Not much luck looking for birds of prey elsewhere (does two seconds of a hawk soaring over Riverside Drive count?), but it's become almost a given that at least one of the American kestrels will be hunting on the south side of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in the early evening. Sunday it was the male on view.
Again two birds of prey found early Thursday evening, but this time one of them was a hawk.
On the north side of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, across the street on the roof of St. Luke's Hospital, was one of the adult red-tails.
Too high up and too far away to decide whether it was Isolde or her mate. Whoever it was seemed to be just enjoying the fine weather, with a touch of preening.
And over on the south side of the cathedral, again perching atop the lawn pulpit and apparently on the hunt, was the female kestrel.
The cathedral kestrels were out hunting from the lawn pulpit early Tuesday evening. Or at least ma and pa were, I saw no signs of the third who'd been around the last few times I'd encountered them.
I need to get over there earlier in the day to check on the kestrels, as there are too many shadows in the 60-90 minutes before sunset.
And sorry, no sign of the red-tailed hawks.
After a couple weeks of little hawk (and falcon) watching, I visited the cathedral area early Wednesday evening and again found three American kestrels lurking about the close.
A male and a female were perched together atop the Cathedral House.
Thinking about leaving.
Then the male darted off, landing atop the Synod House.
With the female following, but stopping at the Diocesan House.
There must have been some territorial issues being debated. Twice the male did some calling, with one episode followed by a blue jay's response.
A bit later the female took off, flying across the lawn and across Amsterdam Ave., apparently heading for an antenna atop the Echo apartments at 112th St.
As I was about to make an exit, I spotted another female perched on an antenna at the other end of the Diocesan House, eating a bug, possibly a dragonfly. It was a quit snack.
A few minutes later she too took off, heading for the water tower at the Cathedral Arms apartments on the corner of 110th St. The male was still atop the Synod House.
The start of August is typically about the time I lose track of the young red-tailed hawks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and this year is that with a vengeance. Since returning from vacation, I made only the one sighting on July 27 at the cathedral and none in Morningside Park, nor any in a couple visits to the Great Hill and North Woods in Central Park.
The hints were there on Monday evening that the hawks are no longer about the cathedral as I once again encountered a kestrel hunting in the close. A female or a youngster?
I had my eye on her for about 15-20 minutes, then lost track of her. But shortly later I spotted a kestrel atop the lawn pulpit, and a few minutes later she was joined by an adult male They perched together atop the pulpit on the lawn for a few minutes before he took off. But the capper was that after leaving the cathedral grounds, I made two more kestrel sightings, the first (a female or a fledgling) just across the street atop the apartment building at Amsterdam and 112th and then another on a water tower at Broadway and 113th.
Also on the cathedral grounds, all three peacocks -- Phil, Jim and Harry -- were out and about. Their new tail feathers are about half grown in after molting.