Did We Lose One?

The nest was very active with both parents in view this evening.  One this visit and on my last, I only saw to eyasses, so there is a chance we lost the third.  This nest has done a good job hiding young in the past, so I don't know for sure.

The parents spent time on St. Luke's Hospital and on the Archangel Gabrielle tonight.


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Cold Weather Slows Down St. John Action

The action was slow at St. John when I visited on Sunday.  The cold weather must have had the kids cuddled up together to keep warm.  They were briefly active when the mother came in to feed them.

After the sad news about Riverside on Saturday, I've heard two bits of good news this weekend.  Robert Schmunk reports that the Highbridge nest safely made it through the winds.  In addition, Jessica S. Ancker reports that after loosing their eggs to a nest failure in April, the Inwood Hill pair seems to be nesting again with a due date of mid-May.


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It's Three At St. John Too

On Saturday, we finally got to see the eyasses at St. John the Divine and there are three.  It still takes some patience to see them, but they're adorable.  It's good to see this nest site back to normal after the roof construction. 

The video shows all three the best.


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St. John the Divine Feeding

Watching the St. John the Divine nest can be frustrating this time of year.  We know the eyasses have hatched but they are too small to see.

While the feedings are the true sign the kids are there, I always know because the mother never white washes St. Andrew but the kids do!


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Young Hawk On The Great Hill

I spent the early evening on the east slope of the Great Hill (NW Central Park), following up reports of a sighting of owls there four days ago.  It was slow going with no owls in sight and fairly quiet.  My best bird was a very vocal Carolina Wren.

When dusk arrived, a young Red-tailed hawk landed in a Great Hill tree, and then stayed for a few minutes.  It took off and made the begging sound young Red-tails make.  I followed it to the West Drive, where I saw one hawk leaving (a parent?), and a hawk perched (the fledgling?), who then flew off back towards the Great Hill.

I was able to watch it circle the hill, and then head north.  I can't be 100% certain but there's an excellent chance the young hawk was the healthy Cathedral fledgling.  (The other Cathedral fledgling had lead poisoning and has a lame foot.)

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Central Park Gets A Sleeping Cathedral Fledgling

One of the fledglings got itself into trouble and was taken to the Animal Medical Center.  It has lead poisoning and a lame foot.  It is now in the Horvath's care.

I searched Morningside park for other fledgling, worrying about its health.  I gave up, and as I walked east on 110th Street, I heard someone call my name.  It was Lincoln Karim, who had an adult and a fledgling in view on different buildings.  The adult was at 108th and Manhattan Avenue and the fledgling was on the lower roof of the building at the NW corner of 110th and Fredrick Douglas Boulevard.

After about fifteen minutes, the fledgling got up, and flew to Central Park.  We could hear the robins and jays mobbing the fledgling, but couldn't find it.  At dusk, with almost no light, Lincoln found the hawk.  He had put his camera away, but was very kind to point mine at the hawk.  I couldn't find it on my own.

So, tonight Central Park has a fledgling Red-tailed Hawk!

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Rainy Evening At St. John

Between and during the thunder storms, I was able to watch a parent and one of the fledglings up at the Cathedral tonight.  We could hear begging from what might have been the second fledgling from one of the chapel roofs, but it was hard to be sure.

One thing I do know for sure, this is a beautiful place to take photographs.

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Divine Kids Fledge Safely

I was in Connecticut when all the action happened.  Stella Hamilton reports that this afternoon around 4:45 and then again at 5:30 p.m., fledges occurred at St. John the Divine.  This empties the nest.

When I arrived late in the evening, one fledgling was high in a London Plane tree on the east side of Morningside Drive and the other was in a low branch in a tree 150 feet into the Morningside Park.

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Looking Good At St. John

I got to watch two delightful eyasses and their mother on Saturday afternoon.  One of the eyasses lazily stayed down during most of my visit in the left hand corner, while its sibling was very active.  All three did lots of panting on a 90 degree plus day.

