The first 2018 fledge at Washington Square Park occurred around 6:20 p.m. Continuing my amazing luck at this nest, here is the fledge...
- 310 West 72nd Street nest has fledged. Reports are that one bird was found on the ground, sent to the Wild Bird Fund, checked out fine and will be returned to the area.
- Inwood Hill Park and Randalls Island nests must have fledged, but I haven't heard any news yet.
- Both of Pale Male and Octavia's Fifth Avenue eyasses have fledged safely.
- The Washington Square Park nest should fledge any day now.
- 96th Street is doing fine with one active fledgling and two who are still spending most of their time on the nest.
For the last two days, there has been one real fledgling roosting and spending time off the nest and two reluctant fledglings who keep returning to the nest. This is unusual but in some ways makes sense. The visits across the street and to the shed might be considered branching and not traditional fledging. The longer it takes to leave the nest the safer it is, so any delay is welcome.
In any case tonight two young hawks were on the nest and the other was on a windowsill on 95th Street. The mother was on a cell tower but moved to the 95th Street building. In both places the mother was harassed by an American Kestrel.
Over the last few days, I've only seen one fledgling at Fifth Avenue. Today, both were found within 25 feet of their mother on separate buildings. One was on the west face of a building on the southeast corner of 73rd and Fifth and the other on the south face of a building on the northeast corner of the same intersection. At times they would cry in unison. They didn't do much while I was there. But they both looked safe and sound. Octavia tried to get them to come down to a tree she likes to use for feedings but they both stayed up on their high perches.
When I arrived, all three fledglings were on the nest railing sitting side by side. Then one took off for a building on 95th Street. It landed a floor below the mother, and it took a bit of time for it to figure out it could use the stairs.
I thought wow, how smart of the mother to bring food there. She's teaching the fledgling where the next meals will be and bringing the fledgling to a quieter location. But in watching my video, it might have been just that the mother was feeding herself on the building and the fledgling came in and stole the meal. At some point in the middle of the fledgling eating, the mother tried to get the pigeon back. I'll never know which scenario was right, but it shows how easily you can get the story wrong.
In addition to the issues with the meal, the persistent and annoying American Kestrel was causing trouble and if you watch the video a house sparrow couple were a bit worried as they had a nest under where the eating took place.
The remaining fledgling at Grant's Tomb is still too healthy to catch. It flew easily between the current nest to the old nest and back this afternoon. Until it gets weaker or hungry/thirsty it can't be caught. So, the Urban Park Rangers just have to wait. They're consulting with an experienced rehabber and they are monitoring the bird ever day.
The fledgling cries when the Peregrine Falcons go by and cries while looking at its mother's favorite perch. Just like a crying human baby, the sounds are difficult to listen to. They make you want to do something. But in this case "The Crying Game" is really "A Waiting Game". The bird needs to wear itself out and come to the ground and let itself be caught.
So, for now doing nothing is the best thing that can be done. Sadly, the fledgling needs to let itself be caught, something we can't do for it.
I suspect the fledgling will get captured on Saturday or Sunday.
Update: From Susan Kirby via Twitter on Saturday: "Third Grant's Tomb red-tailed #hawk fledgling rescued and on way to #WINORR. Thanks, Rangers Rob Mastrianni and Dan Tainow, and Bobby Horvath. Love this baby!"
The second hawk left the nest at Fifth Avenue today. When I visited both parents and a fledgling were on a building at 73rd and Fifth Avenue. Both parents made a few flights, but didn't give us a clue as to where the second hawk was hiding.
I arrived at the nest to find the mother and one of the fledglings on the fire escape at 95th and Lexington just below where the nest was built in 2017. An American Kestrel was harassing them and the mother looked to be protecting the fledgling. The youngest hawk had flown to the Starbucks and another was on the nest's fire escape.
The mother flew off and everyone made their way to the nest. The youngest returned to the nest and the one at 95th Street flew to the roof of the nest building in a nice block long flight. After the mother left, the one on roof joined its siblings.
I can't wait until one of the fledglings actually perches in a tree!
Thursday Update: I was sent a photo of a fledgling in a 95th Street tree this morning.
Pale Male and Octavia had their first fledge today. They fledgling made a long flight over the Model Boat Pond to a tree by the Hans Christian Andersen statue. It must have remained there for at least two hours. It then flew towards the nest and landed in a tree before going to a balcony on a building three doors down from the nest. It tried to go to the south face of the nest building but got confused. It thought the middle bar separating two window panes was a perch. It floated down five floors before flying out over Fifth Avenue. It tried to perch up high but missed and ended up landing flat with its wings open on a low branch above the sidewalk on park side of Fifth Avenue. After a short rest it recovered its barrings and explored a number of low branches. It ended up roosting on Fifth Avenue for the night.
