« June 2009 | Main | August 2009 »

Still Some Kid Left In The Fledgling

The fledgling, who has seemed so mature over the last few visits, reminded me that it is still a youngster today.  While I was there it spent a great deal of time on the ground, had fun staring down squirrels and generally acted like a kid.   It was nice to see there was still some kid left.


090724RVRT01

090724RVRT02

090724RVRT03

090724RVRT04

090724RVRT05

090724RVRT06

090724RVRT07

090724RVRT08

090724RVRT09


Leftovers And Being Ready For Breakfast

When I arrived at Riverside, I found the fledgling eating the remains of the squirrel that it caught on Monday.  It then spent some time in a few trees east of the playground, before crossing the hightway.

It settled in to the area near the nest, then went closer to the Boat House Café, stopping both on the ground and in a few trees.  One of them was a tree the father used to roost in, so I expected the fledgling to stop.  However, I was surprised to see the fledgling take off and make its way to the other side of the cafe, to the south.

It stopped above a set of dumpsters that are used by the Parks Department and the Café.  The area is full of rodents as a result.  The fledgling settled down about fifteen minutes after the robins and went to sleep. I suspect that the fledgling will be having a nice breakfast after it wakes up!

The video has a treat at the end, a firefly.


090722RVRT01

090722RVRT02

090722RVRT03

090722RVRT04

090722RVRT05

090722RVRT06

090722RVRT07

090722RVRT08

090722RVRT09

090722RVRT10

090722RVRT11

090722RVRT12

090722RVRT13


Riverside Fledgling Is Growing Up

The evening started with two troublesome Mockingbirds trying to get the fledgling to move.  The fledgling stood its ground.  The bird then enjoyed the puddle in the rocks.

Then the fledgling killed a squirrel very effectively having tracked it from about 50 yards away.  On Sunday, the fledgling was seen atop a high apartment building on Riverside Drive.  The immature fledgling of just a few weeks ago, is growing up fast.

The video posted below has about a minute of the struggle between the squirrel and the fledgling.  The squirrel's death takes a full minute.  If this would bother you, you might want to skip watching this video.  (On the other hand, if you have teenagers, invite them to watch.)


20090720RVRT01

20090720RVRT02

20090720RVRT03

20090720RVRT04

20090720RVRT05

20090720RVRT06

20090720RVRT07

20090720RVRT08

20090720RVRT09

20090720RVRT10

20090720RVRT11

20090720RVRT12

20090720RVRT13

20090720RVRT14

20090720RVRT15


Eastern Screech-Owl Release

Five Eastern Screech-Owl were released in Central Park by the wildlife rehabilitor, Bobby Horvath and his family on Saturday. 

The Red-phased owl Bobby released last year is doing very well in the North Woods, so Bobby was comfortable releasing more owls into Central Park.  Central Park may have its risks, but it lacks Great-Horned Owls which are becoming a major predator of Eastern Screech-Owls on Long Island where Bobby lives.

Two adult Red-phased owls were released and three young Gray-phased owls.  Thanks for your loving gift to the park, Cathy and Bobby.

The first pictures are right after the release.  The later pictures are of one of the gray owls after dark (long exposures without flash).


20090718ESO01

20090718ESO02

20090718ESO03

20090718ESO04

20090718ESO05

20090718ESO06

20090718ESO07

20090718ESO08

20090718ESO09

20090718ESO10

20090718ESO11

20090718ESO12

20090718ESO13

20090718ESO14

20090718ESO15

20090718ESO16

20090718ESO17

20090718ESO18

20090718ESO19

20090718ESO20

20090718ESO21


The Spa

The remaining fledgling continues to do fine at Riverside Park.  Today the fledgling was back in the area south of the playground.  Hunting for rodents along the Drive wall, avoiding Mockingbirds, amusing children in the playground continue to be standard afternoon activities.

Today, I saw the fledgling cool off in the water by the rocks east of the playground.  (Lincoln Karim arranged for this area to be cleaned of trash, so it would be safe for the fledglings.)  The large rock outcroppings common in Manhattan parks, collect water making them perfect spas for Red-tails.


20090717RVRT01

20090717RVRT02

20090717RVRT03

20090717RVRT04

20090717RVRT05

20090717RVRT06

20090717RVRT07

20090717RVRT08

20090717RVRT09

20090717RVRT10

20090717RVRT11

20090717RVRT12

20090717RVRT13

20090717RVRT14

20090717RVRT15

20090717RVRT16

20090717RVRT17


Back by the Hudson River

Tonight, I found the fledgling and the father near the Boat House Café.  This is back on the west side of the Henry Hudson Parkway, closer to the Hudson River where it was cooler. 

