6/29, Moving to Morningside Park

Between work, a concert, and weather, this was the first day since Sunday that I've been able to visit the Cathedral and Morningside Park to see what the red-tailed hawks were up to.

Turns out that the fledglings have made the move from the chapel roofs over to Morningside Park. This means that they can be harder to find because of obscurring foliage, and the use of sound (i.e., robin complaints) becomes a major clue of their presence.

(Note: Four posts made today to catch up. Be sure to check for reports on solstice Thursday, Friday and Saturday a week ago, and last Sunday.


6:09 p.m. - One hawk quickly spotted. Tristan is perched on the crenellations above the statue of Saint Matthew.

Tristan the Red-Tail

But where are the kids?

6:33 - Walked up to 114th St. and down to 110th St. Nada. Now down in the Morningside Park alongside the ball fields and see a hawk circling about over Morningside Drive. A couple loops later it heads out over the park and then east along 111th St. It's Tristan, and he'll likely hang a right the other side of 301 West 110th and head into Central Park.

6:53 - Walked up to the park pond, then back south before following the upper path from 110th back to 112-1/2th, stopping at one point because of slow but insistent robin plaints. Now at the 112th St. overlook thinking, at this time of year last year, the fledglings should be perched in a tree right around here.

6:54 - And there's a fledgling perched extremely quietly in a tree about 50 feet away.

Sleeping Red-Tail Fledgling

Very visible once spotted, but her back is turned this way. I should have noticed her five minutes ago when I walked along the path below, but no I had to say hello to the squirrels.

6:56 - This fledgling is very quiet. In fact, her head has been been leaning over her right shoulder and I've finally realized that she's snoozing.

7:00 - Fledgling is half awake now, preening in a slow, casual way. I don't think she's opened her eyes yet.

7:01 - Okay, now she looks around.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Is it because of the cardinal chirping over atop the 116 Steps hill? No sign of what the cardinal is chiriping about, although another is chirping near the dog run, so it may just be territorial claims.

7:10 - Now checking out the fledgling's front side. She's fluffed up and the angle's bad, but it does look like one of the two with a heavier belly band. Maybe the heaviest, so this would seem to be Brownie.

7:22 - Fledgling is looking a bit perkier and more interested in her surroundings.

Red-Tail Fledgling

7:25 - Back up to check around the nest area. Tristan has returned sometime in the last 10 minutes and is perched on Gabriel's horn.

7:26 - Ooops, Tristan gone again.

7:32 - Almost sounds like fledgling whining in park trees, but it's not coming from the fledgling already found.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Can't quite decide if it's coming from east or south of her. Let's try walking down Morningside Drive and checking out park treetops.

7:40 - I can't see anything, but someone on the lower terrace at the Cathedral Gardens dorm is looking toward 301 West 110th like there's something interesting on the roof.

7:42 - Hawk flies off top of 301 from somewhere other than the usual perching area, flies over 300 and south along Central Park West. Turns around near apartment tower at 107th St. and disappears, descending toward lower rooftops.

7:51 - Walking along park path by ball fields, can't quite make out where found fledgling is at.

Some odd wiggling from tree branch overhead. For once it actually means something.

Red-Tail Fledgling

There's a fledgling preening her/his tail, and this is about the spot where the whining might have been coming from 15-20 minutes ago.

Red-Tail Fledgling

I walked under this tree twice earlier without noticing anything. Yes, the light is bad this evening, but still... I must be out of practice in finding fledglings.

7:56 - Head back uphill where I might be able to see both fledglings. Light's bad, though.

8:01 - First fledgling in view, but can't see second one from here.

Red-Tail Fledgling

8:02 - A hawk comes flying up, following the course of the upper park path, and settles in atreet west across the path from first fledgling. Tawny breast feathers; it's a fledgling.

Red-Tail Fledgling

The question is, who is this? Did the second fledgling I spotted ten minutes ago just fly up here? Or was the third one hanging around down toward 110th St. (perhaps where I'd been hearing robin complaints off and on) and decide to shift position? I lean toward the second explanation, but can't be sure of it. Call her the third anyway.

