« May 2007 | Main | July 2007 »

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.

061207a

061207b
On the bridge, you could hear chicks begging for food.  I waited for about twenty minutes and a parent poked its head out.

061207c
An Adult Peregrine Falcon.

061207d

061207e
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.

061207f
Then it was off on a NYC Water Taxi for a tour of the East River.

061207g
On a small island east of the U.N. is a Double-crested Cormorant nesting spot.

061207h

061207i
The Pepsi sign is in the background.

061207k
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.

061207l
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.

061207m
A gull chick.

061207n
Brant, a small goose, which shouldn't be hanging around New York in June.

061207o
Another Brant shot.

061207p
Below the gulls, is an American Oyster-Catcher.  A new bird for my life list.

061207r
One the way back, we made a detour to the Statue of Liberty.

061207s
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.

061007tbrta
The mother keeps watch about 20 feet to the left of the nest.

061007tbrtb
One kid has already settled down and is joined by the second.  Hawk watching isn't always exciting.

061007tbrtc

061007tbrtd
The biggest excitement of the evening was this Blue Jay who gives the mother a hard time.

061007tbrte
So much so, that she moves...

061007tbrtf
...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. 

061007fmrta
One of the parents on top of the globe.

061007fmrtc
The single remaining eyas on the nest.

061007fmrtd

061007fmrte

061007fmrtf

061007fmrtg

061007fmrth

061007fmrti
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.

061007fmrtj

061007fmrtk_2

061007fmrtl
I saw both parents circle the area between the globe and the NY Pavilion. 

061007fmrtm

061007fmrtn


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.

060807_888rta

060807_888rtb


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.

060807fmrta
The fledgling hanging out.  It isn't shy enough yet and a family tried to feed it potato chips!

060807fmrtb

060807fmrtc

060807fmrtd

060807fmrte

060807fmrtf
An American Robin decided to give it a hard time for about 45 minutes.

060807fmrtg
The robin would not stop!

060807fmrth

060807fmrti
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?

060807fmrtj

060807fmrtk

060807fmrtl

060807fmrtm

060807fmrtn

060807fmrto


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...

060607fmrt001
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!

060607fmrt002
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.

060607fmrt003
The parent, who I think is the female.

060607fmrt004

060607fmrt005

060607fmrt006

060607fmrt007
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.

060607fmrt008

060607fmrt009
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.

060607fmrt010
I then saw the parent on the Unisphere and then something caught my eye.

060607fmrt011
A nest.  A nest on the unofficial icon of Queens.  A nest on the Unisphere!

060607fmrt012
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.

060607fmrt013

060607fmrt014

060607fmrt015
They look close to fledging age.

060607fmrt016

060607fmrt018
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.

060607fmrt019
The parent who left quickly, who may be the male.

060607fmrt020

060607fmrt021

060607fmrt022
The other parent feeds an eyas.

060607fmrt023

060607fmrt024

060607fmrt025

060607fmrt026
Once the feeding is over the parent moves to the other side of the globe.

060607fmrt027
The nest from the outside view.  It is a third from the left, just above Indonesia.

060607fmrt028
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. 

060507mcrta

060507mcrtb
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.)

060507mcrtc
It ended on a low branch perfect for taking portraits.

060507mcrtd

060507mcrte

060507mcrtf
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.

060307hbrta

060307hbrtb
What's this?  The movement came from twenty feet above the nest.

060307hbrtc
A youngster.

060307hbrtd
Now are you a brancher or a fledgling?  You're still in the same tree as your nest.

060307hbrte

060307hbrtf
One of the parents kept circling over the nest in a pattern that seemed to say "Follow me, Follow me."

060307hbrtg

060307hbrth
Another fly over by the parent.

060307hbrti
An eyass appears on the nest.  So, two are accounted for.

060307hbrtj
Then a second eyass appears.  So, all there young ones are accounted for.

060307hbrtl
They get close for a bit, two heads stacked.

060307hbrtm
The eyass looks up at its older sibling on the branch.

060307hbrtn
And our brancher keeps looking at the parent circling overhead.

060307hbrtp
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.)

060207sjrta

060207sjrtb

060207sjrtc

060207sjrtd

060207sjrte

060207sjrtf

060207sjrtg


Astoria Park

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

060207aprta

060207aprtb
The youngster was panting to stay cool.

060207aprtc

060207aprtd

060207aprte

060207aprtf
The bright yellow prey surprised me.  An escaped Budgerigar or some nestling?

060207aprtg

060207aprth

060207aprti

060207aprtj

060207aprtk


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.

060207bwrta
The Audubon web camera is on the left and the nest on the right.

060207bwrtb
The mother.

060207bwrtc
The eyas that remains on the nest.

060207bwrtd
The eyas looks ready to fledge.

060207bwrte
I didn't expect to be able to find the fledgling, but out of the blue, it appeared within twenty feet of the nest.

060207bwrtf
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.

060207bwrtg
The fledgling in a tree.  It jumped/flapped awkwardly from branch to branch.  It still has lot of learning to do.

060207bwrth
I lost the fledgling for about fifteen minutes and then rediscovered it by accident.

060207bwrti
It did something very frightening.  It explored the razor wire.

060207bwrtj
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.

060207bwrtk
It looked caught for a few long seconds, but did a good job maneuvering.

060207bwrtl
I just hope once was enough.  I don't want to watch this again.

060207bwrtm

060207bwrtn

060207bwrto

060207bwrtp
Luckily, it soon moved to a much safer place.

060207bwrtq
If there was a caption writing contest, I'm sure the winner would be "Mom, why aren't we on the dollar bill?"

060207bwrtr

060207bwrts

060207bwrtt
To a long and happy life, youngster!