The fledgling had found an old nest and was relaxing in it.  After about fifteen minutes, I lost track of the fledgling, but soon rediscovered it nearby eating a rodent.  Once the fledgling was done eating, the father finished the leftovers.


20090716RVRT01

20090716RVRT02

20090716RVRT03

20090716RVRT04

20090716RVRT05

20090716RVRT06

20090716RVRT07

20090716RVRT08

20090716RVRT09

20090716RVRT10

20090716RVRT11


Good Night Young Fledgling

The surviving Riverside Park fledgling seems to be doing fine.  It has an every widening area that it flies around in, which is giving the hawk watchers some exercise.  (I learned today, that the fledgling that died Monday was hit by a car, not a truck as I had previously been told.)

Tonight the fedgling spent a great deal of time on the Riverside Drive wall.  Some cell phone camera carrying paparazzi got a little close, but no harm was done, although it did interrupt the fledgling's hunting.

I got to see, what for me is always a treat, a fledgling fall asleep.  It always seems to happens in a nice order.  The robins go to sleep, everything gets quiet, the hawk preens for a few minutes and then falls asleep.  And then I smile.


20090715RVRT01

20090715RVRT02

20090715RVRT03

20090715RVRT04

20090715RVRT05

20090715RVRT06

20090715RVRT07

20090715RVRT08

20090715RVRT09

20090715RVRT10

20090715RVRT11

20090715RVRT12

20090715RVRT13

20090715RVRT14


Northern Mockingbird in Riverside Park

Today, I finally found the reason why there had been such aggressive behavior by two Northern Mockingbirds against the Riverside Red-tailed Hawks, a nest carefully woven into a Pine tree to protect the young Mockingbirds.


20090713NM01


Lone Fledgling and Father

Tonight, I found the surviving fledgling on the large rock at the south end of the Promenade.  It was being watched by its father, who picked up a rat and put it in a tree, where the fledgling came and took it.

The fledgling didn't eat much, but made lots of calls.  It was as though it was waiting for its lost sibling to call back.  Once the fledgling gave up on its meal, the father came in and finished it.

Graphic pictures of a rodent being eaten follow both in video and pictues, readers beware.


20090713RVRT01

20090713RVRT02

20090713RVRT03

20090713RVRT04

20090713RVRT05

20090713RVRT06

20090713RVRT07

20090713RVRT08

20090713RVRT09

20090713RVRT10

20090713RVRT11

20090713RVRT12

20090713RVRT13

20090713RVRT14

20090713RVRT15


Sad News at Riverside Park

The Henry Hudson Parkway traffic claimed another fledgling today at Riverside Park today.  This leaves only one out of the original three fledglings still alive.

I received word that the police assisted in stopping traffic and the remains were retrieved and given to someone in the Parks Department.

The two fledglings had been on the same branch on a tree at the top of the stairs that leads to the underpass at 84th Street.  One flew across the highway, above car height but did not fly high enough for the truck.  It was then hit a few more times by other cars.


Fascinated With The Riverside Drive Wall

The fledglings have discovered the wall that separates the park for Riverside Drive and the West Side.  While sitting on it, the hawks have a good view of squirrels and rodents below the wall.  While below it, they can look into cracks between the stones to find nesting rodents.

For the hawks, it's natural.  For the hawk watchers, who know the city and its danger are just on the other side of the wall, it seems unnatural.  But it's just part of the hawk's growing up and learning more about their environment.  Soon they'll be perching on Riverside Drive buildings, just like their parents.


20090712RVRT01

20090712RVRT02

20090712RVRT03

20090712RVRT04

20090712RVRT05

20090712RVRT06

20090712RVRT07

20090712RVRT08

20090712RVRT09

20090712RVRT10

20090712RVRT11

20090712RVRT12

20090712RVRT13

20090712RVRT14

20090712RVRT15

20090712RVRT16

20090712RVRT17

20090712RVRT18

20090712RVRT19


Eastern Screech-Owls

We had a nice time watching two Eastern Screech-Owls wake up tonight for about 30 minutes.   Unfortunately, they gave us the slip at fly out by flying into dense cover.  But it was nice to see that they were both healthy.


20090710ESSO01

20090710ESSO02

20090710ESSO03

20090710ESSO04


Venturing Further

The fledglings are broadening their area and have begun doing some of their own hunting.   This has meant going further north into the southern section of the Promenade and doing more aggressive flying going blocks at a time at a higher altitude.


