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Everyone's Fledged

I believe all of the New York City Red-tailed Hawks babies have fledged, the last ones being the two in Prospect Park.  I'm going do some flying of my own and will be on vacation until July 9th.


Astoria Park's Second Fledge

The second and the last eyas on the Astoria Park nest, left this morning and headed to a park north of the bridge.  (Thanks to Jules Corkery for letting me know about the fledge.)

When I got there this evening it was still there with its mother watching over it.

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The mother.

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The mother.


Astoria Fledgling Vs. The Blue Jays

I arrived to a quiet afternoon in Astoria.  One of the parents was on the bridge and the eyas still on the nest was making practice jumps around the nest and up to a bracket on the bridge.

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The quiet was short lived however.  The fledgling appeared in a tree south of the tennis courts.  It was immediately mobbed by two noisy Blue Jays.

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They kept attacking and dive bombing.

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The fledgling lost its grip and slid down the branch.

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It ended up in a smaller tree.

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The Blue Jays kept at it.

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At some point the fledgling had enough and flew south to a residential block of Astoria.  I walked around the block looking for it, but couldn't find it.  I think it was on a flat roof that wasn't visible from the street.  With the excitement over, I returned to Manhattan.


Lunch Near The Ballfield Café

The 888 Seventh Avenue fledgling continues to do well in the park.  A good flyer, she still has problems with branching. 

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The father arrived with a nestling for the fledgling's lunch.  I suspect the nestling was a baby robin, but can't be sure.

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The father and the fledgling traded trees for a few minutes.

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Until they ended up on the same tree branch.  The father is on the left and the fledgling on the right.

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The fledgling ends up dropping the meal, and eats it on the ground.

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It gets eaten slowly.  The fledgling seem in no rush.

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The fledgling has been banded.  Despite protests by some bloggers against bands, they do not bother the birds.  They allows scientists to study migration patterns and if this bird is injured give those giving help access to its past medical records.

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While the fledgling was on the ground, the father kept watch.

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I had to leave, but the fledgling continues to be well looked after by its parents.  It should spend the summer in the park learning to hunt and fly, and leave us in late August or early September.


Astoria Park's First Fledge

The Astoria Park nest had its first fledge on Saturday around 2 p.m.  The fledgling went to the equipment depot under the bridge near the nest.  It was the safest place to fledge.  Good choice young one.

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While I was there it spent its time hopping from truck to truck.

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Caution, flying hawk.

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There was a Blue Jay that would come by every ten minutes.

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It hit the young hawk a few times.

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The first day at school can be tough.

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The eyas still on the nest looked on and seemed ready to join its sibling.

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One of the parents landed in a tree near the nest...

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... and then went to the north side of the bridge.

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So, another successful nest in New York City.

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Enjoy life off the nest!


North of the Ballfields Feeding And The Parents Perches

I got to Central Park in the early evening after visiting Inwood Hill Park.  I had struck out trying finding the hawk family in Inwood, so I was hoping for better luck at the Heckscher Ballfields.

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Our well looked after 888 Seventh Avenue fledgling. 

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Relaxing north of the Baseball Fields.

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One lone American Robin helped me find her.

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The mother came and we saw the father fly north.  She left and returned with a pigeon.  It was hard to tell who actually caught the prey.

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The mother left the food on branch, called for the youngster to come for dinner and left.

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The parent then flew around the Time Warner Building in Columbus Circle. It was windy, and she gained speed and height quickly.

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The mirrored building seems to fascinate this pair.  New York City Audubon has been working to minimize bird deaths from building collisions.  This spring they published an excellent guide for building owners and architects, Bird-Safe Building Guidelines, as part of their Project Safe Flight initiative.

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Here the mother rests on the new Zeckendorf building.

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The fledgling's dinner for tonight was a pigeon.

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Although the pigeon is much smaller than the fledgling, at times it seemed huge.

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The parents are both efficient eaters, but this fledgling is still learning.

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She was eating next to a Baseball dugout, and the team playing in Red uniforms were named the Hawks!