8:15 - Been quiet for a while, but now fledgling three is looking around with interest, particularly the area along the park wall where there might be mice, like she's in hunting mode despite a full crop and nil experience. Fledgling one is less active, but does look around a bit.

8:20 - Light is going to pot, so it's tough to take pix. Fledglings one and three still in position. Haven't checked on two since first heading uphill.

8:29 - Belatedly spot mama Isolde perched on usual perch at 301 West 110th. So that seems to mean all five family members accounted for this evening.

8:40 - It's about 15 minutes past firefly time. As camera and binocualrs go back into pack, fledgling three perks up as if she has decided there's a better play to roost for the night. First she switches to a tree about 15-20 feet south, then after a minute goes east into one of the bigger trees overlooking on the ball field.

Fledgling still where I spotted her almost two hours ago. Looks she's got a roost and sticking to it.

Posted 6/30/2007 11:27:00 PM by Robert

6/24, Sunday Dinner?

No family dinner for me today, so I can hang out around the cathedral looking for red-tails. Perhaps I'll catch a late feeding.

Approaching the Cathedral from the south, so let's check the close first.

6:27 p.m. - A fledgling spotted perched high up on the end of the cathedral, sitting on the crennelations above the statue of St. James the Great (two statues to the left of St. Andrew and the nest). If I'd been on Morningside Drive, I probably never would have seen this perch.

Red-Tailed Fledgling

6:31 - Start walk around the cathedral to see what's on the other side.

6:37 - A fledgling spotted perched on the top of the St. Savior chapel rooftop cross.

Suddenly some motion. Did a hawk just pass behing the cross fledgling and disppear into the treetops?

6:45 - Have found a couple spots with overlapping partial views of the turret above St. James the Great, and there is no longer a fledgling up there.

7:10 - Despite listening and looking along Morningside Drive, it's just been the one fledgling perched atop the St. Savior cross for the past hour. Parked myself on a bench for awhile, then started back toward the chapels.

7:23 - Motion overhead. Parents flying over the chapels. Did I just see a fledgling moving about atop St. Columba chapel?

7:24 - A hawk fles east from the cathedral and keeps going, apparently a parent. Approaches the north end of the roof of 301 West 110.

Ack! Another hawk about to collide with the adult!

Red-Tail and Shadow

No, whew! Adult lands on roof of 301, and I realize that the "attacker" was her own shadow on the side of the building.

And whichever that adult is behaving like its dressing dinner.

7:27 - And now we have two fledglings in view. The first on the St. Savior cross, and now another on the eaves of St. Martin's chapel.

Red-Tail Fledgling

St. Martin's seems to have been a favored location the last few days.

7:29 - Pitiful feed-me whining erupts. Is the other adult hawk around?

Feed Me!

7:31 - Belatedly, I spot the other adult perched on the pointed roof above the statue of St. James the Great. Looks like Tristan, so that must be Isolde over on 301 West 110.

Tristan the Red-Tail

7:33 - Whining continues. The little girl on St. Savior's cross is getting really exercised about wanting some attention.

Feed Me!

7:38 - Isolde now perched on an antenna atop 301 West 110, while Tristan seems to have quietly vacated his perch on the cathedral.

7:50 - Zing! An adult flies low over the roof St. Martin's chapel, apparently drops something off a few feet to the side of the one fledgling.

Parent briefly stops to perch on a corner of the St. Martin's roof, while fledgling dives on food drop-off.

Other fledgling flies over from St. Savior cross, but sorry, there's not enough for two.

Red-Tail Fledglings

7:53 - Fledgling with food is finished eating. Other fledgling sits on edge of roof and looks digusted.

7:57 - For a moment they perch near each other. Then unfed fledgling starts poking about chapel roof to see if there are any uneaten morsels.

Red-Tail Fledglings

8:10 - Neither fledgling visible on roof of St. Martin's. Isolde is still over on 301 West 110.

