Sunday, July 05, 2015

Stella Hamilton July 4th Hawk Report For St. John the Divine and 927 Fledglings Plus a Hawk Behavior Special on the Last Hour of First Fledge Day at 927 Fifth Avenue

                         One of Pale Male's and Octavia's fledglings in Central Park

First off, New York City hawkwatcher Stella Hamilton sent in her sightings for July 2nd and 3rd.

 Hi Donna, 

Today , I started my hawk adventures by visiting the St. John the Divine nest . Now I believe there may be only one "massive" eyass in the nest. 

  Photo by Stella Hamilton
 I took a picture of a parent (Madeleine, I think, DB) and eyass from the corner of 110th and Cathedral Avenue, so once again my photo is a bit far away. 

  Photo by Stella Hamilton
The nest is along 112 and Morningside Drive above St. Peter; the Saint is holding a giant key. 

 Photo by Stella Hamilton
Then, I went over to 76th and 5th Avenue to follow up on Pale Male's kids. When I arrived, I found one of the fledglings on a railing, sitting prettily for all his/ her admiring hawk fans.  
(Also see her fledgling picture that tops this blog entry. D.B.)

Lots of kids in the playground, so we had to do some traffic control.

 Photo by Stella Hamilton
 The fledgling drank and took a bath in a puddle. He/ she was so fun to watch.
            Photo by Stella Hamilton
             ( Bathing is another likely instinctual behavior as is drinking.  Remember fledglings have never had a drink until they leave the nest.  And no one in the Park, as far as I know, had ever seen a parent teaching a fledgling to drink. DB)

  Photo by Stella Hamilton
  The other 2 fledglings were on the roof tops, sometimes on the trees, begging for food.

I did not see any deliveries from Octavia or Pale Male but I'm not too worried about them going to bed without supper as their crops don't seem to be empty.  
 Also sent you a video of the bathing beauty. 

Stella . 
And Happy 4th!  

And a happy Fourth to you too Stella! Many thanks for  the news.

As to the video, dear readers, it  will be posted just as soon as I solve my video download problem.  Drat! DB


of June 16th, 2015.  This is the day that both Large and Medium fledged off the nest on 927 Fifth Avenue.  

Those events were covered in a previous blog but much more occurred after that particular blog ended with a promise of more later.  This is the later.... June 16th.... 
The time is now pushing 8:00PM.  Observations were made for the most part from the Hawk Bench, west of the Conservatory Waters/Model Boat Pond in Central Park, NY, NY.
 7:52:15 PM Those are Little's tail feathers (Pale Male and Octavia's youngest) on the left,  and Pale Male's tail feathers  are on the right.

Now some might ask, particularly the picky judgmental types, aren't you starting in the middle?  

How could Pale Male fly onto the nest without you seeing him.  Are you in some fantasy? Weren't you paying attention.

Actually if I were in a fantasy,  I'd be watching from the roof.  I've been up there and the view is spectacular!
Okay, seriously, since you asked.  Not only was I watching the nest previously...I was watching Large negotiate the railing on the Woody Allen Building as well, (a sequence not yet blogged by the way.) while Little stood on the nest, alone for the first time with evening coming on and not having much to do at all.
All times PM
7:30:17 Little watches Large negotiating the south railing on Woody.  I too go back to watching Large after checking in on Little.
7:47:58 Large attempts to see under the curtain inside the window. 
7:48:30 It appears the light reflecting on the glass may have been spoiling the view so she moves further over keeping her balance with wings, tail, and crooked feet.
7:48:55  Large stares into the window or stares at her own reflection and I watch her stare for some minutes.  And that dear reader is how I missed Pale Male flying into the 927 nest.  It was late and no other watchers were there to call, "Hawk UP!" as I scrutinized the activities of Large. 

 One of the shortcomings of being a lone viewer of stealthy flighted animals.

Back to 7:52:15 and the nest.  One could assume by the positioning that Pale Male is bringing Little food.  If you noted the previous photo of Little, his crop is quite flat, and he is likely very hungry.
7:52:17  Pale Male suddenly ducks as Little grabs the prey, and heads away with it.  
 (And no, I do not know what the prey is and neither did a number of experienced folks that I emailed.  If anyone has a thought, email me.)
 7:52:18 One second later, Little is mid-nest eating.  Pale Male has stayed down and turned his head away so as not to excite Little's instinct to continue fighting over the prey by direct eye contact.
7:52:19  Little hunches over the food.  Pale Male continues to keep his head down and face averted.

7:52:24 Little eats.  Pale Male is still.
 7:52:56 Pale Male moves,  looks south.  Little's head flips around and looks at Pale Male.
7:52:57 In the moment I thought PM may have yet remained in the passive position but in this photo it appears that at least for a split second Pale Male may have turned toward Little with nictitating eyelids closed.
7:53:06  Not being able to see that small detail from the ground I turn my eye to Large who is up on Woody. What is she up to now?  While I am attempting to figure that out...
 7:53:49  I catch movement from the corner of my eye.  It's Pale Male and he's off the nest and flying in front of Woody with a Mocking Bird hot on his tail.
7:53:49 This picture is in the same second as the shot above. These two birds are really whipping along.
 7:53:49 Also in the same second..... Pale Male heads into the trees with the Mocking Bird in hot pursuit.  This way he tempts the Mocker away from Little and Large.
 See Pale Male through the branches?
5:54:26 Large is still on Woody and Little is on 927.

Look at that profile.  That is the profile of a female Red-tailed   hawk.
7:54:40  Back at the nest, Little appears to be scanning for leftovers.

   7:55:49 Maybe Dad left some scraps. Note bulging crop.

7:56:26  Large is still checking things out.
7:59:43  Large looks at Little and the nest.  It appears Large will perch here for the night.  Note her instincts have informed her roost decision or she has learned through watching her parents... as she has her back to a wall and an overhang over her head...  protection from blindsiding attackers while sleeping.
7:58:53 Little looks up at Large.
8:01:34 And watching over  everyone is Mama Octavia sitting on her favorite observation perch on the corner of Linda, which is south of everyone else in the family.

Yes, Octavia is looking north.  The direction of likely, her entire family.  Large is on Woody. Medium fledged that direction into the trees earlier today and  Little is on the nest.   

And as the gloaming begins, Pale Male will likely continue, as is his usual behavior, to  hunt the playground just north and slightly east of the Model Boat Pond.  

Children being fond of snacks and somewhat untidy, it is a grand place to hunt rats late in the day. And that is very very near where Medium fledged into the trees earlier as well.   Pale Male tends to roost at the  Arch just slightly north of the playground.  Perfectly placed to watch over everyone from the north.

8:01:38  And Little is looking south towards Mom.  And she is still looking north toward everyone else.

And you can bet, as it has always been  the case when I've tracked Pale Male's roosts during breeding season, he is in a direct sight line with his mate all through the night.

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

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