This morning before I arrived at the nest, the fledgling was joined by a sibling on the Starbucks fire escape. By noon both had returned to the nest. The mother fed the youngest eyass this morning, and she did not bring food to the fledgling. I suspect as a single parent she wants them to stay on the nest a bit longer.
A rehaber inspected the fledgling with the limp this morning and found nothing wrong with the bird. I believe the visit was unnecessary, but it's good to have an professional opinion none the less.
This nest is in a dangerous location, so there may be more drama later in the week!
- All of the Grant's Tomb eyasses have fledged. WINORR is working to capture them since they are without parents. One was captured on Monday, and one today. This leaves just one to get to safety.
- Another hawk joined its sibling at 96th on the fire escape above the Starbucks. Both returned to the nest by noon. A rehabilitator examined the hawk that was limping and found nothing unusual with the bird. It still has a slight limp, but is fine. The mother is only delivering food to the nest and it looks like she's in no rush for them to fledge properly. One of the hawks looks a lot younger than its siblings, so she may be encouraging them to wait and fledge together.
- The first of Pale Male and Octavia's brood fledged sometime before 3 p.m. today.
Early this afternoon, one of the 96th Street hawks fledged to a fire escape on the building to the east of the nest above a Starbucks. The hawk missed the landing and ended up dangling from a single talon upside down. Not to unusual for a first flight! This all happened before I arrived.
When I arrived the fledgling was doing fine except for a tender foot. It found some sun and took a nap for over an hour. Some locals went crazy that the hawk was injured enough to require care because they said fledgling hawks don't nap and one person even tried to flag down a fire truck. The owner of the apartment put water and raw meat out. All of this was unnecessary and created needless panic. The bird was not in any immediate danger and didn't need to be fed. These are wild birds and not pets.
Tuesday Update: NYC Audubon and the Urban Park Rangers are aware of the fledgling's location and status. The Urban Park Rangers (a division of the NYC Parks Department) will be monitoring the fledgling today.
I arrived at Grant's Tomb after the rehabilitator had already left with one of the fledglings, so what I'm going to say is all second hand. A few days ago the male crashed into a window hard enough to break the glass. He hasn't been seen since. The female got into an accident with a car, and appears to have rodenticide poising.
This leave all three fledglings with no one to feed them. So, Bobby Horvath of WINORR came to capture the fledglings. He got one, but two can fly too well to be captured at this point. It will be a challenge to capture these two! Good luck Bobby!
Here are picture of one of the fledglings that needs to be put into protective care.
The eyasses stayed put today, even with the Puerto Rican Day Parade. They do look ready to go however. Pale Male delivered food this evening and Octavia got into a food fight with one of the fledglings. Youngsters!
I received photographs, texts and emails this morning showing that one of the fledglings had left the nest. It had gone down to scaffolding below the nest early in the morning.
I was spending the weekend and was able to get to the nest around 5 p.m. When I arrived I was surprised to see three eyasses in the nest. It turns out the fledgling decided it was too soon to leave and using the stairs of the fire escape returned to its two siblings. I guess this was extended "branching".
Urban nests continue to surprise me!
Good News and Bad News
- One of the eyasses at 96th and Lexington Avenue fledged to the "shed" (the scaffolding with a deck for workman) on the building north of the nest early this morning.
- A hawk at the Grant's Tomb nest was involved in an auto accident. There is concern about the eyasses. I understand local hawk watchers are keeping an eye on the situation.
The Grant's Tomb hawk is being treated at the Wild Bird Fund. It may also have been exposed to rodenticides (rat poison) and is receiving prophylactic treatment.
Testing of raptors over the last twenty years by N.Y. State has show that many hawk "accidents", were not really accidents at all. The hawks got into trouble because they were weakened by rodenticides.
Update: The Morningside Hawks has a good update on the Grant's Tomb hawks here.
Hawk watchers at Fifth Avenue joke that their hawks fledge around the Puerto Rican Parade. It's a good marker and the parade is this Sunday. We'll see what happens.
The hawks at 96th Street are getting ready to leave. One is having fun on the fire escape railing and it looks like the other two will be joining in on the fun soon.
The neighborhood is getting excited about the hawks too. It looks like there will be lots of eyes and ears on the fledglings. Good luck young fellows!
Tompkins Square Park continues to be frustrating. It's so hard to see what's going on. This nest was built for privacy!
At the end of the video, you can see two eyasses being feed. It's hard to see but you can see two. I can't wait for these birds to get a bit bigger!
- The 310 West 72nd Street nest has three eyasses. I had originally thought there were only two.
- I've received sad news that the adult male of the 96th and Lexington nest who had been picked up and sent to the Wild Bird Fund and then to a surgeon had to be euthanized. The mother, who seemed to be courting a new male, appears to be a single mother again.