At least one of the Fifth Avenue fledglings is learning to hunt. I witnessed a number of attempts today around 79th Street. Pale Male was nearby and one of the fledgling made a trip halfway to Madison Avenue on 78th Street too. I forgot how fast they grew up!
As typically happens after the Washington Square Hawks fledge, they start to explore the higher buildings to the east of the park on Mercer and Greene Streets. Today I saw two of them on a number of buildings including 16 Washington Place, Warren Weaver Hall, Shimkin Hall and 2 Washington Square Village.
The two fledglings were easy to find this evening. One was calling from a roof at 78th and Fifth Avenue and one was near the Three Bears playground. Both parents were seen too. It's nice that everything is going to plan at this nest.
The Fifth Avenue fledglings are beginning to explore the ground. Today one of the fledglings went to the ground twice, once on Cedar Hill and once on the south side of the Met. Soon they'll be playing with sticks and learning how to hunt. It should be a fun summer.
Update: I've learned that after I left the fledgling caught a mouse. May it catch many more!
This afternoon was great because I got to watch everyone in the Fifth Avenue family, Pale Male, Octavia and the two fledglings one at 73rd and Fifth, and one further north. The second fledgling was on Cedar Hill and then went down to the Three Bears playground.
Today, I spent a relaxed afternoon with one of the two fledglings at Fifth Avenue. I had brief glimpses of both parents, but for the most park I watched a single fledgling as it made its way slowly south from the Kerbs Boathouse to a Cedar Tree just north of 72nd Street.
With all three off the nest, I visited the park this afternoon to find two fledglings on Pless Hall and one on Weinstein Hall at 11 University Place. I also saw both parents. It was good to know everyone was settling down.
After I left, the fledgling at Weinstein Hall few into the NE corner of the park and then to Pless Hall to join its siblings. Their mother joined them on Pless and then one of the hawks flew to the library roof. I understand a hawk is spending the night on the nest, but can't be identified. I suspect the mystery of who it is will be figured out on Saturday morning.
Good News and Bad News:
- No fledgling has been sighted at Inwood Hill Park yet. So, it is unclear if the nest was sucessfull this year.
- At 96th and Lexington, one fledgling got trapped in the school construction site and was taken to rehab. It may have Frounce. Its siblings may also be infected.
- All of the Washington Square Park hawks have fledged safely.
- The outcome of the 310 West 72nd Street fledge is unclear. I've heard unconfirmed reports that one died after fledging but also a confirmed report that one went to the Wild Bird Fund before being transferred to The Raptor Trust.
- I heard second hand that there may have been a nest on a fire escape along 122nd Street this year. I would appreciate any information on this nest.
I had a dinner engagement and missed the last fledge by a few hours tonight. I understand it was a good flight with a difficult landing on the Silver Building.
I did watch the nestling and the two fledglings this afternoon. For the most part it was quiet until around 4:40 when both fledglings decided to play on both Goddard and Pless Halls.
I took a brief break from Washington Square Park and stopped by Tompkins Square Park mid-afternoon. The two eyasses have really grown since I was last in the park. Things are looking just fine.
One of the fledglings at Washington Square Park decided to go back to the nest today this morning. It was still on the nest this evening. Unusual but not unheard of behavior. The fledgling and the parents were tough to find today. In the evening, I found Bobby on the Judson Church tower and the fledgling on the Silver building. The fledgling soon went to roof of the library, just above the nest. So for a brief moment all three youngsters were together.
The mother flew into the nest some point in the evening, so the whole family was accounted for. We'll see what happens over the next few days!
The second hawk fledged this morning at Washington Square Park, leaving just one eyass on the nest. There was a fledgling in a tree opposite the Silver Building for the afternoon, and in the evening we saw a fledgling on the roof of Shimkin Hall. So, I think we saw both fledglings but can't be 100% certain. I'm sure we'll figure it out on Wednesday.
The situation on the second for the fledgling at Washington Square, was similar to its first day off the nest. The fledgling was exploring Pless and Goddard, and had a journey to Shimkin. Its siblings have decided to stay yet another day on the nest unless they fledge in the late evening.
