« May 2019 | Main

Warbling Vireo Nest III

The Warbling Vireo nest I've been watching in Central Park has now hatched.  If you watch closely at the video, you'll see that when the parents feed the chicks, the chicks sometimes turn around and give back to the parents a fecal sack.  I guess what goes in, must at some point come back out.

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Bond and Broadway

I was walking down Mercer and at 3rd Street heard Bluejays calling at Broadway and walked over.  I ran into the woman behind the Rogerpaw.com blog, who had seen an adult  high on a building.  I then saw the new male on a streetlamp down Broadway.  We then saw a crowd in front of the Face Gym.  There was a fledgling on the ground.  While the woman behind the Rogerpaw.com blog called Bobby Horvath, I called Ranger Sargent Rob Mastrianni.  Both of them gave us the same advice.  Put the fledgling in a cardboard box and wait for help.

I trash picked and found a box.  The bird was placed in the box and we waited.  While we waited, both adults kept watch, changing perches every so often.  The mother had prey.

Ranger Rob arrived, transferred the bird to an animal carrier, and took the bird off to be examined.

An exciting day.  I gave up drinking for June, but I think I'm having a martini tonight.

This means two of the three fledglings are in rehabilitation with one fledgling still in the greater Washington Square Park area.

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Going East

I caught up with one of the Washington Square Park fledglings at 3rd Street and Broadway with the help of some American Robins, who were not happy to have a predator in their neighborhood.  Their alarm calls helped me find the youngster on Hayden Hall.  

The fledgling I saw looked well fed, and was doing a good job of maneuvering between various building locations.

The map below details sightings for the day:

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  1. Hayden Hall window sills and a nearby tree at 3rd Street and Broadway
  2. A ledge across 3rd Street
  3. Hayden Hall's Roof
  4. Education Building Flagpole (mother) and roof (new male)
  5. Building on Mercer Street and Washington Place, where a fledgling was sighted earlier in the day and where the mother perched
  6. Air conditioner where mother first brought a pigeon and then used as a perch

For context, N. is the nest location and P. the Pless Building roof.

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2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 14

Updates about Tompkins and Washington Square Parks:

  • The second eyass at Tompkins Square Park has died.  High levels of lead are suspected.  The bird has been sent to the state for testing.
  • The third Washington Square Park eyass fledged.   One of the fledglings was found this morning (Wednesday, 6/12/19) in front of 10 Washington Place.  The bird is now with the Wild Bird Fund.  The bird is fine and without injury.  Pictures are on the Wild Bird Fund Facebook page.  (For those unfamiliar with the rehabilitation of Red-tailed Hawks, there is no rush to return a very young fledgling.  It is common for a rehabber to feed a new fledgling, and let it grow and gain muscle mass for a few days before returning it.  There is little to no risk a parent won't recognize it when it is returned up to a week later.)

Hawks 2019

 


Comforting Day

The aggressive behavior of the new male has been a concern since two of the fledglings were pushed of the Washington Square Park nest. Having arrived at the nest very late in the nesting period, the new male seems to view the young hawks as competitors rather than young to protect and raise.  So the behavior I saw today was comforting.  For the most part he left they eyasses along, except when they were brought food by the mother.   Then from what I saw, he would got close to a fledgling, but the mother would intervene and he would back off.

So, while not ideal, his confusion does not look like it is putting the fledglings at risk right now.  That's comforting.   While I'd like to be an impartial observer and let nature take its course, I really would like to see fledglings to do well this season.

I visited Washington Square Park twice, once in the early afternoon and once in the late afternoon until dark.

In the early afternoon, I saw one of the fledglings on the western side of the park in a London Plane tree.  It was most likely the second fledgling.  She looked healthy and made soft cries, something you would expect from a fledgling at this age.  The male was initially on 2 Fifth Avenue with the mother on 1 Fifth Avenue.  Later he joined her on 1 Fifth Avenue.

In the late afternoon, I couldn't relocate the fledgling who had been the London Plane.  (This is fairly normal.  During normal years, where both parents survive, you commonly only get to find only one or two of the fledglings on a visit to the park.)

After feeling like I wasn't going to see a fledgling in the afternoon, the mother was spotted bringing a pigeon to a fledgling on the Shimkin building.  It is the same corner as the Library where the nest is and also shares the corner with Goddard Hall, one of the buildings where two of the fledglings have been using the roofs.

The fledgling got to eat alone and in peace for a long period of time.  After it was done eating, the male was aggressive twice.   The mother intervened, and everything was fine.

The mother eat some of the leftover pigeon, and brought it to the Pless roof, where we think it was given to another fledgling.  (We had heard one cry from the roof, when the first one was brought the pigeon initially.)

