The nest which is now above the statue of St. Peter about ten feet has three eyasses this year. With the construction over next door, and the nest bigger than last year, the parents seem back to a normal pattern this year.
Thanks to some great detective work by Melody Andres, we now know that both the Grant's Tomb (1) nest at 123rd Street and Riverside Drive and the 116th Street and Riverside Drive nest (2) are both active with two different pairs of hawks. These are close by to a Peregrine Falcon scrape (3) at Riverside Church, and close to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine nest site (4).
I had always thought Manhattan Hawk and Peregrine nests were like a checkerboard, with each taking different squares, but these three nests are so close together that it defies all that I had believed about nest positioning in the city.
116th Street and Riverside Drive
At the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, there was one visible eyass on the nest. It may have been two weeks old, which makes the fledge time somewhere in August.
It was hard to tell if there were other eyasses in the nest. The feeding behavior of the mother made it seem as though two were possible. We'll just have to wait until they're bigger!
The Morningside Hawks Blog has reported feeding activity up at St. John, so I checked it out this afternoon. The new nest location this year is one saint clockwise from previous years, above St. Peter. Previously, it was a little lower down on the shoulders of St. Andrew.
While I was there there were two feedings, and I saw a slice come out of the nest. The eyasses are too small to see just yet, but the feeding and the slice are enough to let us know there are youngsters.
This late hatch is most likely from a second clutch of eggs.
Three nests had fledges today, Fifth Avenue, St. John the Divine and Washington Square. For Washington Square it was the second fledge.
This evening, I got to see the first and second Washington Square Park fledglings. The first fledgling had made it to the safety of the NYU Pless Hall roof. The second and newest fledgling was doing its best to hide in a small tree west of the Bocce Court.
Both fledglings looked healthy. (You know you've watching hawks to long when you study video for signs of Frounce.) The second fledgling seemed to be having some trouble getting to higher branches, but that's not too unusual for a hawk's first day off the nest.
I finally had a chance to get up to St. John the Divine tonight. Construction has started on a new building right next to the nest, so this may be the last season for this nest. We'll see what happens next year.
But for now there are three very cute eyasses enjoying their nest on the shoulders of St. Andrew.
All of the eyasses have fledged at St. John the Divine. This afternoon two were on or near the fences at the parking lot and the third was in a windows of a St. Luke's Hospital building across the street. Both parents were keeping an eye on all of them.
This evening at St. John, a feeding revealed three eyasses in the nest. This beautiful location continues to consistently give us young hawks year after year.
Up at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine the three youngsters are in various states. One fledged a few days ago and is exploring the Cathedral with ease and was above the nest in a turret when I arrived. One had recently fledged and was in a tree across the street in Morningside Park. (Jeremy Seto's footage of the fledge is on Flickr.) And the third was still on the nest.
The parents came to visit the eyass still on the nest. The father delivered a rodent, and the mother visited for a few minutes, right afterwards. An American Kestrel gave one of the parents a hard time, while it perched on St. Luke Hospital's Plant building.
I had the good fortune to be at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine nest at the right time to see two eyasses on the nest. We never know for sure how many eyasses are on this nest until late in the season. For some reason it's easy of for a third eyass to hide in this nest.
Both the Morningside Hawks and The Origin of Species blogs have reported feedings at the St. John the Divine nest. I made a brief visit on Saturday. I didn't catch a feeding but it sure looks like they hatched from the behavior of the parents.
Tonight a few lucky hawk watchers got to see the third and last eyass on the nest, fledge from the St. John the Divine nest. I even recorded it! (On the video, it's at about 4 minutes.) The fledge happened late in the evening, around 7:30 p.m.
This is the second early evening fledge in recent years at St. John.
St. John the Divine has two fledglings. One most likely went off the nest late Sunday and one on Monday morning. When I was there one was on the southern side of the Cathedral and the other on a fence just north of One Morningside Drive near the guard station. Both looked great, although the one on the Cathedral looked a lot more confident than its sibling. The fledglings are in very safe locations away on the Cathedral campus, which is a quiet enclave.
The three angels at St. John the Divine are very close to using their wings to fly. I spent a delightful Friday afternoon watching them. Although at first only one was viable, quickly all three became active and in view. There was lots of flapping, hopping and jumping.
The next time I visit, I expect one of them may already have fledged!
It looks like there are two eyasses in the nest at St. John the Divine. Both seem to be fairly active, and it's now more likely than not to see at least one on a quick visit.
If you're looking for information about the nest, refer to my first blog post about the nest, Discovering the St. John the Divine Nest from 2006. The nest location and mother are the same as from that year. Unfortunately the original male died a few years ago, so we have a new male.
Update: Robert Schmunk reports on Wednesday, that it turns out there are three eyases on the nest. One is less developed than the other two, and thus harder to see.
Although one had to be patient Tuesday night, two eyasses were visible at the St. John the Divine nest. They should be easier to see with each passing day. The mother spent most of the evening off the nest, either on the Archangel Gabriel or on St. Luke's Hospital.
Tonight the feeding didn't take place until 8:15! Just as it was getting dark. The mother looked to be feeding two positions, which is a good sign for a healthy nest.
It was great to finally see very brief glimpse of an eyass at St. John. This weekend, the city should be a fun place to hawk watch. So many nests, so little time.
Both Robert and James have had reports on their blogs about signs of the St. John the Divine nest hatching, earlier this week. Once I hear a report like this of a nest hatching, I have to travel to see what's up.
The nest is behind the shoulder's of St. Andrew and is very deep. Every year it seems to get deeper, too. This makes it hard to see the young eyasses. We can see the feeding, and we can see the slices (poops), but we can't see the young birds. On Saturday, I positively knew they had hatched but couldn't see them. Once they get bigger, we'll be able to see them and count how many there are. But not now...
The bare spot on the mother's chest is her brood patch. You almost never see it, but the wind was "just right".
I finally got a chance to visit St. John the Divine on Sunday. The St. John the Divine Red-tailed Hawk pair go into stealth mode when they nest. The nest allows either parent to completely hide on the nest and the the parent who is off the nest usually stays hidden before the eggs hatch.
I spent an hour and half at the nest and only got to see the parents for about a half minute during an exchange.