A young Adult Red-tailed Hawk was hanging around the Evodia Field in Central Park's Ramble on Tuesday afternoon. As fall migration heats up, we should see more and more visitors in Central Park. A Northern Flicker, American Robins and a Gray Squirrel can be heard on the video's soundtrack.
At the north end of Manhattan, Inwood Hill Park has been the host of a Harbor Seal this summer. Seals have used the same location in the past, and this may be the same seal that was at the park last year. This seal is tagged on the right hind flipper and the number is 205 on a yellow tag with black letters. The number is a bit worn and could be 295, but it's unlikely.
This year's seal likes to come ashore near people, which makes it difficult at times to stay 50 yards away from the animal, as recommended by NOAA Fisheries guidelines. I kept having to move farther back has it came closer to shore.
On Facebook's Inwood Times page, Donnalyn Carfi posted the following information.
For anyone that is interested in the Inwood seal, I heard from Mystic Aquarium see below:
I just received some photos today that are nice and clear images of the tag. So it is confirmed to be #205. This is indeed a seal that our Animal Rescue Program has rehabilitated. He was originally rescued in May 2017 in Scarborough, ME by an organization called the Marine Mammals of Maine. He was considered to be an abandoned pup and about one week old when he was admitted. He did well in rehab and we were able to release him in Charlestown, RI in October 2017. His name while in rehab was Bluebell.
I forwarded a link to my photos to Marine Mammals of Maine, and got a nice note back from their Executive Director, Lynda Doughty. She shared that the seal was reported to them on 5/25/2017 and that he was rescued on 5/26/2017. He was stabilized and triaged at their center and transported to Mystic on 5/28/2017.
These photos were taken on two days over the last week. The Governors Island Common Tern colony is doing well, with many of the chicks getting quite large. With so many youngsters running around, it's amazing the parents find their own offspring to feed. But they seem to figure it out without a problem.
On the eastern wall of the western most pump house on the north side of the Central Park Reservoir is a Barn Swallow nest. There are four young. It's a nice nest to watch, since it is fairly exposed.
This year has been disappointing for Red-tailed Hawks in southern Manhattan. Although it most likely fledged, I can't find the fledgling from the West End Avenue/72nd Street Nest. This leaves us only with a few fledglings to watch above 110th Street.
Since it's a hike to see the fledglings uptown, I've been spending time this last few weeks looking at other species that nest in the city. There are lots of youngsters around. These pictures are of and Eastern Kingbird family who were near the pier at Turtle Pond. The snack was a dragonfly.
The Common Terns nesting on Governor's Island have lots of chicks running around now. Some big and some little, they are running all around the north end of Lima Pier.
The first adult tern in the video appears has a VHF NanoTag tracker. While this season's nano tags haven't shown up in the Motus database, you can see the data from NYC Audubon's 2016-2019 Semipalmated Sandpiper tags on the site. Click on a tag with activity and then select "Show detections in: a map". While due to limitation in receiver station coverage you don't get a full picture of the bird's movement, you do see birds movements to the Canadian Maritimes, the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, New England, and South America. You can see an animation of all the tag movements here. Select the play icon to start the animation. Great work by Ariel Lenske, Kaitlyn Parkins, and Susan Elbin.
If you're interested in the terns, NYC Audubon with its partners is hosting the Sixth Annual "It's Your Tern!" Festival on July 13th from Noon until 4 p.m. on the island. Details are on the NYC Audubon website. (If you take the ferry before noon on the weekends, it's free.)
The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nest at Governors Island continues to delight me each time I visit. On Tuesday, I arrived just in time to see an exchange between the parents, with the male being replaced by the female, who regurgitated food for the nestlings. I usually can't see what's been delivered but today, one youngster got hold of a huge piece of crab. It took a bit of effort to position it so it could be swallowed, while also preventing it from being stolen by a sibling.
A nearby Fish Crow nest has begun to fledge, with one of the first fledglings on a windowsill below the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nest. Another young Fish Crow was branching in the nest tree.
On "The Hills" of Governors Island I found two Barn Swallow fledglings waiting to be fed by a parent. It was great to see that the adult could feed them without perching. Nearby was a Song Sparrow fledgling begging for food with a parent singing nearby. These were just a few of the juveniles easily seen. I saw young gulls, Common Terns, Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Fish Crows, Red-wing Blackbirds, European Starlings and American Robins on my brief visit to the island.
