7/18, Hawkwatching

Divine Red-Tailed Hawk in Morningside Park

Despite the heat, I made the daily foray to Morningside Park, arriving this evening shortly after 7:00, with the temperature still at about 90°. Thankfully one of the fledglings was easily spotted, as within a few minutes I found little brother perched on the broken branch stump near the bottom of the 100 Steps. This was the same location where one of the fledglings perched Sunday evening.

A few minutes later, little brother left the stump and flew across the park and into a tree near the entrance at Manhattan Ave. and 113th St., just over the little playground. And from there he ducked through the tree and onto a branch on the other side, or to the next tree over.

Divine Red-Tailed Hawk in Morningside Park

From Manhattan Ave. it took some time to find the fledgling's new perch, despite the helpful complaints of three robins and a catbird. But after close to 10 minutes, I noticed some tawny breast feathers on a branch lower than I had thought to look. But was it the same fledgling? Perhaps the much different camera angle (I'm now looking upward at the hawk) distorted the impression, but this one seems to have a full crop and heavier shoulders. If I hadn't seen little brother fly over here a few minutes ago, I'd be certain this was big sister.

Perhaps I've been faked out and the fledglings have pulled a switcheroo. I kept an eye on the fledgling now in view for 15 minutes, watching him/her panting in the heat. With the full crop and the heat, it seems a safe guess that he/she will remain here for awhile, so I went for a stroll around the softball field perimeter to see/hear if there are any other hawks about. No dice, and when I returned to the turtle pond area, the one fledgling had disappeared.

Using the excuse of checking the park perimeter along Manhattan Ave., 100th St. and finally Morningside Dr., I made a circuitous exit from the scene. Just as I was about to duck back indoors and start uploading pix from the camera, rain started to sprinkle. Hooray!

Posted 7/18/2006 08:47:00 PM by Robert

Edit Post