My birding centered around Turtle Pond in Central Park today. The Pond had a pair of Belted Kingfishers, one of whom seemed to be exhausted after getting wet while fishing. After the Kingfisher's it was Pale Male who was very photogenic, leading photographers and bird watchers on a journey from tree to tree until he caught a rat. It was a fun Sunday afternoon.
The sun finally came out and with it two hawk sightings. A migrant youngster at 79th and the East Drive and then Pale Male a block north.
This evening, Pale Male was on one of his favorite buildings at Fifth Avenue and 79th Street. He was there for about an hour and then flew to one of his favorite roosting trees in the east Pinetum.
After being difficult to find for two days, the rehabilitated fledgling was back by the north of the Met and the Ancient Playground today. She was there from 11 a.m. til sunset. She then roosted fairly high in a large tree half a block into the park.
I looked for the Fifth Avenue fledgling yesterday evening and this evening and came up empty. That's not too much of a surprise. Most fledglings wonder off this time of year and are difficult to track.
Its parents however were found. Octavia was on a building at 84th and Fifth before going to a building a few blocks south, and then Pale Male and Octavia flew to the park. We caught up with Pale Male in a favorite roosting tree near Cedar Hill.
When I arrived the rehabbed fledgling was on a railing on the path that follows the East Drive around 87th Street. It had a group of folks getting very close with smartphones, and then tried to catch a rodent. It came up empty and jumped back on the railing before flying across the street to the east side of Fifth Avenue.
I learned she had flown back and forth three times in the afternoon. She' not getting much height while flying. She's basically gliding and doing very little flapping. Let's hope she gains some strength and starts getting higher soon.
The young hawk who was returned to the park a week ago, is working her way up Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue. Having started at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she was in front of the Neue Galerie New York yesterday and today she was in front of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She's either a cultured hawk or she enjoys the rodents the food vendors attract!
I spotted her crossing the East Drive in the early afternoon and saw her land in a tree above the Fifth Avenue sidewalk that's adjacent to park. She stayed in this tree for over five hours, although she changed perches and direction a few times. It was a hot afternoon, and the tree had lots of shade and a nice breeze.
Pale Male and Octavia's youngster is still hanging out in the same location, and still frightening us all with low flights across Fifth Avenue. Today, she amazed me as she few down within a yard of me, caught and ate a small rodent and then flew across Fifth Avenue. This happened all so quickly, I couldn't change lenses and take any pictures.
The Fifth Avenue fledgling. who was returned to the park from rehab on Sunday, was found on Friday afternoon along Fifth Avenue just north of 85th Street. It drew a huge crowd as it perched near the sidewalk and eventually flew across 5th Avenue to the east side of the street.
It is hunting fine on its own, but I think all of us would love to see it move to higher perches and a more secluded, less trafficked section of the park.
I saw two hawks this evening, an young adult who's been hanging around the park for a few weeks (light eye color with red tail), and then the youngster of Pale Male and Octavia who was returned to the park on Sunday after being nursed back to health by the Horvaths.
The juvenile was on the north side of the Met and then flew to the Ancient Playground (Yes that's its name, as it is an Egyptian themed playground with a view of the Egyptian galleries at the Met.) It roosted there for the night.
Tonight was very much like last night with Pale Male hunting along the transverse. However, we had trouble keeping up with him and didn't get to see him eat his late night snack. He kept crossing back and forth from the north to the south sides of the transverse, which while only a short flight for Pale Male, meant a long trip for those watching him each time he crossed. We all gave up after it had gotten too dark to see him after one too many trips.
This time of year, it's not uncommon to see Pale Male hunting before going to roost up around the 85/86th Street Transverse. Tonight, he caught a rat near the south gate house of the reservoir and ate it in the east Pinetum. After his meal, he went to roost in a favorite spot in the Pinetum.
Pale Male was on one of his favorite trees this afternoon and into the early evening. The tree is on Cedar Hill in the high seventies on the east side of the park. Many hawk watchers call it the feeding tree because Pale Male uses it to leave food for his mates or fledglings, as well as a tree he himself eats in.
He's molting, so he looks a little rough around the edges this time of year.
For those joining us late, Pale Male and Octavia's youngster's got into trouble this year. One is at a rehabilitator's getting care, one was found dead on a park drive and one is still in the park.
The one still in the park has been visibly sick but not sick enough to be caught despite the best efforts of the Central Park Conservancy and the Urban Park Rangers, whose actions last week included the use of a Cherry Picker. (It would be good to keep this in mind when folks tell you the Conservancy or the Rangers are evil. They actually have great staff and go the extra mile to support the hawks in the park.)
So, those of us who where concerned about this fledgling, tried without success to find it on Saturday. Lucky, I was able to find it on Sunday afternoon, southeast of Turtle Pond. Much to everyone's surprise it looked normal, without any of the droopy eyes or lethargy we saw on Friday. Hopefully it is recovering, but only time will tell. Unfortunately, some birds appear to recover, but relapse once they resume hunting and eating. Let's hope for the best.
Pale Male and Octavia's children all became sick over the last ten days, with one being captured and send to the Horvaths, one being found dead on one of the park drives, and one looking sick but not sick enough to be captured.
The photographs below are of the fledgling who is sick and thus far has avoided capture, who sat all afternoon in a tree to the west of the Maintenance Shed around 79th Street in Central Park.
The three fledglings were having a great time flying from tree to tree and calling for food whenever they say their father fly by at Fifth Avenue. It was a delight to watch them all, at times from the same viewing location.
At Fifth Avenue, we usually see three migrations after fledging. First its an exploration of nearby buildings, then the area south of the playground at 77th Street, and then Cedar Hill. We're in the second phase now with the fledglings beginning to play on the ground and explore the trees. It's a fun time to watch them.
When I arrived at the Fifth Avenue nest, four hawks were in view. Two fledglings on roofs of buildings two blocks south of the nest, Pale Male two floors below on a railing, and an eyass on the nest (despite reports of a fledge on Tuesday.)
One of the fledglings explored various perches on a water tank. One of the things a young hawk needs to practice is turning around on a branch or in this case a rod. It was charming to watch the young hawk learn.
Just before a brief rain shower, Octavia made her way to the nest and plucked what may have been a pigeon carcass before leaving the remaining eyass alone on the nest.
Once eyasses fledge it's a lot more work to go hawk watching. You have to find them. Or in reality, let them and the birds around them show you were they are.
Tonight, the first was found on a building on Fifth Avenue yelling for attention before going off to a tree. It seemed to have the hang of things. It got to watch its father catch a pigeon and pluck it's feathers below it.
The second fledgling was found on a building just south of the nest on a windows ledge. It looked a little bewildered, but its mother kept a eye on the youngster. Her arrival clued us to the location of this second fledgling.
And our third eyass is still on the nest.
Sometime around 4 p.m., while no one was looking one of the Fifth Avenue eyasses fledged to a building two blocks north. I arrived around 5 and got to see the first fledgling explore a terrace. I had to rush off to get ready for a dinner with friends, only to receive a text that a second fledge had occurred around 6:45. Let the fun begin!