Last Thursday, a Morningside Park dog walker, Stephen Jarossy, saw a Red-tailed Hawk with wing problems in the park. He went home to drop off his dog and get a cardboard box, but when he returned he could not rediscover the injured hawk.
He emailed me on Friday, but I got it too late to help him during the day. When I received it that evening, I forwarded it to the Urban Park Rangers, who sent two rangers to look for the injured hawk on Saturday. Bobby Horvath, the rehabber who confirmed with Stephen that he did indeed see an injured hawk. Two avid St. John the Divine hawk watchers and bloggers, James O'Brien (yojimbot.blogspot.com) and Robert Schmunk (bloomingdalevillage.blogspot.com), also searched the park for the hawk over the weekend.
On Sunday, it became clear that the male hawk of the Cathedral pair was missing. On Monday, Robert saw two adult hawks on the Cathedral, but couldn't I.D. them. On Wednesday, he could. There was a new, much darker male, next to the adult female of the Cathedral pair.
This confirmed for us that something catastrophic had happened to the female's old mate. It was unclear if he had died or had been taken into someone's care. Hopefully, he is with a rehabber, although calls to local facilities have not given us any good news. Birds have a high mortality rate, and chances are that the male has died, although we all hope to be proven wrong.
Tonight, I got up to the park to watch the adult female go to sleep in one of her favorite roost trees. No sign of her new suitor.