7/28, Hawkwatching

Divine Red-Tailed Hawk atop School Scaffolding I was going to take the evening off and run some errands prior to vacation, but the hawks called me anyway. It turned into an evening of "exercise the photographer".

I reached Morningside Park around 6:10 or so and again tried a pass starting above the dog run and working south. First hawk sighting came at 6:30, when I was almost down down to the southwest corner of the park. Hearing a faint "squeep", I looked up and from the lower park path was able to see a fledgling perched atop the Cathedral School scaffolding. Its thinner build indicated that it was little brother.

I spent the next 20-25 minutes along Morningside Drive, keeping an eye on little brother and looking around for the other fledgling. There were occasional fledgling whines and because of the breeze, they sometimes seemed to come from somwhere just to the north. But after awhile I became convinced it was just little brother, and the cries were more an "I'm lonely" call rather than the raucous "mommy mommy mommy" noise that the fledglings make when an adult is in the area.

At about 6:55 I took my eye off little brother for a minute and then looked up to find the scaffolding empty. The fun had begun.

Little brother re-appeared a couple minutes later, flying from the trees near the 112th St. overlook and into a tree adjacent to the school. But he stayed there only a few mnutes before heading back the other way. He perched near the overlook for a couple minutes, leaning forward and peering intently to the northeast. Then he dove down toward the rockface, setting off a din of robin and catbird alarms.

Little brother stayed on a partially exposed branch above the rockface for about five minutes, then dove off to the south. I trucked down the 116 Steps in order to stroll the lower path and find his new position, but after a minute down there, alarm chirps over the rockface revealed that little brother had turned around and perched near where he'd just been. Tricksy little beggar. Hardly had I climbed back uphill then he again flew south, although this to a higher perch where I could at least still see him. (Good, my knees are getting tired.)

Divine Red-Tailed Hawk above Morningside Drive Divine Red-Tailed Hawk in Morningside Park

This new perch only lasted a minute or two before little brother returned over to the trees on the rockface. This time he picked a higher location, much obscured by foliage. It was fairly easy to keep an eye on him, but not to take any pix. But five minutes later, at 7:27, he was again off to the south, flying high enough that it seemed he was headed for somewhere near 110th St. After ten minutes of failing to figure out his new location, I called it a night.

Posted 7/28/2006 10:53:00 PM by Robert

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