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The mother on the roof of the new Zeckendorf buildings at 62nd and Central Park West.  This building didn't exist two years ago, so we're learning what's changed this year.

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Both parents ended up on near the roof of the N.Y.A.C. (New York Athletic Club).  This is the first time, I've seen them perching there.

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The mother on the railing.

What a nice way to start the summer, with fledglings playing all over New York City.


Sheep Meadow And The Ballfields

Our Central Park South fledgling is a good flyer for being so young.  She has managed to make it to the southern edge of the Sheep Meadow, and to each corner of the Heckscher Ballfields.

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The fledgling.

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A young squirrel was dinner for one of the parents.

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The fledgling.

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The Mother.

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The Father.

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I think that's a Baltimore Oriole being unhappy by the adult male's appearance.

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Yes, your child did make the news.

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The fledgling settling in for the night.

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Getting ready to go to bed as the last baseball games got rained out on the Heckscher Ballfields.


Baby Pictures And A Protective Dad

Wednesday started out as a foggy, rainy morning in the southern portion of Central Park with a fledgling who spent the night alone, and ended as a sunny evening, with a family reunited. 

My earlier posts detail the morning and the reunion. It had been found by its parents earlier in the afternoon and noisy reunion was followed by a feeding.

I got back into the park around 6 p.m.  The fledgling was in a small tree behind a baseball diamond.  The fledgling was hopping from branch to branch learning how to maneuver around a tree. 

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After awhile the Blue Jays found it, and the fledgling yelled for help.

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In response for the cry for help, the father came quickly.  We hadn't seen him in the nearby trees, but he must have been watching over his child. 

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He did something amazing.  He acted as a target for the Blue Jays, drawing them away from his little girl.  He moved from tree to tree until he had moved the jays safely away from the fledgling.

I had to leave the park to join some friends for dinner, but left with a warm feeling, that a hawk family was back to normal in the park I love, Central Park.

Thank you to Bobby Horvath and all of the Urban Park Rangers who made this possible.


Great Central Park South News

Charlotte (the mother) and the fledgling of the Central Park South/888 Seventh Avenue pair reunited around 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon.  It was noisy affair with lots of calling by both of them.  They were seen flying off together.

Later, the parents caught a squirrel for the youngster around 4:45.

There are still some concerns that everything will go back to normal, and the fledgling needs to become people shy after all of the handling, but everything so far has been positive.


888 Seventh Avenue Fledgling - Wednesday Morning

The 888 Seventh Avenue fledgling has been returned to the park. It was placed in a quiet fenced-in area.  It is two blocks into the park and about five blocks from the nest.  The parents haven't found the fledgling yet and still seem to be searching in the blocks around the nest.  Hopefully, the young fledgling will get hungry soon and start to beg for food so the parents can find it.

(For those who aren't New Yorkers, the nest site is in a horrible location. It's far from the park, has a narrow ledge and is very high.  When fledglings are returned to their parents, one would usually put the fledgling as close as possible to the nest.  In this case however, 57th and Seventh Avenue is too dangerous an area, and returning the bird to the actual nest would require a window washing rig.  It could also result in second poor fledge attempt.  So, we have this less than ideal situation. Nature can be a harsh mistress.)

I arrived at the nest a little after sunrise to find the fledgling in the tree it has roosted in last night.

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The park's department has assigned an Urban Park Ranger to keep an eye on the fledgling for a few days.  The ranger is Rob Mastrianni.  He was responsible for the rescue of the Inwood Hill Park female, who had two wonderful eyasses this spring.  He's a great choice for the job.

Now, just hope and pray that nature will get these parents and their fledgling back on course.


Astoria Park

The Astoria Park eyasses are 45 days old, so they should be fledging soon.  These pictures were taken on Monday.

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Look, I can stretch.

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I can fly, well almost.

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We get to explore Astoria soon!

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It was close to bed time.

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For the parents too.  They soon moved off to roosts for the night.