The new fledgling spent most of the afternoon on the Goddard Hall, got feed there, and explored the roof. Before I left, it made a trip to Shimkin Hall. It did well at managing the wires set up to discourage Rock Pigeons.
After I left, it made a few more flights including visits to two trees.
Two eyasses on the nest stayed put and did not fledge today.
The first 2018 fledge at Washington Square Park occurred around 6:20 p.m. Continuing my amazing luck at this nest, here is the fledge...
- 310 West 72nd Street nest has fledged. Reports are that one bird was found on the ground, sent to the Wild Bird Fund, checked out fine and will be returned to the area.
- Inwood Hill Park and Randalls Island nests must have fledged, but I haven't heard any news yet.
- Both of Pale Male and Octavia's Fifth Avenue eyasses have fledged safely.
- The Washington Square Park nest should fledge any day now.
- 96th Street is doing fine with one active fledgling and two who are still spending most of their time on the nest.
For the last two days, there has been one real fledgling roosting and spending time off the nest and two reluctant fledglings who keep returning to the nest. This is unusual but in some ways makes sense. The visits across the street and to the shed might be considered branching and not traditional fledging. The longer it takes to leave the nest the safer it is, so any delay is welcome.
In any case tonight two young hawks were on the nest and the other was on a windowsill on 95th Street. The mother was on a cell tower but moved to the 95th Street building. In both places the mother was harassed by an American Kestrel.
Over the last few days, I've only seen one fledgling at Fifth Avenue. Today, both were found within 25 feet of their mother on separate buildings. One was on the west face of a building on the southeast corner of 73rd and Fifth and the other on the south face of a building on the northeast corner of the same intersection. At times they would cry in unison. They didn't do much while I was there. But they both looked safe and sound. Octavia tried to get them to come down to a tree she likes to use for feedings but they both stayed up on their high perches.
When I arrived, all three fledglings were on the nest railing sitting side by side. Then one took off for a building on 95th Street. It landed a floor below the mother, and it took a bit of time for it to figure out it could use the stairs.
I thought wow, how smart of the mother to bring food there. She's teaching the fledgling where the next meals will be and bringing the fledgling to a quieter location. But in watching my video, it might have been just that the mother was feeding herself on the building and the fledgling came in and stole the meal. At some point in the middle of the fledgling eating, the mother tried to get the pigeon back. I'll never know which scenario was right, but it shows how easily you can get the story wrong.
In addition to the issues with the meal, the persistent and annoying American Kestrel was causing trouble and if you watch the video a house sparrow couple were a bit worried as they had a nest under where the eating took place.
The remaining fledgling at Grant's Tomb is still too healthy to catch. It flew easily between the current nest to the old nest and back this afternoon. Until it gets weaker or hungry/thirsty it can't be caught. So, the Urban Park Rangers just have to wait. They're consulting with an experienced rehabber and they are monitoring the bird ever day.
The fledgling cries when the Peregrine Falcons go by and cries while looking at its mother's favorite perch. Just like a crying human baby, the sounds are difficult to listen to. They make you want to do something. But in this case "The Crying Game" is really "A Waiting Game". The bird needs to wear itself out and come to the ground and let itself be caught.
So, for now doing nothing is the best thing that can be done. Sadly, the fledgling needs to let itself be caught, something we can't do for it.
I suspect the fledgling will get captured on Saturday or Sunday.
Update: From Susan Kirby via Twitter on Saturday: "Third Grant's Tomb red-tailed #hawk fledgling rescued and on way to #WINORR. Thanks, Rangers Rob Mastrianni and Dan Tainow, and Bobby Horvath. Love this baby!"
The second hawk left the nest at Fifth Avenue today. When I visited both parents and a fledgling were on a building at 73rd and Fifth Avenue. Both parents made a few flights, but didn't give us a clue as to where the second hawk was hiding.
I arrived at the nest to find the mother and one of the fledglings on the fire escape at 95th and Lexington just below where the nest was built in 2017. An American Kestrel was harassing them and the mother looked to be protecting the fledgling. The youngest hawk had flown to the Starbucks and another was on the nest's fire escape.