8:17 - Exiting the scene along 113th St., I note that Tristan is perched on the roof of St. Luke's.

Tristan the Red-Tail

Posted 6/30/2007 10:40:00 PM by Robert

6/22-6/23, Bedtime for Little Hawks

Still catching up. Here's two days of late evening red-tail fledgling watching a week ago.


7:25 p.m. - First hawk sighting is a fledgling perched at the base of the cross on the roof of St. Savior chapel. Vigorous preening is going on. Fledge's belly band looks medium-ish, so I guess this is Eldest?

Red-Tail Fledgling

7:29 - From Morningside Drive, another fledgling is spotted perched on a final atop St. James chapel. Although very backlit, a heavy belly band suggests it is Brownie. Only to get a better look will be to walk all the way around tp the other end of the cathedral and walk into the close.

Red-Tail Silhouette

7:38 - Made the walk around the cathedral. Brownie still on the St. James finial.

Red-Tail Fledgling

7:39 - She's looking interested in something. Did an adult just fly behind me and up to the cathedral roof?

7:40 - Poof, Brownie flies off around the east end of the cathedral. She seems to be low, so she might be headed somewhere near Eldest.

7:49 - Made the return trek back, and a fledgling is perched on the favored urn atop St. Luke's hospital. Medium to heavy belly band, so it's not Youngest/Runt.

7:50 - Eldest is still on the rope knot on the St. Savior's cross, so the fledgling on the hospital roof is Brownie.

8:02 - Parents begin to make their appearance, almost like they'd perched in the tops of nearby trees. Tristan perches on the top of the St. Savior cross.

Tristan the Red-Tail

8:03 - And Isolde alights on the top of the tall finial of St. Ansgar chapel.

But checking back on St. Savior, looks like Eldest has moved. Tristan is on the top of the cross, but Eldest is not to be seen.

And Isolde is departing already, circling around the end of the Cathedral.

8:11 - Tristan also exits, but I think I saw him simply move into a nearby treetop over Morningside Drive.

8:21 - A fledgling back on the rope knot at the base of the St. Savior cross. Looks like Brownie this time, and she did disappear from the hospital roof in the last few minutes.

8:22 - Fledgling disappears while I'm looking another direction.



What with things to do and a last-minute tech support call to help with a family computer, I figured I wouldn't check on the cathedral hawks today. But 8:00 came around and I was close enough that it seemed I might look at the west front for some sunset color. Not yet... might as well check on the hawks.

Note: Apaprently about an hour or so before I got there, fledgling(s) were sighted north of the cathedral. "Runt" may have been spotted perched on the eglise up at 114th St.

8:10 - Nothing initially, but then a fledgling flies from back on one of the chapel roofs and alights on the peak of the roof of the north wing of the Cathedral School.

Red-Tail Fledgling

8:12 - An adult appears and perched atop the cross on the roof of St. Savior chapel. Isolde?

8:14 - Fledgling at school changes position and is now perched on a chimney.

8:18 - Another fledgling visible on the eaves of St. Martin's chapel.

8:21 - School fledgling (I think it's the same one as 10 minutes ago) now perched on the northwest peak of the school roof, looking over the close.

8:22 - A little excitement on the roof of St. Martin's chapel. Looks like there are two fledglings up there. Yep, there's two up there.

Red-Tail Fledglings

And moving around a bit.

Red-Tail Fledglings

8:26 - Fledglings are perched close to each other, sometimes checking out the chapel roof. Leftover morsels?

Red-Tail Fledglings

Also, the adult left the St. Savior chapel cross exited in the last few minutes, flying into the cathedral close area. Going to roost?

8:27 - Apparently bedtime for the entire family. One fledgling on chapel roof flies across Morningside Drive and into a tree in the park, close to the 112th St. overlook.

8:28 - And the other fledgling on the chapel also takes off, seemingly to join her sibling but then turning down Morningside Drive and flying into the trees over the construction shack near 110th St.

8:35 - Fledgling in park tree still visible. Not going to sleep quite yet, but probably soon.

