5/4, Dinner at St. Luke's

On Friday, Isolde was standing on the south of her nest when I arrived at the Cathedral about 6:00. I hadn't seen Tristan as I walked down 113th St. so I opted to check Morningside Park to see if he might be about. Within a moment of walking in, I spotted a hawk alighting on the same branch where I had seen Tristan on Monday, but it turned out that it was Isolde out for a "stroll".

isolde in Morningside Park

Within a minute or two she was back up in the air, seemingly headed for the nest. But when I found her five minutes later she was instead, she was on the family's favorite ornamental urn on the roof of St. Luke's.

Isolde atop St. Luke's

She stayed there for the next half hour, watching the nest across the street, scanning the skies, and occasionally preening. Every now and again she'd even deign to look at me.

Isolde atop St. Luke's

I also checked the view of her perch from inside the park, just in case Tristan might be spotted elsewhere on the hospital roof. No sign of him, but I did encounter this messy vegetarian in the park. A bit later I could hear him sound off.

Messy Cardinal

I didn't see him approach, but apparently Isolde spotted her mate Tristan flying up. He landed on the ledge just below the urn and she hopped down to join him.

Tristan and Isolde atop St. Luke's

Apparently he brought food, as Isolde was bent over something interesting, while Tristan had something that looked like a rat tale in front of him.

Tristan and Isolde atop St. Luke's

I considered that Isolde might, instead of eating, actually be dressing dinner for her kids. And indeed a minute later she flew across the street to the nest. But I didn't see her carry anything and she didn't start a feeding right away. Instead she stood on the edge of the nest, looking inwards and sometimes out over a shoulder.

Isolde in Her Nest

Meanwhile, Tristan began to chow down. He really stuffed himself, because he was at it for 20 minutes and his crop was stuffed when he got down.

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After ten minutes on one side of the nest, Isolde moved around a bit.

Isolde in Her Nest

Just before 7:10, Isolde flew back over to St. Luke's and briefly perched by Tristan before returning to the nest. Did she grab a morsel for the kids? I didn't see.

She got a little deeper into the nest so that only her tail feathers and wing tips were visible. Not really a good feeding position. And then a minute later Tristan also flew over to the nest.

Tristan Visits the Nest

There must be food there now, as I can see something a distinct crimson red in the corner of the nest that wasn't in that spot a minute ago.

Tristan Visits the Nest

And now I see something sort of fuzzy white through the twigs. Hmm? Well, although it might be a nestling, it could also be a fur on what's left of the food.

Another minute later came a typical moment of hawkwatching confusion, as it seemed that a hawk dived out of the south side of the nest. Presumably only Isolde would have been in position to do that, but it wasn't her. It was Tristan who perched on another corner of the hospital roof a few seconds later. For a moment I thought he was feeding again, but instead he was just wiping the gore off his beak on the edge of the roof.

Tristan Cleans Up

Meanwhile Isolde began feeding nestlings.

Isolde Feeds the Babies

I shot another 30 photos over the next five-six minutes hoping to catch a little beak reaching up for food. But alas, most of what I got was images of Isolde's feathery derriere.

Isolde Feeds the Babies

Just past 7:15 it was time for me to go. Isolde was still feeding nestlings. Tristan had disappeared shortly after I last saw him on the hospital roof.

Posted 5/04/2007 11:33:00 PM by Robert

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