6/29, Cathedral Hawkwatching

Cathedral Red-Tailed Hawks

Cathedral Red-Tailed Hawks Hawkwatching at the Cathedral on Thursday was cut short due to the rainburst that hit the city just before 7:00 p.m. It had started to sprinkle as I headed over to St. John the Divine, but stopped by the time I got there. Donegal, Stella and Samantha had also just arrived and no one had yet spotted any of the red-tails. As it turned out, I was the first to find one, as a stroll down Morningside Drive quickly brought me within range to hear a fledgling calling for attention. After a few minutes of pacing back and forth to triangulate where she might be, I located her in a tree above the cars parked along the west side of the street about 100 feet from 110th Street.

The fledgling stayed put just long enough for the other hawkwatchers to join me. All the while she was calling out, but if she was crying "feed me" to a parent, we didn't see the adult. Was she "talking" to the other fledgling somewhere near by?

Just after 6:40, the fledgling flew across the street and into a tree in Morningside Park, perched for about two minutes, and then flew to a tree closer to 110th Street. We lost track of her for a few minutes, perhaps because we were trying to figure out which was her new tree. The wind gusts which were picking up did not help, as it seemed the tree we thought she might be in was being blown about like a lifeboat on a stormy sea. But after five minutes we realized a fledgling was perched in a tree overlooking the park entrance at the corner of Morningside Drive. It was the same tree I had found a fledgling in on Monday.

Cathedral Red-Tailed Hawks The rain had begun to do more than sprinkle and the wind was beginning to pick up. I took a couple of photos at about 6:49 and then stopped trying as it was becoming impossible to hold an umbrella and shoot a decent picture. Then as the weather got really nasty, it was time to flee across the street for a shelter at one of the businesses lining the south side of 110th Street.

Returning to the park entrance 15 minutes later, I was startled to see that there were two fledglings sitting next to each other where I had previously seen just the one. Perhaps I shouldn't have been... a closer look at the two photos taken at 6:49 seemed to reveal one of them in the process of perching there.

Over the next twenty minutes, neiher of the fledglings showed any sign of leaving their joint perch. Instead they were postured in a manner which seemed to encourage their feathers to dry. But as the rain begin to pick up again near 7:30, I found it time to leave and go somewhere where I too could try to try off.

There will be no hawkwatching on Friday, as I will be off to a baseball game. Hopefully I can get up to the Cathedral on Saturday for an hour or two.

(Updated July 3 at 16:12 to include photos.)

Posted 6/30/2006 04:54:00 PM by Robert

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