This weekend was the first time I saw 927 Fifth Avenue nest without the scaffolding that has been up for weeks. Although there is still some scaffolding on the lower floors, it looks like most of the work has been done. The building management did a good job of protecting the nest, even with all of the cleaning work. It's height and shape matches pictures I took this summer.
Here are pictures of the nest, Pale Male on a building a few blocks north, and the pair on the Beresford Apartments north tower.
On Sunday, I had a great time in Central Park.
As I walked into the park, Pale Male was in a favorite windows on Fifth Avenue. It was so nice to find him within a minute of walking into the park. Later, I saw another Red-tail circling around 85th and Central Park West.
Then it was off to see a Vesper Sparrow in the Pinetum. It was eating grass seed on a newly seeded lawn. This semi-rare sparrow for Central Park was fairly easy to watch.
The last highlight of the day was a Cape May Warbler high atop an Elm tree. This specific tree has been knocked full of holes by Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers and has been dubbed by some birders the Magic Tree, because it is attracting so many warblers this year.
Pale Male loves to spend time up by Turtle Pond, the Met and the Great Lawn in the Fall. His schedule this season seems a little off though. Between the nest and the Beresford being covered in netting, and a new mate that seems a little more alouf than past mates, I haven't seen him in his regular perches or hunting locations this season.
However, on Saturday evening he was back in his favorite Fall spots. Eating in a favorite tree, perching on a streetlight over the East Drive, and then perching on the Met.
I had lots of fun birding in Central Park this weekend. It's a great time because you never know what you'll see and where. A Red-tailed Hawk, a Brown Thrasher, Blackpoll Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, bright yellow male American Goldfinch, and some Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds where some of the highlights.
For about an hour two adult hawks perched and preened (sometimes each other) on the SE tower of The Beresford Apartments at 81st and Central Park West. I suspect it was Pale Male and Octavia, but it could be the pair of hawks that tired to establish a nest in the 90's earlier this season. (We're in molting season, so I.D.s get harder to get right this time of year.)
In late July or early August depending on the year, it becomes harder and harder to find the fledglings on a regular basis. By this time of year they're spread out and exploring a wider and wider area.
So, on Sunday, I was happy to find a reliable old timer, Pale Male sitting in a favorite spot, while an American Robin protested. He stayed in the same tree for the longest time before moving slightly to a calmer location near the Azalea Pond.
It took awhile to find them but I ended up seeing two of the Fifth Avenue fledglings on Sunday just south of the building used as a cafe and model boat storage area for the Model Boat Pond.
One had just eaten a pigeon it had caught on its own. These innocent looking fledglings are not so innocent anymore!
Fifth Avenue has a second fledgling. Both fledglings had been around the Levin Playground in the afternoon, with one sibling still on the nest.
I was only able to find one fledgling this evening. It was being tag teamed by a number of Bluejays. I think it got hit about ten times before the jays gave up. What a first day in the real world!
It seems the eyasses on Fifth Avenue are in no rush to leave the nest. An afternoon watching them was very relaxed.
There were only two brief moments of excitement. First an eyass in a bid to steal food from its siblings ends up knocking it out of the nest with Pale Male diving after the food. Then an eyass gets it foot stuck in some pigeon spikes.
After a stormy afternoon, there was a break in the rain that allowed a quick trip to Fifth Avenue. All three eyasses looked healthy and looked closer to fledgling. They were eating scraps of food on their own, and one even tried to still the family meal from it's siblings when Pale Male delivered dinner.