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Kestrel at St. John

The evening started slow with the eyasses asleep, and no one in sight.  Then an American Kestrel was heard, who dove repeatedly at one of the parents.  Afterwards, there was one active eyas in view before I needed to take off for the evening.

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St. John Much More Active

St. John the Divine nest is much more active.  While it took hours of waiting earlier this month to see a glimpse of anything, it is now common to see at least one eyass when you visit.  It makes watching them a lot more enjoyable.  If you're in the neighborhood, take a detour and visit them.

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St. John the Divine

This season has had its problems up at St. John the Divine.  The male of the pair died and was replaced by a younger hawk, and there has been repair work on the roof right by the nest.

Unlike many of the other New York City nests, we can't see the eyasses until they are about two weeks old due to the height of the nest.  So, with a new father and construction, there were lots of worries that we hadn't seen anything yet.

So, it was with great joy that the eyasses were finally sighted over the last few days by Robert and Lincoln.

I had gone up on Thursday and didn't see them but was rewarded on Saturday morning.  There appear to be two eyasses.

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New Male at St. John

I've been troubled all week by the disappearance of the male from the St. John's pair and the news of his replacement by a younger hawk.  It finally sunk in, when I got to see the new St. John the Divine male this afternoon.

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The new male on the left and our successful mother on the right, on a window of St. Luke's Hospital's Plant building.

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The new male.

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He has a very light eye color and a cleaner white breast color compared to the female.

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Crows have made a comeback this year in Morningside Park.  There are now about six.

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The female chased three European Starlings off of the Plant Building and caught one in mid-air.

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The male on the Wadleigh school building.

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Both hawks visited the nest.  The male is visible on the right.

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The female exits on the left.  The male follows her within a minute.

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The male in different light.  It's going to take some practice to tell the male and the female apart.


Difficult News

Last Thursday, a Morningside Park dog walker, Stephen Jarossy, saw a Red-tailed Hawk with wing problems in the park.  He went home to drop off his dog and get a cardboard box, but when he returned he could not rediscover the injured hawk.

He emailed me on Friday, but I got it too late to help him during the day.  When I received it that evening, I forwarded it to the Urban Park Rangers, who sent two rangers to look for the injured hawk on Saturday.  Bobby Horvath, the rehabber who confirmed with Stephen that he did indeed see an injured hawk. Two avid St. John the Divine hawk watchers and bloggers, James O'Brien (yojimbot.blogspot.com) and Robert Schmunk (bloomingdalevillage.blogspot.com), also searched the park for the hawk over the weekend.

On Sunday, it became clear that the male hawk of the Cathedral pair was missing.  On Monday, Robert saw two adult hawks on the Cathedral, but couldn't I.D. them.  On Wednesday, he could.  There was a new, much darker male, next to the adult female of the Cathedral pair.

This confirmed for us that something catastrophic had happened to the female's old mate.  It was unclear if he had died or had been taken into someone's care.  Hopefully, he is with a rehabber, although calls to local facilities have not given us any good news.  Birds have a high mortality rate, and chances are that the male has died, although we all hope to be proven wrong.

Tonight, I got up to the park to watch the adult female go to sleep in one of her favorite roost trees.  No sign of her new suitor.

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St. John's, Riverside and 888 Seventh Avenue Updates

The Cathedral of St. John as started a waterproofing project and put up scaffolding all around the nest.  While the work will be away from the nest, it is close by.  The timing of this project couldn't be worse, with egg laying in mid-March and hatching in April.  It will be interesting to watch this situation develop.  I'm afraid that the hawks might end up attaching workers if they get too close to an active nest later in the Spring.

James O'Brien has more photographs of the St. John's scaffolding, as well as news of similar repairs on Riverside Church on his blog.

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I've also gotten news of the 888 Seventh Avenue nest from Brett Odom, who has a view of the nest from his office.

