6/25, Cathedral Hawkwatching

(Beginning with this report, I'll begin to refer to the adult hawks by the names "Tristan" and "Isolde". These are names apparently given them by folks at the nearby Cathedral School.

Sunday hawkwatching at the Cathedral was short but fairly sweet. I had skipped Saturday and most of Sunday because the weather was so wet, but since I was in the neighborhood for family dinner and the streets were actually dry, I popped over to Morningside Drive for a few minutes. No camera, though, so no pictures.

Arriving at about 6:45 and beginning to work my way down Morningside Drive scanning the chapel roofs and ledges, I noticed ahead a couple pedestrians pointing toward the Cathedral School. Further downhill it looked like Donegal had also just arrived and was trying to quickly set up her scope. Hurrying down I spotted a hawk just flying one from of the side gables of the Cathedral School to just out of sight along the northern roof and then disappearing. Then a gable to the south there was another hawk perched, this one plainly a fledgling.

We watched the fledgling hop around on the gable for a few minutes before it flew over to a corner of the north roof for an easier perch. A few minutes later I though the fledge had suddenly decided to fly out over the street, perhaps chasing a starling, and then made a sharp turn and flew toward the chapel roofs. But no, the fledgeling was still perched on the corner. It turned out that Tristan had flown in low over the Cathedral School, made the turn, and then ended up atop the cross on St. Savior Chapel.

Several minutes later as I'm debating whether I need to depart for dinner and a little rain started to spatter, the fledgling did fly off, but she made her way to a tree in Morningside Park, perhaps 75 feet into the park between 110th STreet and 111th Street. After that it was time for me to leave.

As I was heading west on 113th Street, I did look up at the old nest. It seemed empty at the time, but...? Why does this matter? Donegal reports that an hour later she saw Isolde perched there. Given the rainy weather and the protection provided by the nest site, it doesn't surprise me to hear the nest was back in (temporary) use.

Bruce visited the Cathedral. earlier Sunday afternoon and also reported seeing a fledgling on the cathedral School roofs. From the look of his pictures it seems to have been perched on the chimney-like structure, but it later ducked over to the scaffolding on the school south wing when the rain picked up.

Posted 6/26/2006 04:12:00 PM by Robert

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