Thursday, June 26, 2008

Urban Hawk Updates: Triborough, St. Johns, New Riverside Pair? Plus the Houston Tiercel

Hous of Astoria Park preens. I love the fact that like most babies with their tender skin, you can see the veins in Hous's eyelids. And because Hous is Hous he goes about preening the way he goes about everything else--with great vigor. Fluff feathers fly.

His attention is caught. He watches something with real focus.
A giant fluff feather blows in. He clamps it in his beak with the longest part coming out the left side of his beak but the wind blows it under his beak...
...and into his right eye. Just his luck.
Ouch! What now? It's not like he can use a talon to get it out.

Then Hous does something I'd never seen a hawk do before. He does a very rapid shake that looks ever so much like the kind done by a wet dog.

It works! And he's back watching squirrels as if nothing had happened. Many things do happen to Hous but he doesn't have time to let any of them bother him. He's an extremely busy bird--so much world, so little time.

A mini-Triborough Update from Astoria Park watcher and educator of the public, Jules Corkery--

This morning Hous was in the trees and Trib was not around. Then at about 8:15 he showed up at the diving or should we say dining platform! Francois showed up in the hopes of seeing breakfast served poolside.

The Cathedral Report from Hawk Watching Winkie--
Hi Donna,
Quite some story about Mr. Houston. I DO hope that he is doing well. This years is full of twist and turns for ALL! You, too! Your story just shows even more why friendly eyes are SO important. It makes me wonder again what could have possibly become of Tristan. Unfortunately, I was out of NY when he disappeared...not that I could have done much unless I was there at the right time, but I could have tried.
My sightings: Monday one of the juvies was on the Eglise de Notre Dame's roof, about 8PM. It was the slightly larger one, who's belly band looks like a triglyphs. The other juvie's belly band looks like a dart or a delta. I did not see Dart.
Isolde was on a high perch on the scaffolding near the apse and had her eye toward the north. Probably Dart was somewhere close by.Yesterday evening around 7PM, I only found Isolde on the scaffolding. Again almost in the same location as Monday.
Neither of the kids were around, but she was looking down at the other scaffolds and the roofs of the chapels the whole twenty minutes I was there. Lincoln was there later and got some good shots. And Jim, too sighted both of the kids.I think that both red-tail juvies are flying quite well, not just flap hopping.
They seem to wander more along the buildings than in the park. But this year, in addition to the scaffolding around the cathedral there is so much construction going on at the park's new playground and the density of people inside the park is larger, too. I will not be able to make it tonight, but hopefully someone else will see both of the juvies.
Today, Wednesday, Bobby Horvath picked up the Houston tiercel from the Animal Medical Center to take him home for rehabilitation. The blood work revealed a high white blood cell count indicative of infection.
No confirmation as yet but Mr. Houston may be suffering from Frounce. A very serious disease that is communicable between Hawks and Pigeons and can lead to death. It is my understanding that it's treated by antibiotics. Mr. Houston, though going for nursing and rehabilitation, is not out of the woods yet by any means.
When I took Mr. Houston over to the Animal Medical Center, there was a certain amount of confusion as coincidentally reception had just had someone else bring in another Red-tail for treatment. I asked where that bird had been picked up but was unable to find out. Bobby Horvath picked up the ball and pursued an answer for us. He left me a message today which said that the second Red-tail of yesterday at the AMC, was a large female Red-tail fledgling picked up at Riverside and 114th St.
This confirms the suspicion that there is indeed another Red-tailed Hawk nest uptown in or near Riverside Park that supports another bonded pair beyond the pair that lost their three eyasses to probable rat poison earlier this season.
This female fledgling is suffering from an injured leg which currently appears paralysed. Her prognosis is not the best but Bobby has taken her into care and will do everything he can to rehabilitate her.
So folks, it's time to go hunting for the mystery pair's nest. If there is one fledgling there may well be more.
And tomorrow, an update from Tulsa Hawk Watcher Donna Johnson, on Thunder the Wonder Red-tail.
Donegal Browne

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