St. John on Sunday

Everyone was accounted for on Sunday, but it took some real effort to find everyone.  The father was on a low branch behind the church playground along Morningside Drive.  Above him was one of the fledglings.

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The father.

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The father.

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A fledgling.

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Looking good, but still shy.

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The father then caught and gutted a rodent.  He went off with it, but I'm not sure who he gave it to.

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He didn't give it to the one fledgling we had found however.

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The mother on 301 W 110th.

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We then found the outgoing fledgling on the north side of the Cathedral.

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As I was leaving to go home, a passer-by helped me find the third fledgling at the base of Morningside Drive above a construction trailer.

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Sunday with the Falcons

I spent more time up at Riverside Church on Sunday.  The fledglings spent lots of time flying between the God Box (Interfaith Center) and the Church.  The ones I could photograph were mostly the parents.

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St. John Fledglings All Accounted For

On Friday, about an hour after I had left, Robert found the third fledgling.  On Saturday, I was able to see all three too.

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The mother.

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There was one precocious fledgling, and then two who fledged later.  This is one of the two reluctant ones.

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This is the other reluctant one.  Both seemed much shyer than the outgoing first fledgling.

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This is the first to fledge.

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888 Seventh Avenue Update

The fledgling from the 888 Seventh Avenue nest is in the caring hands of Bobby Horvath.  Details of the fledglings troubles in the plaza of the Ziegfeld Theater, can be found on the websites of the various New York City newspapers.  A fledgling's first few days on the ground can be full of troubles.

Bobby Horvath is a licensed rehabber and will do what is best for the fledgling.  He runs a rescue center on Long Island, Wildlife in Need of Rehab and Rescue, Inc.

His phone number has been placed on the www.palemale.com website along with some very negative and untrue statements about Mr. Horvath.  Please don't harrass Mr. Horvath.  He's got the best interests of the fledgling at heart.


888 Seventh Avenue Fledge Report

News from Brett Odom

"Sometime between last night and this morning the eyas at 888 7th Avenue fledged.  I have not been able to locate him as of yet from my office.  If any of you hear of anything (good or bad) can you please either email me or post it on your blogs. I've been reading them religiously this year.

Also, if there are any tips on how to locate fledged hawks, please pass them along and I will keep an eye out for him from my window.

Regards, Brett Odom"

James O'Brien passed along excellent advice to Brett in response to his question.

"Thats great news...he's probably hanging out on top of a building!   The best way to locate him is to look for the parents.  They will be bringing him/her food, so when you see them with prey, they'll be calling and circling trying to lure the fledgling out. "


New York City Audubon Ecotour

New York City Audubon hosted an Ecotour of the East River on Tuesday.  Before the boat ride, I stopped by the Brooklyn Bridge.

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On the bridge, you could hear chicks begging for food.  I waited for about twenty minutes and a parent poked its head out.

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An Adult Peregrine Falcon.

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The band reads 04, then 2 below.  I haven't seen this type of band before.   Update: I received some emails about this band type.  It is used to supplement a Federal band, since it much easier to read. It is usually two digits and a letter, so it is most likely 04Z and not 042.

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Then it was off on a NYC Water Taxi for a tour of the East River.

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On a small island east of the U.N. is a Double-crested Cormorant nesting spot.

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The Pepsi sign is in the background.

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Peregrine Falcons also nest on New York Hospital.  The best view of them is from the river.  It was dark and I was on a moving boat, so the pictures aren't the best.  Young ones are inside the nesting box.

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Here you can see two on the left.  What I can't make out is if there is a bird next to the nest box on the right.

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A gull chick.

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Brant, a small goose, which shouldn't be hanging around New York in June.

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Another Brant shot.

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Below the gulls, is an American Oyster-Catcher.  A new bird for my life list.

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One the way back, we made a detour to the Statue of Liberty.

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Lower Manhattan.  Who would think there would be so much nature amid all your concrete and steel?


Fledging Updates

Reports are coming from Donna Browne and Richard Schmunk about fledgings. 