Thanks to the work of NYC Audubon and its partners, two piers on the Eastern shore of Governors Island have become a flourishing Common Tern nesting site. Currently, there are lots of chicks running around on the piers, and if you're patient you can watch them get fed. If you're interested in the terns, NYC Audubon with its partners is hosting the Sixth Annual "It's Your Tern!" Festival on July 13th from Noon until 4 p.m. on the island. Details are on the NYC Audubon website. (If you take the ferry before noon on the weekends, it's free.)
The Governors Island Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron nest quintuplets were easier to count today, with all five showing together often. They all engaged in Gular Fluttering together to cool down in the hot weather at one point too. They were fun to watch. I've learned that in most years the number of young in the Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron nests on Governors Island have been lower, so five is unusual for the island.
Governors Island has hosted Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron nests over the last few years. This year the island has one successful nest with five chicks.
What was interesting to observe today was two immature birds hanging around the nest. One immature bird was on a branch near the nest when I arrived and another was on the nest. When a mature adult arrived later, the immature bird left the nest and the adult fed the young by regurgitating into the middle of the nest.
The fledgling explored the southern side of the Cathedral this afternoon. When I arrived I found the fledgling above St. James the Less with fuller's club (indicating manner of his martyrdom), and St. Philip with Latin cross (symbol of his crucifixion). The fledgling then took a bath in a gutter. Soon afterwards it flew to a decorative spire in the gardens. When it saw a parent, it flew back to the Cathedral before flying to the south tower. Later it flew back to the rear of the church. It was nice to see the fledgling doing so well.
The fledgling that has just been returned to the Washington Square Park was seen around 4th Street and Mercer most of the day. The earliest report I saw was 10 am and there was a report it roosted in a tree there tonight. It was on the ground briefly at 3 pm, which caused some alarm.
I arrived around 4 pm, and first saw the new male, and then the mother, on a building a between Broadway and Mercer about 20 stories up. Then some American Robins alerted me to where the fledgling was, on a street lamp, tucked inside a tree. After about an hour the fledgling started branching on the tree to a more comfortable spot. By then both adults were nowhere to be seen.
The fledgling found in a light well behind 15 Washington Place, was returned to Washington Square Park today. Bobby Horvath and Cathy St. Pierre took great care of it at WINORR. It was banded on the right leg. (The previously released bird was banded on the left leg.)
The released bird was very energetic, moving quickly from branch to branch, before changing trees. It then flew a full block south to 3rd Street. I had to leave the park around 1:30.
The Rogerpaw.com blog has coverage of what happened later in the day. It will be interesting to see how things work out over the next few days.
The nest in Fort Washington has fledged. I believe there were three fledglings, but I'm not 100% sure. The only nest that I don't have a report for is the 72nd Street nest.
It looks like 2019 was an especially poor year for Red-tailed Hawks in Manhattan. Let's hope 2020 does better.
I looked for the Washington Square Park fledgling near where it was last seen on Wednesday. I didn't find the fledgling but saw an adult circling a building at Greenwich Avenue and Bank Street. The hawk perched on a few buildings before landing on the roof with prey. I jumped out of view and I could not relocate it. The hawk looked similar to the new male, but didn't have any missing wing feathers. So, I left more confused then when I arrived. Not what I was hoping for! In the cell phone photos, the hawk is by the center pipe in the rear of the roof.
This year is turning out to be a dangerous year for Red-tailed Hawks in Manhattan.
- Both eyasses fledged at St. John. One got into trouble and looks to have some head trauma. It is in rehab at WINORR.
- The mother of the 350 Central Park West nest was found on the ground in the park. It was rescued but died in treatment.
- The building at 100th and Third and the eyasses removed from the fire escape. They went to the Raptor Trust via the Wild Bird Fund.
I went up to St. John the Divine this afternoon to see how things were going with the fledglings. One was above St. James and the mother on Angel Gabriel. I photographed them and then made my way up to the Cathedral from Manhattan Avenue. I was surprised to see an Urban Park Ranger car. It turns out that one of the fledglings was on the ground just to the NE of the Cathedral in a driveway. Sergeant Ranger Rob Mastrianni netted the bird, did a brief inspection of the bird and took it off to a rehabber for further inspection. If it checks out OK, it will be returned to the area.
Even though it was raining I had a great time at the Cathedral on Wednesday. One of the eyasses flew from the nest (above St. Peter) to above St. James around 4:30. The mother had been feeding and one of the eyasses just decided to fly 30 feet to the south on the church. I left as it started to rain again but you pick up the rest of the evenings action on the Morningside Hawks blog.
Between rain showers, I visited the Warbling Vireo Nest and tired taking some slow motion video. It didn't quite work out in the low light but you can see some feedings. The nestlings are much more visible now.