Shimkin's windows have fishing line at the window ledges to prevent pigeons from perching on the building.  One year a fledgling got caught in the for about half an hour.  Luckily, this fledgling did not get caught in them today.  If you have a high resolution monitor you'll see them in the video.

So for now, it looks like the confused behavior of the male, which right now only seems to be triggered when he sees a fledgling with food, appears that it will not prevent the fledglings from getting fed.  While not ideal, it looks like the situation will be manageable by the mother.

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Fledge 3 at Washington Square Found and Relocated

I came to the park to look for the third Washington Square Park fledgling this morning.  Without my knowing, the woman behind the excellent RogerPaw.com blog had already canvased the staff of the buildings along the southern side of the park, and found that the fledgling who was on a terrace of the Kimmel building. She arranged for the WINORR rehabber, Bobby Horvath to come move it to a better location.  Kudos to them both.  The fledgling had ended up on a two foot wide ledge with a glass terrace wall on one side and the wall of the Catholic Center on the other side.  The bird was relocated to a roof on the west side of the park, near where the first fledgling was seen late on Sunday night.

The third fledgling was examined by Bobby Horvath, and checked out just fine.  Photographs and video of the rescue are on the WINORR facebook page.

I saw the tail end of the rescue, when an attempt was made to also capture, examine and relocate the second fledgling who was nearby on another Kimmel terrace.  This fledgling managed to escape capture and made a nice flight into the park.

So, every hawk has been seen within the last 24 hours. My photographs are of the second fledgling and the adults.

WINORR- Wildlife In Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation, can always use donations.  If you're grateful for the fantastic work they do, use the Paypal link on their Facebook page to show them your appreciation for their work.  Its under the "About" section of the page.

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After The Fledges

With all three off the nest, the adults shared a pigeon on the roof of the Pless Annex, were seen soaring together and in the early evening perched together on a building on Washington Square West.

About 20-30 minutes after the last fledge, the second bird to fledge, who had hung out in the same limb of the Ginkgo tree it landed in the day before, finally flew off.  It landed in a bush, branched very well to a conifer and then to a London Plane.  It slept for a bit and then flew across Washington Square South (4th Street) and landed in a tree across from the Skirball Center box office.

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Third Fledge At Washington Square Park

The new adult male forced the remaining eyass to fledge today at Washington Square Park. 

The mother brought food to the nest, dropped it off, and left.  The male went to the nest, and the mother returned to make sure the eyass could eat.  The new male then went quickly to the Pless roof, at a speed that made it look like it was being aggressive to the first fledgling, who was out of sight but could be heard occasionally.  When the mother went to Pless to intervine, the new adult male went back to the nest. 

I had just arrived at the park, but was able to get my camera out in time to photograph the fledge.

Third-Fledge

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Second Fledge At Washington Square Park

This morning, the second of three eyasses left the Washington Square Park nest.  It may have been knocked off the nest by the new adult male.  The fledgling tried to land on Pless, but did what is common for a fledgling and misjudged the glass and ledges and ended upside down in a Ginkgo Tree.  It took a long time for it to figure out how to right itself, but it managed.  The "first day of school" is hard!  For hours it didn't move much but by the end of the day it was alert and started to explore the branch it was on.  We've seen this type of hard first day before. 

The first fledgling was not seen or heard from during the day.  The park was full of people and the noise was incredible.  We won't have heard the fledgling if we wanted to.  Although the first fledgling had a run in with the new adult male on its first day off the nest, chances are it was just hiding somewhere on the set of connected roofs of either Pless or Goddard.  In years past, we've lost track of a new fledgling on theses roofs for a day or two.

The new adult male continued to be aggressive and made multiple visits to the nest.  It gave the remaining eyass a very hard time on a few occasions.  We're all trying to figure out what's going on from a behavioral standpoint. At one point, he tried to take the food of the eyass on the nest, and the mother had to chase the male away and fed the eyass to make sure it ate.

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2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 13

Two quick updates:

  • A second eyass fledged at the Washington Square Park nest
  • The second eyass at Tompkins Square Park fell from the tree early on Saturday morning, was taken to AMC and is now with a rehabber. 

Hawks 2019


2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 12

Updates on a few nests:

  • One hawk has fledged from the Washington Square Park nest safely to the roof of an NYU dorm.
  • Hawk watchers report a male with a brown striped tail (second year bird) helping hunt at the 100th and Third Avenue nest.  A male was not seen by many observers for a few weeks, and it is suspected that it might be a new mate.
  • The Fort Washington nest has three eyasses.
  • There are concerns about the health of the remaining eyass at Tompkins Square Park.  It seems lethargic at a time it should be very active and getting ready to fledge.

Hawks 2019

 


Fledge Day!

