I only spent about 20 minutes watching the St. John pair on Saturday, but they looked like they were ready for spring. The dome roof is being worked on. Hopefully, it won't disrupt the nesting season.
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.
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.
Robert's Morningside Hawks blog reported seeing an eyass on the St. John the Divine nest earlier in the week, so I made a stop there on Sunday. I also saw a single eyass. The nest is hard to view, so it might have a sibling we might get to see later in the season.
I made another trip to St. John the Divine to see if my guess that the nest had hatched was correct. I didn't see a feeding, but the female was up off the nest for about eight minutes. So, while I still think the nest has hatched, I still don't have clear evidence.
The St. John the Divine nest has most likely hatched given the behavior of the adults this evening. The female was frequently up off the nest, was higher off the nest then she had been when I've seen her brooding earlier this season, and there was lots of fresh greenery on the nest. However, I'd like to see a feeding to be 100% sure. We'll know more in a few days.
St. John the Divine nest is active again this year. I saw the two parents exchange nesting duties.
I was doing a sweep of northern Manhattan and St. John was the only positive of note on my tour. I came up empty at CCNY and J. Hood Wright Park, both of which have had their old nests removed. There have to be nest between St. John and Inwood Hill Park. Where are they?
I hadn't been at the nest for over a month and realized I better visit before the eyasses got ready to fledge. There are three youngsters, although it took some careful observing to make out all three at once. It's good to see this nest get back to normal after all of the construction in the area over the last few years.
The new nest location at St. John seems to result in a later hatching then other nests in the city. Today, I was able to see an eyass having a meal. We'll know in a few weeks if it has any siblings.
All three kids have fledged from the Cathedral. Two are doing well, but the third was found by the Police unable to stand on June 1st at 109th and Manhattan Avenue. It is now with the rehabbers Cathy and Bobby Horvath.
The nest which is now above the statue of St. Peter about ten feet has three eyasses this year. With the construction over next door, and the nest bigger than last year, the parents seem back to a normal pattern this year.
Thanks to some great detective work by Melody Andres, we now know that both the Grant's Tomb (1) nest at 123rd Street and Riverside Drive and the 116th Street and Riverside Drive nest (2) are both active with two different pairs of hawks. These are close by to a Peregrine Falcon scrape (3) at Riverside Church, and close to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine nest site (4).
I had always thought Manhattan Hawk and Peregrine nests were like a checkerboard, with each taking different squares, but these three nests are so close together that it defies all that I had believed about nest positioning in the city.
116th Street and Riverside Drive
At the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, there was one visible eyass on the nest. It may have been two weeks old, which makes the fledge time somewhere in August.
It was hard to tell if there were other eyasses in the nest. The feeding behavior of the mother made it seem as though two were possible. We'll just have to wait until they're bigger!
The Morningside Hawks Blog has reported feeding activity up at St. John, so I checked it out this afternoon. The new nest location this year is one saint clockwise from previous years, above St. Peter. Previously, it was a little lower down on the shoulders of St. Andrew.
While I was there there were two feedings, and I saw a slice come out of the nest. The eyasses are too small to see just yet, but the feeding and the slice are enough to let us know there are youngsters.
This late hatch is most likely from a second clutch of eggs.
Three nests had fledges today, Fifth Avenue, St. John the Divine and Washington Square. For Washington Square it was the second fledge.
This evening, I got to see the first and second Washington Square Park fledglings. The first fledgling had made it to the safety of the NYU Pless Hall roof. The second and newest fledgling was doing its best to hide in a small tree west of the Bocce Court.
Both fledglings looked healthy. (You know you've watching hawks to long when you study video for signs of Frounce.) The second fledgling seemed to be having some trouble getting to higher branches, but that's not too unusual for a hawk's first day off the nest.
I finally had a chance to get up to St. John the Divine tonight. Construction has started on a new building right next to the nest, so this may be the last season for this nest. We'll see what happens next year.
But for now there are three very cute eyasses enjoying their nest on the shoulders of St. Andrew.
All of the eyasses have fledged at St. John the Divine. This afternoon two were on or near the fences at the parking lot and the third was in a windows of a St. Luke's Hospital building across the street. Both parents were keeping an eye on all of them.
This evening at St. John, a feeding revealed three eyasses in the nest. This beautiful location continues to consistently give us young hawks year after year.
Up at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine the three youngsters are in various states. One fledged a few days ago and is exploring the Cathedral with ease and was above the nest in a turret when I arrived. One had recently fledged and was in a tree across the street in Morningside Park. (Jeremy Seto's footage of the fledge is on Flickr.) And the third was still on the nest.
The parents came to visit the eyass still on the nest. The father delivered a rodent, and the mother visited for a few minutes, right afterwards. An American Kestrel gave one of the parents a hard time, while it perched on St. Luke Hospital's Plant building.
