After a few weeks, eyasses grow up enough to be fully seen on a nest. So, at 100th Street and 3rd Avenue, what started out as one eyass being seen has become three. They look great and were fun to watch.
The 100th Street and 3rd Avenue nest has hatched. I saw a feeding Tuesday afternoon. The eyasses are too small to count just yet.
The Upper East Side female and her new mate have returned to the nest she used three years ago at 10oth and Third Avenue. (Many of you may remember her from her nest last year at 96th and Lexington, where she lost her mate and had a fledgling with frounce. They year before that, the pair tried to nest at 95th and Lexington.)
When they moved, two new apartment buildings were being built on Third Avenue. I wonder if now, with the construction long completed, the female felt comfortable returning to Third Avenue.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 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.
When I arrived at the 96th Street nest this afternoon, the mother was on a nearby building being harassed by an American Kestrel. She took it in stride.
She had gotten her chest wet, something that is commonly seen with Red-tailed Hawks. It's a mini bath that doesn't get the flight feathers wet. So her ragged appearance is nothing to worry about.
The eyasses looked healthy and well fed as usual.
The eyasses all looked good at 96th Street and Lexington Avenue. The single parent mother seems to be coping well keeping them well fed. It will be interesting to see how she does after the eyasses fledge.
The three eyasses at 96th Street looked like they were doing well. Their mother seems to be doing well without her mate. She wasn't on the nest, nor did I see her, but the eyasses looked well fed.
Much to my surprise, I saw a third eyass in the nest today at 96th Street. The youngest one must have been hidden the last time I visited!
Update: I received a report that an injured hawk was picked up at 97th and Lexington in the last few days. If anyone has details, please email me.
They youngsters are finally big enough to photograph at 96th and Lexington Avenue. It looks like we have two little ones in the nest.
Update 5/13/18: It turns out we have three eyasses this year.
I'm happy to report that the 96th Street nest has hatched. The fire escape bars kept me from capturing the eyasses, but I could see them moving now and then. It should be easier to see them in a few weeks.
A new nests can easily fail, so it is a great joy that this nest has worked out to at this point. Fledging will be difficult, so the real test will be in six or seven weeks from now.
The hawks at 96th and Lexington seem to be doing fine. The female was on the nest in the late afternoon and evening. Her mate was flying about the neighborhood, was hassled by two different American Kestrels and hunted unsuccessfully in a nearby park.
On the fourth floor level of the fire escape on a building on the northwest corner of 96th and Lexington Avenue, there is a new hawk nest. The female was brooding when I arrived and the male was briefly on a water tank before flying out of view. I stayed until after sunset, but didn't see a nest exchange between the two hawks.
Work on the new nest at 95th and Lexington continued today. Branches came from trees on 95th between Lexington and Park.
There was a tweet about a new nest at 95th and Lexington Avenue on Twitter this week, so I went to check it out today. The pair looks to be the same ones that nested at 100th and Third Avenue last year. It looks like a better location. It's higher and has better views than the old nest. Unfortunately, it is across the street from a park that just was treated with rodenticides.
Thanks to a tip from the Morningside Heights blog who received the news from Gary Hansen, we have a new nest in Manhattan. (The blog also reports that an eyass has fledged at St. John on Friday.) The nest is at 3rd Avenue and 100th Street. Hawks had built a nest there last year, but no one reported it being successful. I had forgotten about it. So, it was great to see it a eyass close to fledging age on the nest.