The mother flew off and everyone made their way to the nest. The youngest returned to the nest and the one at 95th Street flew to the roof of the nest building in a nice block long flight. After the mother left, the one on roof joined its siblings.
I can't wait until one of the fledglings actually perches in a tree!
Thursday Update: I was sent a photo of a fledgling in a 95th Street tree this morning.
Pale Male and Octavia had their first fledge today. They fledgling made a long flight over the Model Boat Pond to a tree by the Hans Christian Andersen statue. It must have remained there for at least two hours. It then flew towards the nest and landed in a tree before going to a balcony on a building three doors down from the nest. It tried to go to the south face of the nest building but got confused. It thought the middle bar separating two window panes was a perch. It floated down five floors before flying out over Fifth Avenue. It tried to perch up high but missed and ended up landing flat with its wings open on a low branch above the sidewalk on park side of Fifth Avenue. After a short rest it recovered its barrings and explored a number of low branches. It ended up roosting on Fifth Avenue for the night.
This morning before I arrived at the nest, the fledgling was joined by a sibling on the Starbucks fire escape. By noon both had returned to the nest. The mother fed the youngest eyass this morning, and she did not bring food to the fledgling. I suspect as a single parent she wants them to stay on the nest a bit longer.
A rehaber inspected the fledgling with the limp this morning and found nothing wrong with the bird. I believe the visit was unnecessary, but it's good to have an professional opinion none the less.
This nest is in a dangerous location, so there may be more drama later in the week!
- All of the Grant's Tomb eyasses have fledged. WINORR is working to capture them since they are without parents. One was captured on Monday, and one today. This leaves just one to get to safety.
- Another hawk joined its sibling at 96th on the fire escape above the Starbucks. Both returned to the nest by noon. A rehabilitator examined the hawk that was limping and found nothing unusual with the bird. It still has a slight limp, but is fine. The mother is only delivering food to the nest and it looks like she's in no rush for them to fledge properly. One of the hawks looks a lot younger than its siblings, so she may be encouraging them to wait and fledge together.
- The first of Pale Male and Octavia's brood fledged sometime before 3 p.m. today.
Early this afternoon, one of the 96th Street hawks fledged to a fire escape on the building to the east of the nest above a Starbucks. The hawk missed the landing and ended up dangling from a single talon upside down. Not to unusual for a first flight! This all happened before I arrived.
When I arrived the fledgling was doing fine except for a tender foot. It found some sun and took a nap for over an hour. Some locals went crazy that the hawk was injured enough to require care because they said fledgling hawks don't nap and one person even tried to flag down a fire truck. The owner of the apartment put water and raw meat out. All of this was unnecessary and created needless panic. The bird was not in any immediate danger and didn't need to be fed. These are wild birds and not pets.
Tuesday Update: NYC Audubon and the Urban Park Rangers are aware of the fledgling's location and status. The Urban Park Rangers (a division of the NYC Parks Department) will be monitoring the fledgling today.
I arrived at Grant's Tomb after the rehabilitator had already left with one of the fledglings, so what I'm going to say is all second hand. A few days ago the male crashed into a window hard enough to break the glass. He hasn't been seen since. The female got into an accident with a car, and appears to have rodenticide poising.
This leave all three fledglings with no one to feed them. So, Bobby Horvath of WINORR came to capture the fledglings. He got one, but two can fly too well to be captured at this point. It will be a challenge to capture these two! Good luck Bobby!
Here are picture of one of the fledglings that needs to be put into protective care.
The eyasses stayed put today, even with the Puerto Rican Day Parade. They do look ready to go however. Pale Male delivered food this evening and Octavia got into a food fight with one of the fledglings. Youngsters!
I received photographs, texts and emails this morning showing that one of the fledglings had left the nest. It had gone down to scaffolding below the nest early in the morning.