8:36 - Exit.

Posted 6/30/2007 05:10:00 AM by Robert

6/21, Solsticial Rooftop Dining

Very belated post.... Too many pix to examine and too much other stuff to do.


6:31 p.m. - Two fledglings found perched next to each other on the corner of the eaves of the Cathedral School. One is staning up right on the corner and messing about with something a foot long, whilst the other is sitting in the gutter and watching.

Red-Tail Fledglings

It's tough to tell what the "plaything" is, and I debate whether it's a long strip of bark or a hawk or goose feather. Seems too long and straight to be a piece of leftover food.

6:41 - Maybe it was food. The first fledgling gave up, but now it looks like the second is trying to swallow something.

6:42 - And now they're looking around.

Red-Tail Fledglings

Is there a parent in the area?

Red-Tail Fledglings

6:44 - The kids were looking out a bit, and then there was quick screeching. Zip, papa Tristan appears and drops off food, then is gone in a second, probably afraid the kids would take a bite out of him.

Dinner is Served

Tristan flies to tree over sidewalk and almost overhead, looks relieved.

Tristan the Red-Tail

Kids dig in. Hard to see for sure, but one of them seems to have gotten the bigger piece and is mantling. But it's gristly and hard to get pieces off of.

Red-Tail Fledglings Feed

6:45 - Tristan shifts to tree over the street.

6:46 - Messy eating continues.

Red-Tail Fledglings Feed

6:47 - Dinner already over? Kids are looking around as if to see what else dad might have brought. But Tristan is gone.

Red-Tail Fledglings

Maybe someone dropped some food over the eaves?

Red-Tail Fledglings

7:00 - Kids have stayed put on school roof. Is the third one around somewhere?

7:02 - As I'm talking to Dottie on 113th St., mama Isolde flies up and perches on tall finial of St. Ansgar Chapel, then flies over to the tie-rod along the side of the transept arch.

Isolde the Red-Tail

7:03 - Isolde flies over to apse rooftop finial above statue of Saint Matthew.

Isolde the Red-Tail

7:10 - Checking on Morningside Drive, the two fledglings are still on the corner of the eaves, preening and loking around.

Red-Tail Fledglings

7:16 - Isolde still on finial.

7:20 - Isolde off finial.

7:23 - Ah-ha. Isolde merely dropped down to the eaves of the apse and is sitting about 30-40 feet from the finial.

7:30 - And belatedly I realize she may be looking across the street because Tristan is perched on the corner of the hospital roof.

7:32 - Isolde flies across street into tree below Tristan. Is the other fledgling in there? Well, maybe not, as she immediately flies off again, disappearing into trees over street near St. Savior chapel.

7:34 - Tristan stool on hospital roof, with house finch again expressing desire to engage in dialectic.

7:36 - Two fledglings still on school roof. One might be pecking about for leftovers.

Red-Tail Fledglings

7:40 - Parents around? Seems like someone was circling overhead, but is hanging out in treetops over the street rather than on architecture.

8:00 - Tried to check the view from Morningside Park's upper lawn. Too much foliage and too late in day to see anything. Kids also gone from school roof.

Posted 6/30/2007 03:31:00 AM by Robert

6/20, Two Hawks at School

Yet again, two Cathedral red-tail fledglings found, this time hanging out together for some time. But no sign of the third, or of the parents.

5:35 p.m. - No hawks visible from anywhere along 113th St.

5:39 - A fledgling spotted on corner of eaves of Cathedral School roof. A darkish belly band, but I'm not sure if this Brownie or Eldest. Almost certainly not Runt.

Red-Tail Fledgling

5:45 - Fledgling is sitting in sunny spot, and seems to be panting a little.

Red-Tail Fledgling

5:49 - Fledgling seems to be looking toward Cathedral but all I can see of interest is a starling on eaves of St. Martin's chapel.

5:55 - Still no sign of hawks up around 113th St.

