The adult male brought food to the nest and the three eyasses ate on their own, a sign they're growing up and will be fledging in a few weeks. The eyasses can be aggressive in going after the food, and one was today, quickly taking it from their father.
It began to rain, so I had to pack up my camera, but I still watched the nest. After about twenty minutes of letting the eyasses work on the food by themselves, the mother came in to help them finish their meal.
The two Washington Square Park eyasses were very quiet until a brief thunder shower. Then they briefly got active and exercised on the window ledge. But after about five minutes, it was back to resting! Oh, the life of an eyass.
Just like my last visit, Octavia was providing shade for the eyasses most of the time. However there was a brief feeding and we did get to see Pale Male deal with a pesky Northern Mockingbird on the Carlyle Hotel. The eyasses wings are now a solid color, while just a few days ago they were a mix of new feathers and downy fuzz.
I was able to get some photographs before the rain came tonight. I tired a Livestream broadcast as well, but the eyasses went to sleep as soon as I started. The joys of trying to feed live!
(Just for the record, the later part of the Pale Male Irregulars post on May 26th about a Sheep Meadow hawk is pure fantasy. The hawk in the photographs is the adult female of the Sheep Meadow pair, not the male.)
The little ones at Washington Square Park, aren't so little anymore. I'm amazed at how fast they grow. They have some orange in there chests, are gaining a belly band, and have wing and tail feathers growing in.
This afternoon and evening in Central Park was warm and sunny. Octavia spent much of the time acting as a parasol for her eyasses. They would come out now and then, but then it was back into the shade provided by mom.
The last time I visited the West End Avenue/Riverside Park nest, it looked like there had been a hatch. Today, it was clear based on a little head that kept showing up. We'll figure out how many in a week or two.
On Shepard Hall at CCNY's northern campus is a nest that frustrates many hawk watchers. It's hard to photograph and very unpredictable. This year it has two of the oldest eyasses in the city. Their parents must have started early.
I took a look at Riverside Church to see if the young Peregrine Falcons were visible. There was no sign of them. I was probably a week or two early, but did get to see one of the parents visit the scrape and then leave.
For the first time this season, I left the Sheep Meadow nest feeling like I had gotten a great view of the eyasses, rather than fleeing glances.
The only sour note of the day was a gentleman who wanted to fly a small helicopter next to the nest. This is the eight time within the last year, I've seen folks with model helicopters in the park. The Park Regulations clearly ban them, (§1-05 Regulated Uses, r, 2) "No person shall engage in any toy or model aviation, kite-flying, model boating or model automobiling except at such times and at such places designated or maintained therefor.", with Manhattan having no approved model aviation areas.
Now that small drones and helicopters with remote cameras are under $400, it would be good to see these restrictions made clearer by the Parks Department. Beyond the obvious safety concerns for humans and the hawks, these new drones can be very noisy and are not appropriate for use in quiet zones like the Sheep Meadow. I would encourage anyone who likes to write letters, to send a note to the Parks Commissioner and request that restriction on model aviation be made more prominent in the Parks Department FAQs, provide refresher training to all Park Enforcement Patrol officers and ask the Central Park Conservancy to improve the signage at the Sheep Meadow, Great Lawn and North Meadow so as to remind park patrons of the restrictions.
At Sheep Meadow, I was hoping for some easy views of the eyasses, but had no such luck. I must have just missed a feeding and had sleepy, digesting eyasses in the nest. I did have a few glimpses however.
While I was there the mother few off for a few minutes and was followed by a noisy Bluejay. The male came in and got the Bluejay to follow him, so as to leave the female and the eyasses in peace. Nice work Dad.
More gray than white now, you can see the eyasses' wing feathers start to grow in. They've begun venturing out on the ledge to the right of the nest too. It's a great time to watch them, although it helps to have a spotting scope rather than just binoculars at this stage. While I visited in the early afternoon, not much happened and the female took an extended trip off the nest. I think I must have just missed a feeding.
Nests can be difficult to watch. Eyasses can be sleeping or too young to see, but today at the model boat pond the bench had lots of afternoon action. Active youngsters, still fluffy but large enough to see doing all kinds of things on the nest. If you haven't seen them yet, and are nearby, grab you binoculars and go!
The mother brought in some leaves today. Perfect for helping with a messy nest.
The opening shots of Pale Male and Octavia have them preched on the Carlyle Hotel's roof at 76th and Madison.
If I counted properly, we have three eyasses in the Sheep Meadow nest this year. They were tough to see. Their mother left unattended for a good period and then returned to a perch above them kept an eye on them for over an hour before returning to the nest. She was also keeping an eye on the workers building a huge stage and sound systems for the AIDS Walk on Sunday.
Today, I worked on testing my new live broadcasting setup. The technology is maturing and I hope to be able to do weekly broadcasts. My Livestream page is livestream.com/urbanhawks. Follow me to be notified of broadcasts.
This year my live broadcast technology stack includes:
Blackmagic Production Camera 4K EF
Røde Stereo Microphone
Various Canon Lenses and teleconverters, including a 600mm L II f/4 lens
ikan V-mount Batteries and Switronix Jetpack for Power
Teradek Vidiu Encoder with a SDI to HDMI converter
Teradek Live:Air iPad Production Suite running on an iPad Mini 3
iPhone 6 for LTE G4 connectivity and a mobile WiFi network
Think of all this as a mobile news van shrunk down to the size of a backpack.
On a hot day, the eyasses seemed to be more interested in sleeping than anything else. I didn't get good video or stills, nor did I solve the riddle of how many eggs hatched (most likely only two of the three eggs). But I did get a sunburn. Hopefully, I'll have better luck later in the week.
I had visited the Sheep Meadow nest on Friday. Except for the female being higher in the nest than normal, there was no sign of a hatch. But today, after a visit by the male who seemed to be mesmerized by the contents of the nest, the female did a brief feeding. It will be a few days before we can take "baby pictures", but it's great to see these hawks do well in their second year.
This year, the male has a strange tail feather. While red in color it has stripes like a juvenile feather. Something I've never seen before on a Red-tailed Hawk.
Although most of the 5th Avenue bench thought we had three eyasses, today was the first time I could see for sure. The video is a nice long feeding of all three youngsters. Enjoy the little ones. They'll be grown up before you know it!
(The second video is the same as the first, except is cropped differently. It will make it easier to see the eyasses on smartphones and other small screens.)
The Avenue A & 3rd Street nest hatched about a week ago. There are three eyasses. Tonight I arrived just as their mother return to the nest and fed them. The father was on top of a cross on a nearby church.
The Fifth Avenue eyasses are now visible during feedings. Pale Male was on the nest when I arrived, who was quickly replaced by Octavia, who fed the eyasses.
At this point, I can only see two little heads at any one time. However, based on feeding patterns, there is a good chance we have three eyasses in the nest. We should be able to figure it out how many for sure by this weekend.
I finally got to see a young eyass this season. It was at Fifth Avenue. The glimpses were quick, but I did get to see a young hawk. In the next few weeks this should easily become two dozen. The video has the best view.
I went down to Washington Square Park hoping to see an eyass head or two pop up out of the nest, but it wasn't to be. They're still very young, and I didn't catch a feeding. (At the beginning of a feeding, a well rested young eyass might just reach high enough to see.)
Instead, I got to see Bobby bring a nice long strip of paper to the nest. It looked like it might have been wallboard tape. At one point, the female ends up with it on her head like it's a hat and another time it looks like a Möbius strip.