Donna reports that the first fledge has occurred at Fordham University in the Bronx via her blog.

Robert also has a report of a first fledge at St. John the Divine on his blog.

These early days watching new fledglings can be lots of fun.  If you have a chance, visit either location and enjoy the experience.

The eyas on 888 Seventh Avenue should be fledging soon too.  Watch for it to fly to a nearby roof sometime over the next few days.   Keep an eye on Carnegie Hall.  This may be the first stop.


Astoria Park

All was quiet when I arrived.  The eyasses were settling down after a feeding.

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The mother keeps watch about 20 feet to the left of the nest.

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One kid has already settled down and is joined by the second.  Hawk watching isn't always exciting.

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The biggest excitement of the evening was this Blue Jay who gives the mother a hard time.

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So much so, that she moves...

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...40 feet to the right of the nest.


Flushing Meadows

On Sunday afternoon, I went to the Unisphere.  Only one eyas was on the nest.  I saw both parents, but none of the fledglings. 

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One of the parents on top of the globe.

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The single remaining eyas on the nest.

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The parents can watch the sorrounding area and the nest at the same time from this high spot.  I also saw for the first time the mother fly to the nest from the top of the globe through the hollow center of the sphere rather than around it.

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I saw both parents circle the area between the globe and the NY Pavilion. 

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888 Seventh Avenue Action!

The eyas on 888 Seventh Avenue is now running/flapping along the ledge, so one can finally see some activity from the street.  The eyas looks very healthy and in great shape to fly soon. 

Until today, this was the one eyas I known about but hadn't yet seen.  This brings my hawk watching total for the season to 23 adults, 2 1st years, and 23 eyasses/fledglings for a total of 48 Red-tailed hawks in four boroughs of New York.

With the exception of the Astoria nest, all of these nests were in established territories.

I know I am missing a number of nests in the upper Bronx, eastern Queens and all of Staten Island. The total number of New York City's Red-tailed Hawks could easily be double my count.

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Unisphere

I learned more about the history of the Unisphere nest.  The pair has been at the location for at least five years according to a parks employee.  The nest has changed locations, having been on the towers of the NY State pavilion and another location in earlier years.  The nest was also on the Unisphere last year, and one of the chicks fell out prematurely and was sent to a rehabilitater but did not survive.

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The fledgling hanging out.  It isn't shy enough yet and a family tried to feed it potato chips!

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An American Robin decided to give it a hard time for about 45 minutes.

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The robin would not stop!

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The eyasses woke up and then were very active.  I got a report from Richard Fleisher that earlier in the day, one of the young ones had ventured all the way to New Zealand.  Should we call branching behavior "globe hopping" at this location?

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Red-tailed Hawks Take Over The Globe!

In Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, Red-tailed Hawks have nested in the Unisphere, a 12-story high globe created for the 1964-1965 World's Fair.

I didn't know this when I went to Queens this evening however.  This is the story...

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I received an email this morning that a fledgling Red-tailed Hawk had been wandering on the ground and the benches of Flushing Meadows Park.  The letter went on to detail that someone had arranged to put the fledgling in a high tree branch to get it off the ground and in a safer spot.  News like this gets me on the next subway train after my work day is over!

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I arrived in Queens and walked to the Unisphere.  I spotted a parent on the top of the globe.  I thought the parents would be near the fledgling in a tree, but would soon find out this hawk was in just the right spot.

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The parent, who I think is the female.

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I soon heard a group of noisy Robins and Blue Jays and went to take a look.  I found a shy fledgling trying to stay out of sight.

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It got fed up with the Robins and Blue Jays and moved about the tree.  It did a good job of jumping and branching.  I didn't get to see it fly.  It may have fledged a few days too early.

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I then saw the parent on the Unisphere and then something caught my eye.

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A nest.  A nest on the unofficial icon of Queens.  A nest on the Unisphere!

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There were two eyasses on the nest.  This brings my count of Red-tailed Hawk babies to 22 for the season, all visited by Metrocard.