I had the good fortune to be at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine nest at the right time to see two eyasses on the nest. We never know for sure how many eyasses are on this nest until late in the season. For some reason it's easy of for a third eyass to hide in this nest.
Both the Morningside Hawks and The Origin of Species blogs have reported feedings at the St. John the Divine nest. I made a brief visit on Saturday. I didn't catch a feeding but it sure looks like they hatched from the behavior of the parents.
Tonight a few lucky hawk watchers got to see the third and last eyass on the nest, fledge from the St. John the Divine nest. I even recorded it! (On the video, it's at about 4 minutes.) The fledge happened late in the evening, around 7:30 p.m.
This is the second early evening fledge in recent years at St. John.
St. John the Divine has two fledglings. One most likely went off the nest late Sunday and one on Monday morning. When I was there one was on the southern side of the Cathedral and the other on a fence just north of One Morningside Drive near the guard station. Both looked great, although the one on the Cathedral looked a lot more confident than its sibling. The fledglings are in very safe locations away on the Cathedral campus, which is a quiet enclave.
The three angels at St. John the Divine are very close to using their wings to fly. I spent a delightful Friday afternoon watching them. Although at first only one was viable, quickly all three became active and in view. There was lots of flapping, hopping and jumping.
The next time I visit, I expect one of them may already have fledged!
It looks like there are two eyasses in the nest at St. John the Divine. Both seem to be fairly active, and it's now more likely than not to see at least one on a quick visit.
If you're looking for information about the nest, refer to my first blog post about the nest, Discovering the St. John the Divine Nest from 2006. The nest location and mother are the same as from that year. Unfortunately the original male died a few years ago, so we have a new male.
Update: Robert Schmunk reports on Wednesday, that it turns out there are three eyases on the nest. One is less developed than the other two, and thus harder to see.
Although one had to be patient Tuesday night, two eyasses were visible at the St. John the Divine nest. They should be easier to see with each passing day. The mother spent most of the evening off the nest, either on the Archangel Gabriel or on St. Luke's Hospital.
Tonight the feeding didn't take place until 8:15! Just as it was getting dark. The mother looked to be feeding two positions, which is a good sign for a healthy nest.
It was great to finally see very brief glimpse of an eyass at St. John. This weekend, the city should be a fun place to hawk watch. So many nests, so little time.
Both Robert and James have had reports on their blogs about signs of the St. John the Divine nest hatching, earlier this week. Once I hear a report like this of a nest hatching, I have to travel to see what's up.
The nest is behind the shoulder's of St. Andrew and is very deep. Every year it seems to get deeper, too. This makes it hard to see the young eyasses. We can see the feeding, and we can see the slices (poops), but we can't see the young birds. On Saturday, I positively knew they had hatched but couldn't see them. Once they get bigger, we'll be able to see them and count how many there are. But not now...
The bare spot on the mother's chest is her brood patch. You almost never see it, but the wind was "just right".
I finally got a chance to visit St. John the Divine on Sunday. The St. John the Divine Red-tailed Hawk pair go into stealth mode when they nest. The nest allows either parent to completely hide on the nest and the the parent who is off the nest usually stays hidden before the eggs hatch.
I spent an hour and half at the nest and only got to see the parents for about a half minute during an exchange.
The evening at the Cathedral started with the adult male up on the eastern side of the building. He was in an area that protected him against the attacks of a pair of American Kestrels. Eventually, he took off towards Manhattan Avenue and 110th with an American Kestrel in tow.
I went on a walk through Morningside Park to find the fledgling expecting to find it in a tree. However, I took a look back at the Cathedral just in case from the ballfields, and much to my surprise, I saw the fledgling sitting on the nest!
It was eating. I guess the nest must be a safe place to eat with the two Kestrels being so aggressive. After eating the fledgling then made a number of stops, being harassed by either Kestrels, Robins or Jays the whole time. The stops included trees in Morningside Park, trees on Morningside Drive, the Cathedral School, and eventually somewhere in the Cathedral grounds.
The fledgling at St. John flew from a St. Luke's rooftop, over to the top of a large arch on the Cathedral. It then went to a high platform before landing on a few of the finials. It eventually landed inside a section of a fancy section of a finial. This seems to solve a mystery of a few nights ago, where the fledgling seemed to disappear into thin air.
I was only able to view the fledgling at St. John for an hour before it gave everyone the slip. It was on a railing on the roof when I arrived at the Cathedral nearby for about an hour before moving off out of view. We saw a parent fly by twice, but didn't see where it ended up perching.
With the fledgling being up so high on St. Luke's and St. John, I haven't been able to see the full family together since the fledgling left the nest. Today, all three were on the Cathedral near each other.
First we had the fledgling eating on a small flat roof, then it snoozed a little on top of a brick column. Later it was joined by the mother, who eat the leftovers, and eventually the father joined them.
The fledgling looks very healthy and active, which is great after the two unexplained deaths of its siblings on the nest.
