7/7, Hawkwatching

Divine Red-Tailed Hawks in Morningside Park

Divine Red-Tailed Hawks in Morningside Park Another laid-back evening of hawkwatching, but a lonely one. I arrived at Morningside Park at 6:30, and during the next 90 minutes, I was apparently the only one of the Divine hawkwatchers to put in an appearance.

Immediately on arrival I checked out the trees near the top of the rockface hill because of two robins making a lot of protest chirps. No luck, but it has seemed to me that one of the fledglings has taken to perching high up in foliage where she can't be seen. I headed down to the ballpark level of Morninsgide Park and started checking the rockface. The robin chirping was still audible down there, and looking back up the hill at 6:45 I spotted a hawk perched, indeed, in what appeared to be the very top of a tree at the top of the hill.

Divine Red-Tailed Hawks in Morningside Park So... back up the long flight of steps and start angling for a better view at the treetops. Nothing, drat. But hey, there's a fledgling perched on the same dead branch as the previous two evenings. She wasn't there 15 minutes ago. Could it be the same hawk as was just in the tree tops? The robin chirping suggests, no, there's probably another hawk perched somewhere overhead.

Five minutes later, something large soars from behind and above me and toward the other side of the park. And the robins stop chirping. So there went the other fledgling, and I have no idea where she landed, just that it was somewhere in the trees lining Manhattan Ave. in the vicinity of 113th Street.

Divine Red-Tailed Hawks in Morningside Park The fledgling perched on the dead branch seems happy with her situation (Or should I say "his"? My crude sense has decided that this is the male of the two fledglings.) The usual preening and looking around goes on, and on. At 7:00, she (or he) gives a long intent gaze toward the south end of the park, and looking down there I see a hawk (an adult?) swooping low and doing a circle near the trees along 110th Street. As best I could tell it never made it up toward the Cathedral, and the fledgling didn't get excited and start calling for attention. Perhaps the adult headed for the water tower?

And that it was about it for excitement. The fledgling remained on the dead branch for another 45 minutes, until at about 7:45 she stretched a little bit, did a "knee bend" or two to get loose, and then flew into the trees just to the north. Robin chirping indicated she didn't go far, and was presumably in the foliage over or near the 100 steps. But after looking around for another 10-15 minutes I called it a night.

Posted 7/07/2006 11:17:00 PM by Robert

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