I love fledge days.  Washington Square Park had an eyass become a fledgling sometime early in on Friday morning.  I slept in, so I don't know exactly when!  I got down to the nest in the early afternoon.  Thanks to a report from a building engineer, the fledgling was discovered on the roof of the Goddard Building.  It was on set of stairs to an equipment room which has been a favorite spot for fledglings in past years.  It looked great and seems to have made its first trip without any issue.

The two remaining eyasses stayed on the nest but certainly were interested in looking at what was going on "down below".

What was really interesting is that the new adult male who has been in territory this week, and whom the female has becoming more tolerant of, charged the fledgling in the late afternoon.  Could it be possible that the new male is responding to the fledgling as a competitor rather than a child to help raise? 

(The fledgling was no worse for wear by the way.  The adult male's behavior reminded me of fledglings who fight over food or sticks.)

I thought we'd be in for some surprises but this isn't what I was expecting.  I thought we might see the new male bring food to the fledgling, as a way of bonding with the female on on fledge day.  But instead we saw some aggressive behavior.

I will be interesting to see what happens when the fledgling starts crying for food.  Will this trigger some switch in behavior by the male?

I'm so excited to see how this turns out.  I'm enjoying the front row seat Washington Square Park and the NYU Webcam is giving us to watch hawk behavior.

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Washington Square Park, Day 3 Of Watching The New Male

I spent a few hours in Washington Square Park this afternoon.  The new male was still hanging around and the female was still annoyed by him. He flew around her when she was on the Education Building flag pole and she fluffed up when he came near.  She was near him on One Fifth, but never let him be too close.

(In the pictures, he's the lighter and smaller adult.)

I would caution anyone not to rush to any judgements about this new male hawk.  It isn't at all clear he is going to be accepted by the female.  I'm surprised that self-appointed experts have already declared the pair bonded and calculated the age of the hawk based on no first hand observations.  It reminds me of the first year for this nest, when "experts" predicted how the fledge was going to occur and got almost everything wrong.

This year, the NYU nest grants us an extraordinary opportunity to watch the behavior of an adult female who has lost her mate while her eyasses were still on the nest.  We have a camera feed to watch and a territory that is fairly easy to monitor.  Let's do our best to observe something that isn't in any book.  Let's stop spending energy waiting to ask questions of an "expert" or rush to conclusions based on our own romantic ideas of love.  And let's stop generalizing from the limited examples we have with how hawks replace lost mates and applying them to this nest.  If we insist on having answers to our questions prematurely, we then stop observing.  How sad is that!

Each year, nature shows me something about Red-tailed Hawk behavior I had never noticed before or had a chance to watch.  For me this is what is so exciting about watching Red-tailed Hawks.  They keep revealing more and more about themselves to me as I keep watching them.  That's one of the joys of behavioral science.

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Tolerated Male Hawk at Washington Square Park

The new adult male in Washington Square Park made visits to a number of buildings on all four sides of the park, including the Education Building, Silver Building, 1 Fifth Avenue (while the adult female was there, he's on the left), 2 Fifth Avenue, Lipton Hall, Kimmel Center and at dusk the nest briefly.

So, he may end up being Bobby's replacement. The female didn't exactly welcome him, but she tolerated him today.

The eyasses look close to fledging.  The first could leave the nest any day now.  One slipped and had to work to to stay on the ledge this afternoon.

It would be great if the male settles in and helps with post-fledging feedings and hunting lessons later in the summer.

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Mystery Hawk at Washington Square Park

I went to see the three eyasses on the nest at Washington Square Park and got a surprise.  Two adult hawks were in the park.  One I hadn't seen before on the Education Building (rusted beam next to the hawk) and the Adult Female on One Fifth Avenue.   They both flew around and the Adult female didn't seem happy with the intruder.

The three eyasses could start fledging later this week.  The photographs always show two, but there was often one hiding in either corner of the nest.

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Sole Survivor

It looks like Tompkins Square Park lost an eyass sometime in the last few days.  Laura Goggin broke the news on her blog on Friday. I was out of town over the weekend, but made it down to the park to confirm the bad news.

Sadly, it looks like Laura made the right call.  Searches of nearby branches and trees yielded no early fledgling.  I heard an American Robin making alarm calls, but the robin had found one of the parents on a western branch of the nest tree about 15 feet from the nest.

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2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 11

Updates on two nests:

  • Laura Goggin reports on her blog that it looks like the Tompkins Square Park nest appears to have lost one eyass.
  • Jessica Ancker reports that a second eyass has been observed in the Inwood Hill nest.

We should see our first fledges later this week. They always seem to be around the Puerto Rican Day Parade which is on Sunday.

Hawks 2019