Just as I arrived on Thursday evening, the fledgling and one of the parents left St. Luke's and headed back to the Cathedral. I couldn't relocate the parent, but the found the fledgling eating on a tower on the northeast side of the building.
After eating the fledgling made its way west to what appears to be its nighttime roost. When will this fledgling venture lower down and actually spend time in a tree?
The fledgling spend most of the early evening playing above the emergency room of St. Luke's Hospital on Tuesday. Unlike Monday, when it was out of sight most of the evening, on Tuesday it put on a great show. The best viewing angle was in front of the Cathedral steps on Amsterdam for most of the evening. The mother kept watch from a nearby railing.
As it did on Monday, it returned to the Cathedral at sunset. When it flies over, the fledgling aims for the dome at the center of the Cathedral, which is an easy target and them moves west.
Tonight, we couldn't find the fledgling at St. John until close to sunset. It has been on St. Luke's Hospital's clock tower, and flew across to the Cathedral. We've yet to hear the fledgling cry out, and since it is using the building tops to perch, we don't get the auditory clues we'd expect to get from robins, jays and mockingbirds. Keeping track of this fledgling is going to be a challenge.
A lot happened in Manhattan this past week:
Broadway Bridge Peregrines: Bonnie Talluto confirms the two eyasses are now fledglings.
Inwood Hill Park: Diane Schenker reports the nest has hatched. She can see at least one eyass, but can't get a good count yet.
Highbridge Park: Mitchell Nusbaum reports the nest has fledged.
St. John the Divine: The surviving nestling fledged on Friday.
Riverside Park: The pair is sitting on their second clutch.
55 Water Street Peregrines: They've all fledged.
Early in the afternoon, the fledgling was impossible to find. One of the parents attempted to grab a young sparrow off a nest in a Cathedral window, but then flew off.
After the weather front went through, I went back to the Cathedral to find the fledgling coming off of a high area of St. Luke's roof, towards the Cathedral. It misjudged the landing and returned to St. Luke's. It did this about an hour later, attempting to land on the nest, again it misjudged and returned to St. Luke's. Nature's given the fledgling great innate flying skills, but it seems that instinct doesn't cover landings and this needs to be learned.
This year, the fledgling is spending most of its time on St. Luke's Hospital rather than on St. John the Divine.
The current father arrived when the Cathedral roof construction was in full swing, so he naturally perched on St. Luke's rather than St. John. The father's favorite perch on St. Luke's also has a view of the large green at Columbia University, which had been home one winter to a young hawk. I think this switch in behavior by the father, is influencing the young fledgling to perch St. Luke's.
Below are pictures of the fledgling's first full day off the nest. A pair of Kestrel's have been harassing the parents on St. Luke's and are included in set of pictures.
I visited the St. John nest and saw a relaxed fledgling in the early afternoon. I missed all of the action that took place later in the evening. Late in the evening, the eyass fledged and went over to the St. Luke Hospital roof. (I missed all of the action that took place in the evening. I never thought an eyass would fledge at 7:43 p.m.!, so I went to Astoria!)
For details, see Robert's Bloomingdale Village Blog.
The St. John eyass continues to enjoy life on the nest and seems in no rush to leave. I've given up trying to predict which day it will choose to exit!
The St. John's eyass seems in no great rush to become a fledgling. Hopefully it will be out and about by the weekend.
Here's a brief video of the surviving eyass, who appears healthy. Let's hope it survives and fledges sometime in the next ten days.
An eyass died over the last few days at St. John the Divine, and it looks like we have only a single surviving eyass. The remains of the second eyass are visible at the front of the nest. The parents will remove the eyass after a few days.
Some hawk watchers have suggested removing the eyass to have it tested. However, with two healthy parents and a difficult location, this seems to be impractical. There is the danger that the healthy eyass might prematurely fledge and be injured if the nest is approached. This is also the possibility that anyone who attempts to remove the dead eyass will be attacked by the parents. Either the rehabber or the parents could be injured if this happens! Furthermore, unless the cause of death was obviously frounce (a disease caught from pigeons), any test results would take too long to aid in the treatment of the surviving eyass.
So, the best course of action in this case, seems to be no action.
Wow, these eyasses are maturing fast. They all had gray heads a few days ago, and the eyass that was active this evening had a brown head.
The St. John the Divine nest was very active on Monday evening. Both parents spent a great deal of time on the Archangel's trumpet and two eyasses were very active in the nest.
The current male joined the female while there was construction on the Cathedral roof, so he never got into the habit of being on the Archangel, but spend time on a chimney on St. Luke's hospital. This year, with the construction finished, he seems to be using the trumpet as a perch more often.
The St. John's nest has tricked us for years. Being so high, we can't see into the nest very well and get confused about how many eyasses are in the nest. Today, I saw two eyasses ever so briefly, which was a great relief.