20090710RVRT01

20090710RVRT02

20090710RVRT03

20090710RVRT04

20090710RVRT05

20090710RVRT06

20090710RVRT07

20090710RVRT08

20090710RVRT09

20090710RVRT10

20090710RVRT11

20090710RVRT12

20090710RVRT13

20090710RVRT14

20090710RVRT15

20090710RVRT16

20090710RVRT17

20090710RVRT18

20090710RVRT19

20090710RVRT20


Noisy Thursday

One of the fledglings was very active on Thursday evening, screaming its head off begging for food.  It's become an excellent flier, so it took a lot of walking to keep up with the fledgling, whose stops included the roof of a slide in the playground.  A few squirrels were chased, but nothing caught.

The other fledgling was in a tree sitting quietly by the parkway watching the traffic go by.  It was reported that the fledgling crossed the highway towards the nest area to roost for the evening.


20090709RVRT01

20090709RVRT02

20090709RVRT03

20090709RVRT04

20090709RVRT05

20090709RVRT06

20090709RVRT07

20090709RVRT08

20090709RVRT09

20090709RVRT10

20090709RVRT12


Even Calmer Wednesday

The fledglings had been fed before I arrived, so tonight I saw two very relaxed, digesting Red-tailed Hawks.  The only noise came from neighborhood American Robins and Mockingbirds.

Dull is good.  Only a week ago, we were worrying about the fledglings crossing the highway. 


20090708RVRT01

20090708RVRT02

20090708RVRT03

20090708RVRT04

20090708RVRT05

20090708RVRT05

20090708RVRT06

20090708RVRT07

20090708RVRT08

20090708RVRT09

20090708RVRT10


Calm Tuesday

The evening was fairly quiet this evening, even if the fledglings were a little vocal.  They flew around some, one was on the ground briefly, but all and all it was a calm night.

They fledglings are flying really well.  I suspect that we'll see them venturing up and down the promenade further north soon.  It also means that they'll be harder to keep track of too.  I suspect lots of hawk watchers are going to be sharing cell phone numbers within a week.


20090707RVRT01

20090707RVRT02

20090707RVRT03

20090707RVRT04

20090707RVRT05

20090707RVRT06

20090707RVRT07

20090707RVRT08

20090707RVRT09

20090707RVRT10

20090707RVRT11


Hunting Playground

Next to the Children's Playground at Riverside Park, we now have a Hawk Hunting Playground.  An acre of wet muddy soil for the kids to play with sticks and hunt squirrels.  Both hawks are enjoying their school days.  The parents are still feeding both fledglings, but the fledglings should soon be catching some food on their own.

I stuck around to see where the fledglings were roosting for the evening and was able to see the father and one of the fledglings go to sleep in the same tree. 


20090706RVRT01

20090706RVRT02

20090706RVRT03

20090706RVRT04

20090706RVRT05

20090706RVRT06

20090706RVRT07

20090706RVRT08

20090706RVRT09

20090706RVRT10

20090706RVRT11

20090706RVRT12

20090706RVRT13


Settling In

The two fledglings seem to be adjusting to their new surroundings south of the playground.  The area has a Northern Mockingbird nest, so there are now American Robins, Blue Jays and Northern Mockingbirds mobbing the fledglings at times.

While I was there this afternoon they both got fed, one a pigeon and one a rodent.  Rather than being brought the food directly by the parents, as they did a week ago, the adults are now perching near the fledglings.  Then one of fledglings flies up to the parent and takes the food away rather aggressively.

(The pictures and video below have graphic images of the rodent being eaten.  The video shows the rodent being disemboweled, so viewer discretion is advised.)


20090705RVRT01

20090705RVRT02

20090705RVRT03

20090705RVRT04

20090705RVRT05

20090705RVRT06

20090705RVRT07

20090705RVRT08

20090705RVRT09

20090705RVRT10

20090705RVRT11

20090705RVRT12

20090705RVRT13

20090705RVRT14

20090705RVRT15

20090705RVRT16


Safely East of the Parkway

On the afternoon of the Fourth of July, the fledglings were east of the Henry Hudson Parkway.  They stayed in a few trees south of a children's playground.  I hope they roosted there this evening and avoided the crowds and fireworks by the river.

The playground area is a favorite hunting ground of the parents.  Over the last few days, the father seems to be taking a more active role with the fledglings.  We may soon be seeing some hunting lessons.


20090704RVRT01

20090704RVRT02

20090704RVRT03

20090704RVRT04

20090704RVRT05

20090704RVRT06

20090704RVRT07

20090704RVRT08

20090704RVRT09

20090704RVRT10

20090704RVRT11

20090704RVRT12

20090704RVRT13