"I just wanted to let you know that while I have not witnessed any copulation activities between Junior and Charlotte.  I can confirm that they have greatly increased their visits to the 888 7th Ave. nest site.  Until the last several days I could go weeks between sightings, but recently I have seen them visit the nest several times a day."


Owls and Hawks

On Saturday, I started birding at the Long-eared Owls.  Both were visible.

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The most visible owl.

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The second owl, which is usually impossible to photograph finally had some light.

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More of the shy owl.

I then when north, trying to do a practice run for the Central Park Bird Count.  On my way north I found an adult Red-tailed Hawk that was having fun scaring the hundreds of Grackles north of the Reservoir.

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As I kept track of the Red-tail, I ran into a Screech-Owl.  Needless to say, I was side-tracked by the owl for the rest of the afternoon.

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Is there one or two?

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An unhappy Chickadee.

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Keeping track of a Red-tailed Hawk.

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Just before fly out.

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An empty roost?

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Not exactly.  There were two owls in the cavity.

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One of the owls after fly out.  I couldn't figure out if it was the first or second to fly out.

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Keeping Watch

Both the male and female of the St. John the Divine Red-tailed Hawk pair kept an eye on the Falconry Extravaganza (a misnomer, since it is an educational event, rather than a true falconry event) on Sunday in the park.  Here are pictures of the female keeping watch.

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St. John on Sunday

Everyone was accounted for on Sunday, but it took some real effort to find everyone.  The father was on a low branch behind the church playground along Morningside Drive.  Above him was one of the fledglings.

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The father.

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The father.

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A fledgling.

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Looking good, but still shy.

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The father then caught and gutted a rodent.  He went off with it, but I'm not sure who he gave it to.

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He didn't give it to the one fledgling we had found however.

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The mother on 301 W 110th.

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We then found the outgoing fledgling on the north side of the Cathedral.

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As I was leaving to go home, a passer-by helped me find the third fledgling at the base of Morningside Drive above a construction trailer.

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St. John Fledglings All Accounted For

On Friday, about an hour after I had left, Robert found the third fledgling.  On Saturday, I was able to see all three too.

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The mother.

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There was one precocious fledgling, and then two who fledged later.  This is one of the two reluctant ones.

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This is the other reluctant one.  Both seemed much shyer than the outgoing first fledgling.

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This is the first to fledge.

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Fledging Updates

Reports are coming from Donna Browne and Richard Schmunk about fledgings. 

Donna reports that the first fledge has occurred at Fordham University in the Bronx via her blog.

Robert also has a report of a first fledge at St. John the Divine on his blog.

These early days watching new fledglings can be lots of fun.  If you have a chance, visit either location and enjoy the experience.

The eyas on 888 Seventh Avenue should be fledging soon too.  Watch for it to fly to a nearby roof sometime over the next few days.   Keep an eye on Carnegie Hall.  This may be the first stop.


St. John the Divine

I went up to visit on Saturday and all was well.  The eyasses are now much more active and visible.  They're at the stage were they enjoy sitting near the edge of the nest and keeping an eye on the world. 

I couldn't stay long.  The mother was on a finial near the nest and the eyasses were using both sides of the nest to look out.  (This makes it difficult to watch them as one has to walk half a block to get a clear view of the left side.)

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Brown Heads At The Cathedral

The eyasses continue to grow up at the Cathedral.  Two of the eyasses have brown feathers on their heads now.  They're still a ways from fledging, but they're growing up fast.

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The mother on the Archangel's wing, rather than the trumpet.

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All three eyasses.

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There fuzzy gray down is almost all gone.

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They've begun to use the Morningside edge of the nest, which means one must walk half a block to photograph each angle.  I guess as they get more active, we'll have to be more active too.

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The father on the left, and the mother on the right.


Confirming Three at St. John's Cathedral

I was able to confirm that we have three chicks at the St. John's site this weekend.

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The eastern edge of the nest is being used by both the parents and the eyasses now.  So, you have to check from two angles one from Morningside Drive, and one from 113th Street.

