One Friday afternoon, I caught up with the Washington Square Park fledgling in a tree about 50 yards west of the fountain. While I was there he spent at least 45 minutes preening and looking at the pigeons near his perch. He looked in no rush to move on the hot and humid afternoon, so I took off for Tompkins Square Park.
We found two of the youngsters and their father in the park this evening. One was playing on the roof of the Men's room, playing hide and seek with a squirrel and then taking a bath. The other was in a nearby tree and their father was hunting near a dumpster.
One last nest update. The single fledgling at 84th and West End fledged a week or two ago while I was away.
The Sheep Meadow hawks may have nested on the SE corner of the Plaza this year and had three eyasses. The nest can not be seen from the street, and it is unclear if they have fledged yet. Any reports from the SE corner of the park would be welcome.
The two fledglings on Fifth Avenue had a mellow afternoon keeping cool and hunting behind the Kerbs Boathouse on Tuesday. Some seasons we have reluctant fliers or hunters and this season it great to have two healthy fledglings doing so well.
On my last visit to Darien, I counted three chicks, but now that they are larger, it's clear there are four. The nest was very busy with lots of feedings.
There was also an interesting "sponge bath" of grass, that the mother brought up to the nest as well. Plus there was an intruder Osprey who made a half-hearted attempt to steal a fish from the nest.
At least one of the Fifth Avenue fledglings is hunting for itself now. A mouse and a rat were caught on Saturday afternoon. It's very nice to see at least one of them be so independent, so early in the summer. Most of the action took place around the Kerbs Boathouse, although both hawk fledglings had been on high perches on Fifth Avenue buildings during the afternoon.
The Washington Square Park Fledgling was having lots of fun this evening. I found it on top of 2 Fifth Avenue where it played in the wind realizing that if it put its wings out, it would have lift off. He then went down into the park chasing a group of pigeons and ending up on the Judson Church roof. That's a great deal of flying.
Later, he made some a few trips around the east side of the park, and even went over to the roofs of Washington Square North.
From the pictures, you can see his primary and secondary feathers that hadn't grown in when he fledged look good now. The only feathers with issues are two tail feathers. It's nice to see him looking less scruffy.
After a vacation, I had a chance to hawk watch in Tompkins Square Park this evening. All three fledglings ended up in the same tree with both parents close by and one fledgling even tried to catch a squirrel. Lots of action which was lots of fun.
Despite having a few missing primary and secondary wing feathers, the Washington Square Park fledgling is actually a good flier. It made its way to a number of buildings around the park today, and did a great job of flying to high locations. It did much better than many new fledglings.
There were no hawks on the nest this evening, and reports are that none were seen today by anyone. So, we assume the single eyass has fledged. The parents were spending a lot of time above the Pless building, so the fledgling is most likely on its roof. A group of us are eager to see how it's coping with the few primary and secondary feathers that are missing. It would be nice to see a few normal flights.
Update: 6/15/16 The fledgling has been perched and flying well in the SW corner of the park today. Reports are nice flights, to perches high on buildings. So, the wings might not look perfect but they certainly work just fine.
The key news this week is:
- Washington Square Park, 1 Fledgling
- Tompkins Square Park, 2 or 3 Fledglings. (They are returning to the nest which makes it hard to be sure.)
- The fledgling picked up by police from St. John did not survive.
- On Sunday during the Puerto Rican Day parade, one of Pale Male and Octavia's offspring ended up in the Conservatory Water. It was in rehab for 24 hours, and returned to the park.
- A one year old hawk got tapped between a window and a storm window on 69th Street, was freed by the NYPD 19th Precinct and managed to get stuck again. Thanks to the Ranger Rob Mastrianni it got captured a second time and sent out to WINORR.
Correction 6-15-16: Unfortunately, the second eyass at 116th and Riverside did not fledge but died, probably from Frounce (Trichomonas).
Not much happened at Tompkins Square Park in the early evening. The young hawks were back on the nest and the parents were enjoying the wind.
At Tompkins Square Park, at least two hawks have fledged, but they were all back on the nest Sunday afternoon. Dora, the adult female had brought food, so they all ended up on the nest. We've see this at other nests, where the nest becomes a feeding station, but it is unusual. It will be interesting to see how things progress over the next few days.
The lone Washington Square Park eyass has yet to fledge. It has a few wing feather that haven't grown in properly, but looks a good deal better than it did a week ago. The eyasses always seem to take their time at this nest and I suspect this hawk will be no exception.
This year the fledglings are spending time north and south of 72nd Street, something I don't remember being common in years past. Maybe it's easier to venture south without the Sheep Meadow pair. The fledglings are doing a great job of flying high as well as exploring down low.
The Scot Cove, Darien Ospreys have returned to their nest this year for a second season. This year they have three young ones. (The first year they had two.) We guess they're about two weeks old, but aren't sure.
I love fledge days. After days of waiting and watching, mostly at a nest, a greater adventure begins both for the young hawks and the hawk watchers. Today was like so many other fledge days. It included lots of enthusiasts sharing the joy of watching a creature enjoy flight for the first time.
At 8:08 p.m. this evening we had the first fledge. The eyass made its way to the highest branch of the tree on the west side of the tree, and made a good flight west. It explored one tree for about fifteen minutes before flying to another tree. They were good flights with good landings.
Yesterday at Tompkins Square Park had the eyasses branching near the nest which was like jumping with some flapping. Today an eyass flew from one side of the tree to the other and back. It was more than just basic branching. It was advanced. Someone is going to be off this nest soon!
The Tompkins Square Park eyasses are full of energy jumping from branch to branch around the nest. It's a sure sign that they'll be fledgling soon. I can't wait to see how they fledge and do they gravitate to the tall trees of the park or the buildings around the park the first few days off the nest?