mainpage.