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RFK Bridge

Earlier this spring, the Astoria female died due to poisoning while she was sitting on her nest.  Within a few days, the male found a new mate and they laid a fresh set of eggs.

While we can't see the hatchlings yet, based on the behavior of the mother, it looks like they have hatched.  We'll know how many there are in a few days.


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Unisphere Duo

The two surviving eyasses at the Unisphere in Corona Flushing Meadows Park are doing well.  They look ready to fledge.  For information about what happened earlier this season, see Peter Richer's Queens Raptor blog.


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Broadway Bridge

I visited the scrape on Saturday afternoon.  The eyasses have matured a great deal since I last saw them.  They look like they should be ready to fledge by next weekend.

I've included some photographs of the bridge and the Harlem River.  I realized in my excitement over finding this year's scrape, I forgot to document the area.  Below the bridge are the Metro North Hudson River Line tracks and the Harlem River.  The bridge has two levels, an upper deck for the 1 subway train, and a lower deck for car traffic.


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More Broadway Bridge

I've become fascinated with the Broadway Bridge scrape.  It's the first time I've been able to watch young Peregrine Falcons in person.  It's a lot different than watching the 55 Water Street video feed.

Tonight there was a feeding by one of the parents, although it looks like the eyasses can pick at food by themselves.  I'm looking forward to watching this pair grow up and fledge.


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Three, Two, Then One

An eyass died over the last few days at St. John the Divine, and it looks like we have only a single surviving eyass.  The remains of the second eyass are visible at the front of the nest. The parents will remove the eyass after a few days. 

Some hawk watchers have suggested removing the eyass to have it tested.  However, with two healthy parents and a difficult location, this seems to be impractical.  There is the danger that the healthy eyass might prematurely fledge and be injured if the nest is approached.  This is also the possibility that anyone who attempts to remove the dead eyass will be attacked by the parents.  Either the rehabber or the parents could be injured if this happens!  Furthermore, unless the cause of death was obviously frounce (a disease caught from pigeons), any test results would take too long to aid in the treatment of the surviving eyass.

So, the best course of action in this case, seems to be no action.


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Broadway Bridge Peregrine Falcons

New York City has a large population of Peregrine Falcon's.  My favorite pair has a scrape on Broadway Bridge, easily accessible by the 1 subway train.  It's the Marble Hill-225th Street stop.  The bridge is a drawbridge over the Harlem River and allows you some of the closest views of Peregrine Falcons in the city.  This year, their scrape is situated so that you can see the eyasses being fed.  


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Yes, that is a dead bird blocking the drainage hole.


Highbridge Park and Inwood Hill Park Nests

I visited the Inwood Hill and Highbridge Park nests on Saturday.

Although I saw the male briefly at Inwood Hill, I had no luck seeing how the nest was doing. The tree leaves are so filled in now, it was impossible to see the nest. The Inwood Hill hawk nest was damaged earlier this year, and hawk watchers in the park believe the female laid a second set of eggs.  The behavior of the parents lead everyone to believe there are eyasses, but we may not know until they fledge!

The Highbridge nest is doing fine.  When I arrived the male was in a tree about 100 yards from the nest.  The nest itself has at least two eyasses, both of whom look healthy.  All of the pictures are from the Highbridge nest.  Just like in Inwood, dense foliage makes looking into the nest difficult.


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St. John on Monday

The St. John the Divine nest was very active on Monday evening.  Both parents spent a great deal of time on the Archangel's trumpet and two eyasses were very active in the nest.

The current male joined the female while there was construction on the Cathedral roof, so he never got into the habit of being on the Archangel, but spend time on a chimney on St. Luke's hospital.  This year, with the construction finished, he seems to be using the trumpet as a perch more often.


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Did We Lose One?

The nest was very active with both parents in view this evening.  One this visit and on my last, I only saw to eyasses, so there is a chance we lost the third.  This nest has done a good job hiding young in the past, so I don't know for sure.

The parents spent time on St. Luke's Hospital and on the Archangel Gabrielle tonight.


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Cold Weather Slows Down St. John Action

The action was slow at St. John when I visited on Sunday.  The cold weather must have had the kids cuddled up together to keep warm.  They were briefly active when the mother came in to feed them.

After the sad news about Riverside on Saturday, I've heard two bits of good news this weekend.  Robert Schmunk reports that the Highbridge nest safely made it through the winds.  In addition, Jessica S. Ancker reports that after loosing their eggs to a nest failure in April, the Inwood Hill pair seems to be nesting again with a due date of mid-May.


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Sad News At Riverside

In the high wind late today, the Riverside Park nest was destroyed and all three eyasses perished on Saturday in the late afternoon.  Reports from fellow hawk watchers say the eyasses didn't fall out of the nest, but fell with the falling nest. They died as soon as they hit the ground, so they died quickly.

The mother was seen looking where the nest had been, and then flew off.  The father also came by the nest soon after the accident with a rat.  The remains of the nest includes lining material and a half eaten pigeon.

Expect the parents to rebuild the nest, although it is likely that this replacement will not be used until next year, if at all.  The parents were seen copulating on Sunday.

Leslie Day reminded me that two years ago, those eyasses also perished the day before Mother's Day. This family seems to catch all the bad breaks.

This is just another reminder of the high mortality rate for Red-tailed Hawk babies. Over 70% die in their first year.

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What remains of the nest.  Picture taken on Sunday, the day after the nest fell.


Riverside on Friday

It was a calm evening when I arrived at the nest.  We're having a race at Riverside.  Although the kids are getting bigger, the foliage seems to be outracing them.  It's frustrating for photographers and hawk watchers, but probably good for the hawks.


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Riverside Kids Easier To Watch

The Riverside Park eyasses are now big enough and mobile enough to watch without waiting too long.  You no longer have to wait two hours for a brief glimpse.  The eyasses at a really, cute stage.  Still fluffy and white, but very active.  If you haven't been down to see them, do it before they grow up!


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