5/28, Highbridge Hawk Peekaboo

The Cathedral isn't the only red-tail nest in Manhattan with three hawklings. I thought I'd check on the other over the Memorial Day weekend, and finally got to it on Monday.

Monday

5:30 p.m. - Arrive at the corner of 190th St. and Amsterdam. Walk along the upper park path down toward the dog run and observe (1) the park is really crowded today, and (2) the foliage in the park is really leafed out. Arriving at dog run, it look like there's absolutely no freaking way I'd be able to spot the Highbridge hawk nest through the trees. So back to 190th St. and down into steep part of the park.

5:40 - Have reached the appropriate area on the slope-side park paths and am having miserable luck trying to spot the nest. But hey, it looks like there's a mountain bike trail parallel to the paved path, so it will be easier to poke around than I thought.

5:45 - Hmmm, a bunch of pigeon feathers on the bike trail. A good sign.

5:48 - Finally. I spot the clump of sticks and twigs 50-60 feet up and 20-30 feet to the side.

5:49 - First glimpse of a nestling.

Highbridge Red-tail Nestling

5:55 - Been wondering back and forth trying to find a better angle, and the nestling has been watching me do so.

Highbridge Red-tail Nestling

It's been a game of peekaboo along the trail, but I think she's winning.

Highbridge Red-tail Nestling

6:00 - There's been some movement from one of the other nestlings in the nest, but I'm not going to get a clear shot of her unless I can find another camera angle. The present spot basically allows for just playing peekaboo with one nestling at a time.

6:12 - After doing a complete circuit through the underbrush, finally find a good spot right on the bike trail itself. Now a clear view of two nestlings, one standing up "on guard" and the other sitting down and perhaps preening. But no sign of the third.

6:14 - They both check me out.

Highbridge Red-tail Nestlings

The one on the right seems to have shed most of the baby fuzz from her head and is likely to fledge sooner. The first Highbridge hatch was likely around April 20, so there could be fledge by the end of this week.

6:16 - First and last sighting of one of the Highbridge adult red-tails is a quick glimpse of one of them soaring over the nest, from east to west.

6:17 - The on-guard nestling has a lot more dark feathers in her breast that the Cathedral nestlings did last year or apparently this year.

Highbridge Red-tail Nestlings

6:25 - Back on the paved path, I finally find a spot where the nest is somewhat visible.

Highbridge Red-tail Nestling

Again, visibility works two ways.

Highbridge Red-tail Nestling

6:28 - Exit. Time to go to the Cathedral.

Posted 5/28/2007 10:23:00 PM by Robert

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