Saturday, July 12, 2008

Red-tailed Hawks of Tulsa, Ranger X's Best Numbers, and House Finch Weaning.

Photograph by Cheryl Cavert

Jay, the Dad of the Tulsa Oklahoma urban Red-tail nest sat in the rain guarding the territory for two days. The poor guy is soaked through and due to the white "shirt front" and the feathers sticking out from the sides of his head, has begun to look a little like the vampire in The Munsters TV show.



Just a quick update on the KJRH hawk family in Tulsa.Between myself, Gunit, and Russell Mills (KJRH web director/hawk watcher on site!) we have been seeing mostly Jay with occasional visits from Thunder. Sometimes at the nest tower, and at other times various nearby perches. It has been a week or two (I would have to look back over posts) since anyone has reported seeing Kay.

Several "hawk-cam" observers have reported visits to the nest platform and have taken some great screen captures! I am sending you pictures of Jay (hanging out in the rain the last 2 days) and a couple of Thunder this morning. I am always adding more pictures to my site also. I love sharing them with everyone following the KJRH hawk family in Tulsa!


Photograph by Cheryl Cavert

Jay attempts to get some of the moisture off his feathers.

Photograph by Cheryl Cavert
Guess who from this morning? It's Thunder, the young hawk with personality plus. Eyeing a possible lunch, perhaps?

Photograph by Cheryl Cavert
Thunder does some soaring. Beautiful.

I emailed Cheryl as to whether people were becoming concerned since no one had seen Kay, the nest mom, for sometime. Perhaps she's always been less visible, we'll see.

Which brings up the topic of what to do about or with a downed or injured Hawks. Let's say for instance you're walking through the park, in one hand you have your dog's leash and in the other you're holding your three-year-old's hand. Suddenly you notice there is a Red-tail with a drooping wing attempting to hide under some bushes.

Though you're not in much of a position to rescue it yourself, your hands are full already, your job is not to let that hawk out of your sight. We all know how fast they can disappear, never to be seen again, when left without eyes on them for even a moment. Remember Tristan?

In the past it has sometimes been difficult in the heat of the moment to find a reliable number to call for assistance in NYC, while in that position. Therefore get out your cell phones, your Blackberries, your traveling communication devices of all kinds and punch in these numbers.


(1) Your best bet would be to call our Central Communications office at (646) 613-1200. This is a general phone line to Central, not one that is only used exclusively by Parks staff. Central is our radio communications headquarters, so once they get your call they would then reach us over the radio, which is the most direct way of getting in touch with us to get the rescue underway. You could call and a ranger could be on his or her way within minutes.

(2) Another option would be to call the Urban Park Rangers headquarters in Manhattan at (212) 360-2774. They can contact supervisors in any borough and inform them of the situation in whatever park the hawk is in. The supervisors then would dispatch rangers accordingly. This is less direct than the first option and the response time would therefore be delayed.

And I'll add a number (3), which is what I'd also do in that situation as a back up, just in case the very limited number of hard working Urban Park Rangers were otherwise imperatively occupied. (Or the downed hawk wasn't in a park.) I'd start calling whatever knowledgeable Hawkwatchers I thought might be able to get there the fastest bringing their "downed hawk rescue kit".

And of course, an immediate emergency, such as a hawk in the street calls for immediate action if you're willing and able.

On the back of the feeder is Dad House Finch eyeing his offspring on the front of the feeder. Jr. a sunflower seed in his mouth but somehow... would be ever so much easier if Dad would do the separating of meat from hull and stick it down his throat. Junior begs mightily. Little wings aquiver and vocal cords at maximum volume. Dad is not moved.

So Junior moves faster and gets louder. Note that the hull has disappeared from the sunflower seed in Junior's beak. Dad is not moved as Junior is obviously perfectly capable of feeding himself. Dad's still back there see his tail?

While Junior is having his Feed-Me tizzy and not looking at Dad. Dad takes off like a bullet from the feeder and hides in one of the little evergreen trees about 30 feet away.

Junior has really worked himself up. See the feathers that have raised up on the top of his head en masse? But from his apparent feeding expertise, it really is time for Junior to be weaned and Dad has figured out how to do it. He just going to hide.

Junior looks. Where did dad go?

Maybe if he closes his eyes, when they open again Dad will be there.

No such luck.

Junior eats a seed and thinks about it.

Is Dad really gone? Maybe another seed will help

It didn't help one bit. Looking more than a little disgusted. Junior stares at me like it might be my fault. Then cocks his head, as if listening, takes to his wings, and heads straight to the evergreen Dad is hiding in. Dad goes out the side of the tree and the race is on.

Evidently Dad is going to have to keep his voice down if he wants this one to become self sufficient.

Donegal Browne

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

I saw a grackle doing that wing shaking thing a few days ago. Then he or she opened their mouth (this unknown gender thing makes for awkward writing) and another grackle popped a seed into it.