West End Avenue

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.

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72nd Street Fledglings Go East

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.

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72nd Street Fledglings

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!

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220 Riverside Boulevard

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.

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Not Yet?

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!

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Thursday at 310 West 72nd Street

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.

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310 West 72nd Street on Monday

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.

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Yet Another Visit To 310 West 72nd Street

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.

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Another Visit To 310 West 72nd Street

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.

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310 West 72nd Street

For the third year, the 310 West 72nd Street is active.  I think there are three eyasses this year.  It's a tough nest to watch as it is in a fairly wide rain gutter just below the roof line on the east side of the north face of the building.  An adult visited twice.  "Trash" was taken out around 3:30, followed later by a feeding around 4:45 p.m. 

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310 West 72nd Street

The female was high on the 310 West 72nd Street nest when I arrived.  But I couldn't tell for sure if the nest had hatched.  This is one of the most difficult nests in Manhattan to observe.  It might be June before we figure out how the nest is doing.

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The Crying Game At Grant's Tomb

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!"

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Grant's Tomb News

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.

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310 West 72nd Street

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.

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Grant's Tomb

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.

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Grant's Tomb

I finally had a chance to visit Grant's Tomb this season.  The nest is now in front of the Tomb and is much more visible than the old nest.  There are two eyasses this year.  I didn't get to see a feeding, but I did get to see a Peregrine Falcon from the Riverside Church nest, hassle one of the parents.

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310 West 72nd Street

310 West 72nd Street has to be the hardest nest to view in the city.  It's in a gutter at the top of the building and one can't really see into the nest.  But I was able to view an exchange of the two hawks, so I it would be safe to say the nest has eggs.

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310 West 72nd Street Family

This afternoon, I got to see both parents on the nest and the eyass.  It was nice to see all three hawks.

(A few folks have asked me about when the rescued eyass.  I trust the folks at WINORR to make the correct choice about what to do with the eyass.  There are so many factors involved, I wouldn't even try to second guess the experts.)

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