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The mother on the Plant building of St. Luke's.  (The building is named after a person with the last name of Plant rather than being from physical plant.)

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The mother moves to a spot close to the nest on the Cathedral.

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Yes, I'm going to make you run up and down Morningside drive to find me.

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You can see all three eyasses here.

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All three are here too.

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Here too.

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All three are here too, but finding the third is like playing Where's Waldo?.

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They're growing up nicely.  Activity is also increasing. If you haven't visited the nest this season, now is the time.

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The mother leaving the nest.

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She quickly came back with a branch.

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She then left and the kids settled down, so I went off to Green-Wood.


Brief Visit To The Cathedral

I had a late work meeting, so I could only spend about 30 minutes at the Cathedral.  One of the parents was on the Archangel when I arrived, and was soon joined for a few minutes by the other parent.  Their backs were turned to me, so it was hard to make a solid identification.

Then one of the eyasses decided to defecate and move around the nest for about five minutes.  Other than these two events, the nest was quiet.

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Fledge Date Guesses for Manhattan

If you've been looking at the Queen's Hawkcam, you'll notice that the young are close to fledging.  General wisdom is that it take between 42 and 46 days for a hawk to fledge.  I've tried to take a guess at what I think the Manhattan hatch dates were and calculated the approximate fledge dates.  Of course, the normal "Your mileage may vary" disclaimer applies here.

                                                           
EyassesHatch (Best Guess)+42+46
Queens Nestcam24/135/255/29
Highbridge34/175/296/2
Inwood Hill24/206/16/5
St. John34/276/86/12
888 7th Avenue14/296/106/14

One thing I'm sure of however, is that I need to spend this Memorial Day weekend visiting Highbridge and Inwood Hill Park before it's too late!


Two or Three

The evening started quietly with the mother on the Archangel, and the nest quiet.  Then the father came in and did a feeding with food which was already in the nest.  Afterwards the eyasses were full of activity, and at one point it looked like we had three babies in the nest.  We'll know for sure in a few days.

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The mother on the Archangel

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Dad comes in to do a feeding.

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The kids perk up.

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Wing development continues rapidly.

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Losing down.

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Although this looks dignified, the eyasses don't have much motor control yet and fall down a lot.  They're still at the toddler stage.

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Three eyasses are visible.  One flapping, one with its back to us behind the hand, and one on the right.

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The mother moves a little closer to the nest.

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The father in his parking lot rodent hunting mode.


Cathedral Activity Increasing

The Cathedral eyasses are becoming more and more active, so visiting the nest is more rewarding. 

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The father on St. Luke's.

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An eyas getting fed.

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Not too clear, but you can see an eyas on each side of the mother.

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They're still fuzzy, but are getting much bigger.

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A wing of one eyas and then the head of another.

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The father on the Archangel.

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The mother took a break, couldn't be found for about half an hour, and then was found on a building on 110th Street below Morningside Park.  She's in the golden light of the late evening sun.


St. John Babies

The St. John nest has at least two eyasses.

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The adult male on the Cathedral, near the Northwest parking lot.

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The adult female on St. Luke's

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The look to be about the same age as the chicks we found last year at this time. 

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There are two eyasses in this pictures, being feed by their mother.  I know it's tough to make them out.  I'm sure as they get bigger it will get easier to see that there are two eyasses in the nest. (Of course there could be three, but two is most likely at this point.)

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The adult male arrives to continue feeding the eyasses. 

I exit to see the Eastern Screech-Owl fly out in Central Park.


Sleepy Evening

I arrived around 6 p.m. to find both parents off the nest and the nest absolutely quiet. No sign of the eyas(ses) while I was there from about 6 p.m. until about 7:30 p.m.

The father stayed in one spot, about twenty feet from the nest the whole time I was there.  The mother shifted spots.  First she was on West 110th, then the southeastern Plant building chimney, then the ornament on the Plant building, which we've nicknamed the urn.

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The adult male on the Cathedral in a spot about twenty feet from the nest.