6:01 - Fledgling on school roof has shifted position 8-10 feet and is no longer on corner. Looks over toward corner now and again, and it looks like there are flies circling about there.

6:02 - Another fledgling found atop St. Martin's chapel, same spot I think as where the starling was a little while ago.

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:03 - Looks back at her sister.

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:04 - Fledgling on chapel roof flies over a few feet and flops down in eaves gutter. Has she got some food tucked away there?

6:06 - Out of the gutter.

6:07 - I can't see school roof fledgling anymore. I confuse myself briefly by considering whether the two fledglings I've seen are the same one, but no, it was practically a smooth change of view from seeing one to spotting the other.

6:09 - Chapel fledgling back out to corner of roof. Looks like this might be Brownie.

6:13 - Chapel fledgling flies over to school roof... and lands next to sibling. Ah, first fledgling may have been hiding in a gutter herself and so wasn't visible for a minute or two.

Red-Tail Fledglings

First time I've seen two of the Divine siblings together since they left the nest. These two seem to be the same size and have moderate to heavy belly bands, so it's probably the two believed to have been born first (Eldest, aka Tailbiter) and second (Brownie). Not entirely sure which is which, but for the moment assume that the first one seen today is Eldest and the one who was on the chapel roof is Brownie.

But I wonder where the third, Runt, is at?

6:16 - Brownie muscles her way past Eldest toward gutter in corner of eaves, right where the flies where circling about before. Ah-ha, must be food up there because she's definitely pulling stuff of something.

6:19 - Small feathers flying about suggest that dinner is a bird.

6:26 - Ooh, gross. Brownie pulls a big chunk off.

6:35 - Brownie finally satiated, perches on corner of eaves and watches over Morningside Drive. Eldest still perched about 8-10 feet away.

Red-Tail Fledglings

6:42 - Brownie has sliced, and stretched out both wings a couple times, but stays put anyway.

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:43 - Eldest must be feeling peckish. She moves over to the remnants of whatever and starts working it over.

6:46 - Both fledglings still on roof of Cathedral School, Brownie on the corner edge and Eldest near-by in the gutter but looking around.

Red-Tail Fledglings

Exit. (And still no sign of a hawk along 113th St.)

Posted 6/21/2007 11:37:00 PM by Robert

6/19, Brownie Goes to School

Again, just two Cathedral red-tailed hawk fledglings spotted today. But one was found in a new spot.

5:23 p.m. - Arrive at cathedral. A fledgling is immediately spotted perched on side of transept buttress behind and above Baptistry.

Red-Tail Fledgling

5:28 - Around the corner and down Morningside Drive, another fledgling spotted perched on northeast corner of roof of Cathedral School. She's wtaching kids on the school playground.

Red-Tail Fledgling

5:37 - Stretttttch.

Red-Tail Fledgling

5:39 - Thought I saw something flying over the roof of the school.

5:40 - Papa Tristan appears and lands atop a tree across Morningside Drive and just inside the park.

Red-Tail in Morningside Park

5:41 - Robins have been complaining vociferously about Tristan, and one takes a couple shots at him.

Red-Tail and Robin

5:44 - Tristan takes off and flies southeast. Last seen angling south and disappears behind 352 West 110.

5:46 - Fledgling atop school has shifted position a bit but is otherwise staying put. I think this is Brownie, the one with the heavy belly band.

Red-Tail Fledgling

5:49 - Other fledgling is still on transept buttress.

5:57 - Brownie looks happy to see me back to take more pictures.

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:10 - Fledgling is still on transept buttress.

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:15 - Brownie turned around so that it look like she's watching the traffic on Morningside Drive, but her eyes are closed like she's trying to take a nap.

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:25 - Fledgling has disappeared from buttress. Doctor entering parking lot points toward hospital roof, eave of section protruding from mansard. She's headed upward toward the crest.

6:35 - Haven't been able to spot fledgling from parkside path with better view of hospital roof. Time to leave.

6:36 - From down 113th St., fledgling's head is just visible on hospital roof.

Posted 6/20/2007 11:58:00 PM by Robert