Sunday Morning
1 Down, 1 To Go

Fledge Day

The afternoon started out with a Great Egret flying high over Morningside Park.  It concerned the parents enough that both of them returned to the Cathedral.

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The adult male on the Cathedral.

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The adult female.

Then without warning at 12:20 p.m. on Sunday, one of the birds fledged (left the nest for the first time).  I was changing shooting locations at the time, and unfortunately missed capturing the moment. 

James O'Brien, who blogs at yojimbot.blogspot.com, was shooting video of the nest, so the moment was recorded.  James was kind enough to share these stills of the fledge.  (The fledgling is on St. Andrew's head and the adult female is on the right.)

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Photo Credit: James P. O'Brien

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Photo Credit: James P. O'Brien

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Photo Credit: James P. O'Brien

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Photo Credit: James P. O'Brien

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Photo Credit: James P. O'Brien

Like parents who've lost their child in a department store, we looked high and low for the fledgling.  I love fledge days.  The hawk watchers who've been standing around for days looking at the nest, all seem to come magically together and work as a team to find and keep track of the location of the new fledgling.

Around 3:40 p.m. Jacquie Connors and James O'Brien, with the help of a squirrel, found the fledgling in a small Ginkgo tree, just across Morningside drive from the nest.  We had hunted all around Morningside park, and the fledgling turned out to be within 100 yards of the nest.

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My first picture of the fledgling outside the nest.

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The Ginkgo tree had really small branches and the fledgling struggled to stay put.

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The fledgling looked so perfect with wonderfully clean white feathers.

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Preening continued to be a major activity.

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Oh, how this reminded me of the innocent faces of last year's Central Park South fledglings.

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The mother returned to the Cathedral, but there wasn't a feeding of the new fledgling in the afternoon. (Reports are that a feeding did occur in the early evening.)

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The fledgling had trouble staying in place.  It tried to navigate the top of a tree as though it was a nest, with very poor results.

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It found a more solid tree.

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But for some reason moved back to a thin branch.  After a few minutes a squirrel moved past, and the alarmed Red-tail gave out a cry.  This happened a few times as the squirrel moved up and down the tree.

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As I was leaving the second eyas was alone on the nest.

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It should fly out soon and join its sibling in Morningside Park.

I think all of the Cathedral hawk watchers felt like proud parents today.  Let's toast with some Champagne the success of these amazing parents and their new offspring!