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Growing Up

Although the fledglings at Tompkins Square Park have been hunting on their own for awhile, tonight was the first time I witnessed it myself.  There is something great about watching a young hawk show that it will be able to be independent from its parents.


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Tompkins Square Park

We got to see at least two youngsters and the adult male.  The juveniles are hunting in Tompkins Square Park but the father is still bringing food, so tonight after one juvenile had a meal a fresh rat another rat went uneaten. 

For about twenty minutes at dusk, two of fledglings perched at the S.W. entrance to the park and drew quite a crowd.  It was funny because only moments before they were about twenty feet inside the park and the park regulars were completely blasé about them and just ignored them.  It's tough being famous in New York City!


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Fifth Avenue Mystery

I got to see one of the fledglings for over two hours around the Obelisk (sometimes referred to Cleopatra's Needle), west of the Met.  This was fun since there were lots of good looks at the bird.

However, the mystery of the day was a large adult Red-tailed Hawk, who wasn't Pale Male or Ocativa, who showed up nearby.  This coupled with the rescue of a young hawk around the tennis courts at 96th Street last week had hawk watchers wondering. 

Could the young hawk could have been from an unknown nest of the pair that tired to nest along CPW these last two years?  And could the adult hawk we saw be the parent of this youngster,  investigating the cries from Pale Male and Ocatavia's children, in case they were the parent's missing fledgling?

I don't think we'll ever know but it makes a great story!

Update: It looks like the youngster that was picked up at the tennis courts is most likely one of the Cathedral fledglings, which makes sense given their exposure to Frounce.  So, this extra adult's appearance may have not explanation.


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Tompkins Square on Friday

I made a visit to Tompkins Square Park on Friday.  I got to see four Red-tailed Hawks flying high above the park and one fledgling on the nest, on the ground and in trees.

Late July and early August is a tough time for hawk watchers.  The birds that tended to stay close to the nest are now covering a wider area and are harder to find.


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After Dinner

I had dinner down at The Cardinal on 4th Street tonight and made a quick trip to Tompkins Square Park.  I found one of the fledglings down on 8th Street and an adult on the flag pole. It was nice to be back with New York City hawks.

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Turkey Vulture Chick

I'm still out at the Grand Canyon and found this young Turkey Vulture on a cliff face. 

It's so great to be on vacation and see the breeding locations of birds you see migrating through New York City in the spring and the fall.  I've never seen a young Turkey Vulture before!  Cute, but still with a face only a mother could love!

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South Rim, Grand Canyon

I had the good fortune to see these five California Condors arrive outside my hotel room during the World Cup Final.  Five Condors is 7% of the wild AZ/UT population!  Guess what took priority!  The tag numbers were 23, 30, J1, J4, L3.

Tag# SB# Age in 2014 Sex Bred At: Release/ Fledge Year
23 123 19 M LAZ 1997
30 530 5 M LAZ 2011
J1 521 5 F WCBP 2011
J4 541 5 F WCBP 2011
L3 593 3 F Portland 2012

 

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Rodents For Dinner

The Tompkins Square Park Adult Male brought three rodents to the fledglings this evening.  It wasn't clear if he feed two (with one getting seconds) or all three.  There were lots of flights and it was very hard to keep track of who was who.

The video and pictures below contain many of two of the rodents being eaten.   Skip this post if it might bother you.


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Fifth Avenue Fledglings On Sunday

I got to see all of the Fifth Avenue fledglings on Sunday.  One was west of the Met, and two were around the Cedar Hill area. 

The two near Cedar Hill had a little tussle over some food with both of them ending up on a lawn. 

All of the hawks looked well feed and the one who had been closing its right eye frequently yesterday was back to normal.  All of them also seem to have mastered flying and soaring.  They aren't hunters yet, but they're no longer newbies either.


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FIfth Avenue Fledglings

After visiting the Sheep Meadow fledglings, it was off to see the Fifth Avenue fledglings.  They were around Cedar Hill and nearby locations.  Pale Male and Octavia flew overhead, but I ran into Pale Male much further north near the South Gate House of the Reservoir and the Met roof.

I saw all of the fledglings.  One fledgling was closing its right eye a great deal.  It was hard to tell if this was normal/minor or if something more serious was going on.  I'm sure the hawk watchers at Fifth Avenue will be keeping track of this fledgling, just in case.


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Sheep Meadow Fledglings

I finally got a chance to visit Central Park today. 

My first stop was a look at the Peregrine Falcon nest, which yielded nothing. It was unclear if the birds had fledged or were sleeping.  I suspect they've fledged, but will need to make another trip back to be sure.

Then it was off to Sheep Meadow to look for the fledglings.  I always suspected they would hang out among the fenced off American Elms along the Mall, and that's exactly where I found them.  Both were in the same tree one on a lower branch and one on a higher branch.  They were very relaxed and looked healthy and well fed.


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Tompkins Square Park

The day after the final fledge of a nest, you realize how much harder it's going to find the hawks.  Today, I was lucky to find two fledglings and the adult male this afternoon before the heat and humidity made me want to find some air conditioning!

One fledgling was on the school and the other was enjoying some shade on a tree in the park. The father came in with food and the fledgling in the shade made a quick flight to get lunch.


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2014 Manhattan Score Card Update 8

Hawks

Although it's unclear about what happened at CCNY this year, it has been a great year. We know of only one adult death and one eyass yhat didn't make it.  Low number compared to previous years.

I suspect that the Randalls Island pair may have moved to their nest to the South Bronx.  I saw them often when I was out on Randalls Island this winter perched on buidings in the Bronx.


Final Fledge

The last eyass on the nest at Tompkins Square Park finally left the nest Wednesday morning.  When I arrived at the park in the early evening, I found the second fledgling and then the adult male. 

Then it began to rain!  I got to see the father try and hunt in the rain and watch the second fledgling change fly to a new tree.  Then there was a break in the rain.

Three of us went looking for the new fledgling and the call of robins guided us to the middle of the block of 8th Street between Avenue A and B.  We found the third fledgling on the edge of a roof overlooking a community garden.  It looked very peaceful even as the rain started to come down hard.

At that point, knowing the youngster was safe, I went home to get into dry clothes!


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Reverse Fledge

The last eyass to fledge at Tompkins Square Park was joined by a sibling on the nest for about 45 minutes on Tuesday evening.

This generally doesn't happen.  Once an eyass leaves the nest, it generally ignores it.  Experienced hawk watchers when asked if the fledglings will be returning to or sleeping on the nest usually say something like "The nest is really just a nursery, don't expect the fledglings to return to it."

But this evening after seeing a parent pick at food on the nest, a fledgling decided to check out the nest and look for food.  It also spent some time flapping and jumping, as if to say to its yet to fledge sibling, "here's how it's done".

The eyass who hasn't fledged, who has been doing a lot of jump flapping, was finally seen rapidly beating its wings and hovering tonight.  A good sign that it is mature enough to go when ever it decides to "leave home".  The gap between the first and the last to fledge is now at eight days, a time period much larger anyone would have expected.


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