Tonight I finally was able to photograph the rabbit that has been in the park since at least March. I first saw it at the Swedish Cottage, and it has made its way to the Tupelo Meadow over the last few months. I saw it after sunset, and it was in among the Fireflies and American Robins. Rabbits aren't naturally in the park, and this one is most likely a released pet. I'm glad it has survived over the last few months.
There is a family of Eastern Kingbirds on Turtle Pond this year in Central Park, just like last year. There are three fledglings, which were in a tree on the Turtle Pond island this afternoon. A parent was flying back and forth from the island to a set of bushes on the south shore of the lake, skimming the water as it went to and from. It was only when I saw the food being feed to a fledgling did I figure out what was going on. The parent was catching dragonflies.
Today a pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were working the flowers around the Tupelo Meadow in the Ramble of Central Park.
I went over to Riverside Park this afternoon, to look for the Red-tailed Hawk fledglings. I've been sent pictures of one of them who has been spending time on a set of terraces in the 70's. But the fledglings can't be seen from the street.
So, after hearing some noise from two Blue Jays, I found their nest just inside the 72nd and Riverside Drive entrance to the park.
I took more photos of the Cedar Waxwings today. It's an easy nest to watch, although it requires some patience as the feedings can be more than half an hour apart.
I've gone a few times to look for the West End Avenue Red-tailed Hawk fledglings, but have been unable to find them on my last visits.
So, I spent time in Central Park today. At the north end of Strawberry Field in a Black Locust tree which is in the steep slope between the end of the chip path and the road, is a Cedar Waxwing nest. It appears to have two birds in the nest. I saw them and both the parents today. The feedings took place about 30 minutes apart, so the nest requires some patience if you're going to watch it. This is the first time I've seen a Cedar Waxwing nest in the park.
The action I saw today, was a parent and a fledgling, up and down West End Avenue from 70th to 76th Street, on building on both the west and east side of the street. I believe the fledgling I was watching was the second one to leave the nest.
The young fledglings and their father spent time on 310 West 72nd Street, 263 West End Avenue, the rear of 269 West 72 Street, the rear of 253 72 Street, and 253 West 73rd Street while I watched them this evening.
The parents and fledglings may still be using the nest for feedings, because I keep seeing the fledglings return to the nest.
The real fun of the evening was to see the fledglings cross West End Avenue and end up on the rear of 253 72 Street. A pair of Northern Mockingbirds and later a pair of Blue Jays, started to harass one of the fledgling. The father quickly came in and allowed himself to be attacked and pulled the attacking birds away from the fledgling. I've seen this behavior at lots of nests, and I enjoy watching the protective instincts of the parents.
Just like yesterday, the eyasses look healthy and seem to have enough experience flying and landing that they should do well when the parents bring them to trees and lawns nearby. The real question is, will it be the Lincoln Towers area or Riverside Park.
Things started slowly on 72nd Street. One parent was high up on 220 Riverside Boulevard and I saw a parent on 70th Street, east of West End Avenue and then at the bottom of Riverside Drive. But no fledglings.
Then out of the blue, one of them was on the ledge where the nest is. I thought, I know both of them have fledged. Was I wrong? It didn't take long to find out the answer. The fledgling had only made a brief stop on the nest and it made a strong flight across the street.
When I turned the corner to see where it went, both fledglings were on 263 West End Avenue, which is on the NW corner of 72nd Street and West End Avenue.
For over 30 minutes the two hawks explored the terraces and balconies of the East and South facades of the building.
In all my years trying to study these hawks, this is the first time I've seen a fledgling at this nest!
Some nice reports this week:
- Two of the three eyasses on Randal's Island have fledged.
- Both 72nd Street hawks have fledged
- A fledgling was discovered at 105th and Riverside Park. Where this bird came from is uncertain
While not confirmed, the Inwood Hill nest must have fledged by now. I just don't have any information.
I wasn't able to find the fledglings from 310 West 72nd Street, but I did see both of the parents on top of 220 Riverside Boulevard. They were being harassed by two Northern Mockingbirds that have a nest on a penthouse at 71st and West End Avenue. The rotation of songs sung by one of the Northern Mockingbirds includes an American Kestrel call which confused me to no end until I figured out who was singing it.
I suspect the two fledglings are on top of the roofs of be buildings near the nest.
From my perspective, there still seems to be an eyass that hasn't fledged yet on 72nd Street, but it isn't clear if it might have left briefly and then returned. In any case, it was hidden on Friday afternoon, but appeared after a parent landed on the building's water tank.
I also heard the fledgling cry from one of the nearby building roofs briefly. So, I think everyone is accounted for after yesterday's big adventure.
This has got to be the hardest nest in Manhattan to follow, but it's been fun to have something to study it this year!
I didn't witness any of the excitement of the day, but I sure heard about it!
The bird that had been using the roofs of buildings on the two blocks near the nest, learning who to land and explore, decided to go over to 205 West End Drive. Mid-morning it landed on a car, had troubles landing in a tree and it was "rescued" by folks thinking the bird was going to get into traffic.
In general, you should only intervene after getting permission for a licensed rehabbed. Too many birds get "rescued" and then have to be returned to their parents. When in doubt, call your local Audubon Society or local rehabber before taking any action. Many birds get hurt by being handled by inexperienced "do gooders".
Luckily, the Wild Bird Fund, where the bird ended up, returned it to 31o West 72nd Street in the early afternoon, and the parents quickly came to be with the fledgling. So, with one bird on the nest still, everyone was accounted for.
It looks like the parents are looking to entice the fledglings into the gardens of the Lincoln Tower buildings. There is lots of green space, tons of food and the area has lots of traffic free lawns. I'm always surprised by where hawks bring their fledglings. I would have assumed Riverside Park was the destination for these young hawks.
On Wednesday evening, the eyass remaining on the nest was only being seen briefly and stayed for the most part on the nest on the eastern side of the gutter. One of the parents was seen on a building at 70th and Riverside Blvd.
While waiting for activity on the 72nd Street nest, I saw this House Sparrow nest behind an air conditioning vent. Four hungry mouths to feed.
Only one eyass remained on the nest today. From the parents behavior, the other one may have been on the roof of the building. The parents made some very tight circles over the roof, typical of parents checking on a fledgling. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
I tried my luck again at the 310 West 72nd Street nest and wasn't disappointed. After about twenty minutes of nothing, as the afternoon temperature started to drop, the mother arrived at the nest and the two eyasses woke up. She helped them eat and left. The eyasses then were active for about twenty minutes.
I made another visit to 310 West 72nd Street. The eyasses look great. I thought there were three, but it might be only two on the nest. While recording, a local showed me pictures of a fledgling from last year who showed up on her terrace last year. She was stunned to hear it was a youngster.
These young hawks should be leaving the nest soon. There tails are a bit short, but they should grow in within a few days. It will be great to have some young hawks in Riverside Park this year.
Some good news.
- The nest on Governors Island was successful and there are reports of fledglings on the island.
- Tompkins Square Park has three healthy fledglings.
- The new nest up by CCNY/Annunciation Playground appears to have at one fledgling, and one still on the nest.