I was spending the weekend and was able to get to the nest around 5 p.m. When I arrived I was surprised to see three eyasses in the nest. It turns out the fledgling decided it was too soon to leave and using the stairs of the fire escape returned to its two siblings. I guess this was extended "branching".
Urban nests continue to surprise me!
Good News and Bad News
- One of the eyasses at 96th and Lexington Avenue fledged to the "shed" (the scaffolding with a deck for workman) on the building north of the nest early this morning.
- A hawk at the Grant's Tomb nest was involved in an auto accident. There is concern about the eyasses. I understand local hawk watchers are keeping an eye on the situation.
The Grant's Tomb hawk is being treated at the Wild Bird Fund. It may also have been exposed to rodenticides (rat poison) and is receiving prophylactic treatment.
Testing of raptors over the last twenty years by N.Y. State has show that many hawk "accidents", were not really accidents at all. The hawks got into trouble because they were weakened by rodenticides.
Update: The Morningside Hawks has a good update on the Grant's Tomb hawks here.
Hawk watchers at Fifth Avenue joke that their hawks fledge around the Puerto Rican Parade. It's a good marker and the parade is this Sunday. We'll see what happens.
The hawks at 96th Street are getting ready to leave. One is having fun on the fire escape railing and it looks like the other two will be joining in on the fun soon.
The neighborhood is getting excited about the hawks too. It looks like there will be lots of eyes and ears on the fledglings. Good luck young fellows!
Tompkins Square Park continues to be frustrating. It's so hard to see what's going on. This nest was built for privacy!
At the end of the video, you can see two eyasses being feed. It's hard to see but you can see two. I can't wait for these birds to get a bit bigger!
- The 310 West 72nd Street nest has three eyasses. I had originally thought there were only two.
- I've received sad news that the adult male of the 96th and Lexington nest who had been picked up and sent to the Wild Bird Fund and then to a surgeon had to be euthanized. The mother, who seemed to be courting a new male, appears to be a single mother again.
The eyasses look like they're close to fledge age. They both look great. Octavia and Pale Male were perched near the nest too. I can't wait for the two eyasses to venture into the park.
I finally had a chance to run over to 310 West 72nd Street this afternoon. It took about 20 minutes for a hawk to be visible. Then two, and then three. I had seen an early photo of the nest and thought there were only two, so three eyasses was a nice surprise.
The nest is in a wide rain gutter, so the hawks have a "runway" to explore. It was fun to watch them go up and down the "runway". Just before a rain shower, an adult arrived to check in on the kids.
The eyasses sure have gotten older. One looks like it's almost ready to fledge. I'm really curious about how these birds are going to leave the nest safely.
The Washington Square Park hawks spend most of the late afternoon and early evening huddled together in the cold weather. Fortunately, they did take a few breaks so I could watch them. They're looking good and should fledge in mid-June.
I stopped by Tompkins Square Park this evening but only stayed briefly. They wind was strong enough to make watching the nest difficult. I did catch a feeding and was able to see one of the eyasses.
We can add two more eyasses for Manhattan now that we can see the youngsters at Tompkins Square Park. This brings us to a confirmed number of 18 eyasses for the season. As always, I'm sure we've missed a nest or two. We must be missing a nest or two this year in Harlem and The Heights.
We'll soon be seeing lots of eyasses leave their nests over the next three weeks. I suspect we'll see some fledges late this week. Hawk watchers who've been stuck on a bench for two and a half months are going to get lots of exercise soon!
We finally got to see an eyass after watching feedings for a week in Tompkins Square Park. I was able to see two at once, so we've got at least two, possibly three eyasses this year.
Both Christo and Amelia were involved in the feedings today, and Christo as taken to staying close to the nest when he's not on it. It's so nice that after all the drama earlier this year, things are back to normal.
The three eyasses at 96th Street looked great and the should be fledging in a week or two. It will be interesting to see where they fledge to. Usually New York City nests have real parks nearby. This nest has more of an asphalt school playground then a real park nearby.
I took a trip up to Grant's Tomb to see the eyasses before they fledged. The three looked great. No sign of the parents, but that's not surprising this late. I'm sure they were nearby.