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The adult female on West 110th.

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The adult male from a different angle.

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The female on the southeast Plant chimney.

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She flies down to at least 116th Street surveying the area and then returns to the "urn" at the southeast corner of the Plant building.  This is only 15 feet from where she had been on the chimney.

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The father stays in his one spot.

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Here is a pictures that relates his position to that of the nest.

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I love the gargoyles on the Cathedral.

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The mother in the warm light of the setting sun.

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St. John on Saturday

I spent about an hour at the nest on Saturday.  I was able to see brief glimpses of the eyas(ses).  The nest seems to be one or two inches higher than last year.  This is making it much harder to get a clear view.

They'll be getting taller each day, so by next weekend it should be easy to figure out how many kids are in the nest.  But for now, we just have to wait.

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An eyas is next to it's mother on the right.

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The mother leaving the nest.

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She perches on St. Luke's for about thirty minutes.

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A head appears every five minutes or so.

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Peaking out at the world.

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The adult female continues to sit on St. Luke's.

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She then does a brief tour of the area, before landing on the Archangel.


More Eyas Glimpses At The Cathedral

The adult female.  She seems to be taking it easy these days.  She let the male do the feeding this evening.  After laying eggs, sitting on the eggs and then keeping her very young chicks warm, I think she deserves her mini vacation.

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Here she's on a St. Luke's hospital building across the street from the Cathedral.

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The adult female about twenty feet from the nest.

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She takes off and does some limited flying.

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The eyas(ses) continue to peek through the twigs at the top of the nest.  We still don't have an accurate count of how many chicks there are.

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The adult male.


An Eyas Sighting at the Cathedral

The wait is over!  At least one eyas is now big enough to show up over the edge of the nest.  (If you're interested in visiting the nest, see my post from last year with details about the St. John the Divine nest.)

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The adult female.

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The adult female.

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The adult female taking time off the nest. A sure sign that the eyas(ses) are getting bigger.

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The adult male on the Cathedral.

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The adult female perched about 20 feet from the nest.

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A wonderful surprise.  My first unobstructed sighting of a 2007 St. John the Divine eyas!

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Waiting for them to grow up

At St. John the Divine we know there are babies because of the feeding behavior of the parents, but because of the deep bowl and height of the nest they aren't visible.  I keep waiting for one of the eyasses to be strong enough to pop its head up.  But it just hasn't happened yet.  On Thurdsay, we got to see the parents do feedings, saw both of them off the nest, and saw the male with a mouse.  Everything but an eyas!

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Old School 2 - New School 2

I've received confirmation that a chick has hatched at 888 Seventh Avenue, so that makes the second building nest to hatch in Manhattan.  So the Old School/New School score is tied 2-2.

The report came in from Brett Odom, who reports "This morning Jr. brought a pigeon to the nest and dropped it off.  When Charlotte got up to prepare it I got a really good look at most of the empty nest.  It looks to me that there is only one chick and no other eggs, but I could be wrong as part of the nest is obscured by a metal strip that connects the two pieces of decorative glass that the nest is behind.  The eyas is currently no bigger than a softball, but is very active when not being sit upon."

It looks like the Pale Male and Lola, 5th Avenue nest is yet again unsuccessful this year.  Although this is sad news, it shouldn't keep you from watching baby Red-tails.  They're all over Manhattan and greater New York.  So, make a visit to the other nests.  Red-tails nests are all over New York City for your enjoyment!

And if the locations are too remote for you to get to, remember that the NYC Audubon sponsored Queens Red-tailed Hawk camera operates 24/7.  It can be accessed from either Jeffrey Kollbrunner's website or from the NYC Audubon website.


Newborns at St. John the Divine

I visited the Cathedral twice on Saturday.  In the late morning, and in the late afternoon. The nest is too high and too deep to see into, so we depend on the behavior changes of the parents as our clue that there are eyasses.  (If you're new to this story, see my first St. John post from last year.)

