6/17, Grant's Tomb

For those concerned about the third, uncaught Grant's Tomb hawk fledgling, she was captured Saturday afternoon in the Claremont Playground area. It was a team effort, with local birdwatchers, Ranger Rob, and WINORR rescuer Bobby all paying their parts. Special kudos should be given to the birdwatchers (Susan, Jeff, Lynn et al.) who monitored the next area for so many hours all week.

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Other word is that the fledglings' mother is slowly recovering, but the father is still missing. The three youngsters will likely be individually released as "foster children" in other red-tail nesting areas.

Posted 6/18/2018 01:05:00 AM by Robert

6/14, Grant's Tomb

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The third fledgling at Grant's Tomb was still on the loose Thursday evening. Despite five days with presumably no good meal, it seems to be healthy and stronger than you'd expect. Watchers have speculated that it may have raided a robin's nest for nourishment.

First view I had of the bird on Thursday it was in the air over Riverside Drive, but the gusty winds seemed to push it pack to the nest platform. Others reported watching it fly back and forth between this years and last year's nest earlier in the day.

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Thereafter it was quietly perched for the next hour or more. It was good to see that it was preening, a sign that even if it's extremely hungry and lonely it is at least not sick.

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Again, others have been watching out for the solitary fledgling, waiting for it to come to the ground where it can be caught and taken to rehab. Parks Dept. rangers were reported to have checked in Thursday to see if they could capture the bird, but were unable to do anything because she was staying 50+ feet up.

Posted 6/15/2018 01:19:00 AM by Robert

6/13, Grant's Tomb

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The hawk situation at Grant's Tomb has continued to evolve, somewhat for the better but not as well as one might have hoped. As of early Wednesday evening just one of the three young hawks remained on the loose, but presumably it has eaten little in the past four days.

Early Monday, one fledgling was caught by rescue-rehabber Bobby Horvath on the steps of Grant's Tomb. But the remaining nestling fledged so catching it on the nest site was not possible.

A second fledgling was caught early Tuesday evening by Parks Dept. rangers, not quite on the ground but low enough that it could be safely netted.

The third, however, was still uncaught another day later. Although it was seen flying about during the day, it seems to have spent much of Wednesday perched on the nest platform railing, generally quiet but looking around and preening.

Birdwatchers have kept the area under fairly thorough watch, so there is hope that the solitary fledgling will be quickly caught when it gets weaker and comes to ground.

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As for the parents, the mother (Mrs. Grant) was said to be still alive, but likely to remain under care for some time. A third-hand report was received that the father (the General) crashed through an apartment window last week, and although able to flee the scene has, as noted, not been seen since.

Posted 6/14/2018 12:16:00 AM by Robert

6/10, Grant's Tomb Hawk First Fledges

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Two of the young red-tailed hawks at Grant's Tomb fledged Sunday evening, which on the face of it sounds like good news. But other news there is not so good, and more bad news could follow.

On Saturday came word that one of the parents had been struck by a car mid afternoon. Follow-up information indicated that the mother was suffering from second-hand rodenticide poisoning, which likely caused her to be ill and/or disoriented, and thus flying too low. Although the injury from the car was relatively minor, she was last reported in not good shape due to blood loss, as rodenticides in common use these days are anti-coagulants.

But area birdwatchers have also been concerned because the father hawk has not been confirmed seen the past couple days. He was possibly spotted up Riverside Drive late Saturday and on Sunday afternoon, but that bird may have been the yearling "brown tail" who has continued to hang about the area.

In any event, all three GT kids were at the nest site at 6:00 Sunday evening, one on the railing above, one in the nest, and one moving about between the nest platform and a beam sticking out from the platform.

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The two birds not in the nest were doing a fair amount of crying, and watchers wondered if they had spotted a hawk to the north in the Manhattanville area. The one in the nest seemed like it might be pecking on leftovers.

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The nestling on the projecting beam gave some semi-flaps as it stretched or changed position. It did not seem like anything serious, as if it might be on the verge of fledging.

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Oh, wait.

At 6:23, that young hawk started flapping, and flying, heading north. It was flying strongly enough that it gained some altitude, but not quite enough to reach the roof of the International House about two short blocks away. Instead it ended up in the top of a tall tree at the northwest corner entrance to Sakura Park, some 40-50 feet short of the I House. It was deep enough into the foliage that getting any decent photos was out of the question.

Back at the nest, the nestling on the railing peered with interest towards its departed sibling. The other looked bored, with nothing particular on its mind.

Hawkwatchers wandered back north to check on the new fledgling. Then back to check on the nest. Wait, what, there's only one bird up there.

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Indeed, the bored looking nestling had sneakily left the nest about 6:45. Robin noise (really, a mass robin freak-out) alerted us that the second fledgling was somewhere along West 122nd St., and it was spotted on the lowest eave on the north side of Riverside Church.

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I had to depart the area, but came back a half hour later. Still the one nestling, not only crying for food but also loneliness.

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The second fledgling still perched on the eave, a good spot where it was probably safe from hostile falcon activity.

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The first fledgling was not in view and seemed might have departed its treetop. Another birdwatcher later reported that about sunset that it had been spotted across Riverside Drive in the trees near Claremont Playground and may have subsequently gone to roost back south close to Grant's Tomb.

The question on Monday will be if the Grant's Tomb father hawk is still around. But even if he is healthy and delivering food to the kids, there's a good chance that one or more could end up having to be rescued. You may recall that some years ago when one of the St. John's cathedral parent hawks died about fledging time that one fledgling from that nest was not getting enough food and was eventually rescued and taking to rehabbers.

Posted 6/10/2018 10:51:00 PM by Robert

6/8, Grant's Tomb

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Another two days later, and it seems that the although the Grant's Tomb baby hawks are of an age to fledge the nest, they're in no hurry to do so.

Friday evening, it was again a case of one nestling perched on the railing above the nest whilst the other two lurked on the nest platform. I'm told that earlier in the day, two were spotted perched on the railing at the same time.

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A parent must have appeared in the nestlings' field of view, as around 7:30, they got very attentive to the north and a solo, sometimes duet of begging cries began.

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But despite 10 or 15 minutes of such screeching, there were no food deliveries before I made my exit.

Posted 6/09/2018 01:25:00 AM by Robert