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They look close to fledging age.

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Then both parents arrived.  One would quickly fly nearby and then off toward the Tennis Complex, and the other would stay and feed the eyasses.

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The parent who left quickly, who may be the male.

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The other parent feeds an eyas.

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Once the feeding is over the parent moves to the other side of the globe.

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The nest from the outside view.  It is a third from the left, just above Indonesia.

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The light begins to fade, so I return to Manhattan.


McCarren Park, Brooklyn

I went to McCarren Park in Brooklyn today to follow up a report sent to Rob Jett from a friend who plays baseball in the park. 

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Within minutes of arriving, I found this hawk on lights for the baseball field.  It made a hunting attempt across the street.  (The 36 acre park is divided up into strips with north/south streets going through the park.)

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It ended on a low branch perfect for taking portraits.

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It then flew off and I lost track of it.


Highbridge Park, Brancher or Fledgling

I went up to Highbridge Park today, and found the "window" from the path that provides a view from below.  (Thanks to James and Robert for directions.)  I arrived to what looked to be an empty nest but knew from the angle that the eyasses might just be on the other side of the nest.

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What's this?  The movement came from twenty feet above the nest.

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A youngster.

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Now are you a brancher or a fledgling?  You're still in the same tree as your nest.

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One of the parents kept circling over the nest in a pattern that seemed to say "Follow me, Follow me."

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Another fly over by the parent.

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An eyass appears on the nest.  So, two are accounted for.

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Then a second eyass appears.  So, all there young ones are accounted for.

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They get close for a bit, two heads stacked.

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The eyass looks up at its older sibling on the branch.

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And our brancher keeps looking at the parent circling overhead.

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So, you didn't let me know if you were just a brancher or real fledgling.  I do know one thing for sure, you aren't going to be in this tree next weekend!


St. John the Divine

I went up to visit on Saturday and all was well.  The eyasses are now much more active and visible.  They're at the stage were they enjoy sitting near the edge of the nest and keeping an eye on the world. 

I couldn't stay long.  The mother was on a finial near the nest and the eyasses were using both sides of the nest to look out.  (This makes it difficult to watch them as one has to walk half a block to get a clear view of the left side.)

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Astoria Park

The Astoria Park nest was having a lazy afternoon in the hot weather.

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The youngster was panting to stay cool.

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The bright yellow prey surprised me.  An escaped Budgerigar or some nestling?

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Briarwood, Queens

I visited the Briarwood, Queens nest today. It still had one eyass on the nest and a fledgling exploring nearby.  The mother was visible, but I didn't see the father.  This was my first visit to the location.

These two bring my count for Red-tailed Hawk youngsters to 19 for the season.  Wow!  Red-tails are doing wonderfully this season.  Briarwood also marks my first fledgling sighting of the season.

For more about these hawks and their history, visit Jeffrey Kollbrunner's Nature Gallery.

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The Audubon web camera is on the left and the nest on the right.

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The mother.

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The eyas that remains on the nest.

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The eyas looks ready to fledge.

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I didn't expect to be able to find the fledgling, but out of the blue, it appeared within twenty feet of the nest.

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I had expected to have a hard time.  The area surrounding the nest includes a few highways.  Usually, if all else fails, you can hear a fledgling beg for food.  In this location however, hearing the fledgling will be difficult because of all the traffic noise.

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The fledgling in a tree.  It jumped/flapped awkwardly from branch to branch.  It still has lot of learning to do.

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I lost the fledgling for about fifteen minutes and then rediscovered it by accident.

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It did something very frightening.  It explored the razor wire.

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I was so worried, but did my best to stay still and calm.  I didn't want to startle it and cause it to injure itself.

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It looked caught for a few long seconds, but did a good job maneuvering.

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I just hope once was enough.  I don't want to watch this again.

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Luckily, it soon moved to a much safer place.

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If there was a caption writing contest, I'm sure the winner would be "Mom, why aren't we on the dollar bill?"

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To a long and happy life, youngster!