Odds and ends from a quiet day in the park. Central Park lost a number of trees and there were a lot of broken branches blocking paths after Tuesday's storm. On Turtle Pond there was a Belted Kingfisher, a nice bird for early August. The Gill in the Ramble had two nice sized catfish and lots of minnows. It's amazing that such a small stream could have such good sized fish.
I got lucky on Monday. When I arrived at Governors Island, the Red-tailed Parents and a fledgling flew back and forth from the weathervane to the communications tower for about 45 minutes. It looks like in early August the fledgling is being a pest. It's time he/she starts to learn to hunt and he/she was looking for handouts. How this develops over the next few weeks will be fun to watch.
After all of the action was over, I did catch up with one of the adults who was harvesting branches. I think it was the male. It looks like he's adding twigs to a different spot on the communications tower.
I went out to see the Red-tailed Hawk family on Governors Island today, and got to see the parents and at least one fledgling. Folks have reported seeing two fledgling, but I haven't seen them together yet. Hopefully, I'll see both at the same time the next time I go out to the island.
One of the parents was hanging out near Fort Jay in various trees only about 15 feet high. It seemed unusual but might be a defense against the American Kestrels (one is in the video and the photographs below) and Fish Crows that hang out around Fort Jay.
The fledgling was all over the place, at the weathervane, on the communications tower (where the nest is located), flying around Fort Jay and even circling in the sky.
Final news is coming in about Manhattan's Red-tailed Hawk nests. Inwood Hill is confirmed to have 2 fledglings. Governors Island has at least one fledgling. Randals Island has fledged three. A fledgling has been discovered in Riverside Park near Columbia University. And Fort Tryon must have fledglings by now.
In addition to the Red-tailed Hawks, I was curious to see how the Yellow-crowned Night Herons were doing and the Common Terns.
The old Yellow-crowned Night Heron nest from last year was abandoned and I was unable to find a new one.
The Common Terns were out on Lima Pier. (I didn't see any on Tango Pier.) There seemed to be fewer than last year. They were concentrated on the middle of the arm of the pier where they nest and this year I didn't see any on the northern end of the arm like last year.
But there were lots of chicks getting feed, even if the numbers seemed lower.
If you're interested in Common Terns, NYC Audubon is having its annual It's Your Tern Festival online this year, on Saturday, July 18th from 10-11:30 am. Details are on their homepage, http://www.nycaudubon.org
For years we've seen second year hawks and adult hawks out on Governors Island but never found a nest or saw fledglings. This year, while Governors Island was closed to visitors, a nest was built, and was successful.
The opening of the island was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today was the first day the island was open to the public for the year. On the first ferry open to the public, I counted five other bird watchers looking to see what was out on the island.
The Red-tailed Hawk parents were easy to find. One was on the communications tower, where this year's nest was located. The other on a weathervane.
I couldn't find the fledglings, and almost gave up before finally finding one in a tree in the middle of the Urban Farm. This area is locked and not open to the general public, but I was able to take a few photographs.