There were plenty of clues on Saturday, including food being taken into the nest, lots of feeding behavior, etc.

In the morning, when I arrived, no one was to be seen.  Soon the adult male arrived on the Archangel.

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Through gaps in the twigs, I thought I saw a chick.

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Here I thought I saw a head with two eyes briefly.  But it could be wishful thinking.

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The adult female.

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I'm not sure who's flying in.

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Both parents on the nest.  Note the tail on the left.

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The mother then...

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...leaves the nest, and I go up north to Highbridge and Inwood Hill.

In the afternoon, I return around 5:00 p.m.

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All is quite until the male comes in with a rodent.  He moves to a higher branch and soon goes to the nest.

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The male landing on the nest.

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He quickly leaves.

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His mate watches him leave.

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Soon feeding behavior starts.

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And then the female settles in.  However, much higher than when she was sitting on eggs.


Two Feedings

Young eyasses can be too small to see at first, so hawk watchers depend on seeing feeding behavior.  There were two such nest reports that came in via email today. 

One came from Chris Lyons, who watches the Fordham hawks in the Bronx entitled, I THINK I just watched Rose feeding chicks.

"I was about to give it up as a lunch hour mainly wasted (ONE good shot), when Hawkeye showed up out of nowhere--didn't see if he was carrying prey, but he probably was.  Rose spent quite a good while hunched over the nest, with her head bobbing, and Hawkeye was looking down into the nest with great interest.   He stayed a long time.   Eventually Rose settled back down on the nest.   She's been taking a lot of breaks lately, without him relieving her.   I never saw any chicks, but I wouldn't expect to at this point...Not 100% sure, but 95%, at least. "

The other came in from Robert B. Schmunk entitled, Cathedral hawk babies.

"Hi all,

It looks like the hawks at Cathedral of St. John the Divine have had an egg hatch, as there was definite feeding behavior going on today just after 7:00.

Tristan had been hunting in the weeds alongide the northwest  parking lot at the Cathedral and was observed to fly back to the nest with a mouse. He stayed there for a few minutes, and after he left Isolde was seen to be leaning into the nest in a manner typical of a feeding.

Donna Browne was watching with her scope and probably can provide better details of the feeding. At one point she indicated that it looked like Isolde was provide tidbits in two directions, as if there two nestlings.

Tristan returned with part of another mouse or rat at 7:30, but that appears to have been saved for a later meal."

 

All Wet on 110th

I went by the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on my way home from Inwood Hill.  As usual for this nest, you couldn't see the sitting hawk.

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I went down to 110th and saw a hawk on 301 West 110th Street.  It looked all wet.  It hasn't rained for two days.  Did the nest fill up with water during the Nor'easter and are they incubating the eggs on a water logged nest?  Or did the hawk just take a bath somewhere?

Update: Reports from other hawk watchers over the last few days is that both hawks have looked dry.  So, the verdict is that all is fine with the nest.

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Old School 2 - New School ?

I went up to Inwood Hill Park, in addition to Highbridge yesterday.  Although the female was sitting much higher on the nest, I didn't see any baby hawks.  Neither did Robert B. Schmunk who was up there at the same time.

On Saturday evening, I saw that Alice Danna had also been up to Inwood Hill Park (but earlier in the day), and had seen two eyasses with one of the rangers (via Donna Browne's Palemaleirregulars blog.)

So, I gave it a second try on Sunday and was able to confirm Alice's report.  I didn't see two eyasses, but the mother's behavior would make me believe that there was more than the one eyas.

This makes the two "old school" tree nests in Manhattan a success, while we don't yet know the fate of the three "new school" building nests, 5th Avenue, St. John the Divine and 888 7th Avenue.  So the current score is Old School 2 - New School ?.

Below are pictures of the Inwood Hill Park female and her eyas(ses?)  There would be no sign of an eyas and then a head would pop up for a few seconds.  It was impossible to tell if it was the same eyas or multiple eyasses.

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