6/10, A Bird on the Hand

A step closer to fledging, as at least one and probably two of the Cathedral's baby red-tailed ghawks stepped out on St. Andrew's hand.


6:49 p.m. - After a Fruitless Adventure checking out a city park for a rumored hawk nest, returned to the Morningside area. From the entrance to Morningside Park at Morningside Avenue and 114th St., it's possible to see the red-tailed hawk nest up-hill at the Cathedral, but a good pair of binoculars is required if you want to see much.

Cathedral and 4 Hawks

So although four hawks were visible, Isolde up on Gabriel's horn and three nestlings on the nest on St. Andrew's shoulders, I didn't notice then the curious perch of one of the nestlings.

7:01 - On climbing up to Morningside Drive (and finding assorted hawkwatchers about), I realize that one of the nestlings is perched on St. Andrew's hand, aka, the launching pad.

Perched on St. Andrew's Hand

7:04 - As always, something flying by gets the attention of multiple nestlings.

Perched on St. Andrew's Hand

7:05 - Isolde's on Gabriel's left wing. Maybe the kids were watching Isolde do a circle overhead.

7:07 - The hand is a cool spot, but the nestling jumps back into the nest and then promptly up on St. Andrew's head.

7:08 - Which means that another nestling can check out the hand perch.

7:09 - That's try to check out the hand.

Tentative Step

Tentative steps to step allllllll the way out on the hand don't work well, and that means loads of flapping to maintain balance and get back in the nest.

7:13 - But finally the second nestling gets out on the hand. Whoa, wow, flap, flap, flap, flap. Time to just sit quietly and let the heartbeat go back to normal. Maybe check out the view.

Perched on St. Andrew's Hand

7:14 - Okay, a little more confident now. Let's lean over and peer closely at this curious hard stuff that the perch is made out of. Not like those wobbly nest twigs at all.

Perched on St. Andrew's Hand

7:20 - Nestling has got herself turned around, thank you very much.

Perched on St. Andrew's Hand

7:25 - While I'm changing viewing position, the nestling disappears from Andrew's hand, but I do so see a hawk soaring north over 113th St. Isolde is still up on Gabriel's horn, but I'm told that Tristan made a fly-by food drop-off.

7:36 - A small bird (someone suggests it's a kestrel) buzzes Isolde (she's back on Gabriel's horn) a couple times.

7:40 - Isolde buzzed again, and apparently she dcides she's had enough. But if she apparently flew off to the southeast, who's watching the nest?

7:42 - Tristan found perched on the decorative atop St. Luke's hospital.

7:50 - Kids are apparently done noshing in the nest. One jumps out on Andrew's hand. Pretty confident about it, too, No hesitation. But then jumps back into the nest.

7:53 - A nestling back out on Andrew's hand. Again, hopped out there like she knew what she was doing.

7:55 - Now this is tricky. Nestling wants to reverse perch on Andrew's hand from looking south to looking north. Flap, flap. Flap-flap-flap. Ai! Flap-flap-flap. A solid 15 seconds later she's finally turned around.

7:58 - View must not have been that exciting. All nestlings back in the nest.

8:12 - The light is shot, so camera is back into the pack. But there's enough light for nestlings to remain active, preening, looking around etc.

8:25 - Nestlings still up, although hard to see. Tristan still on hospital roof.

8:30 - Tristan disappears. No sign of Isolde.

8:35 - Exeunt.

Posted 6/12/2007 12:14:00 AM by Robert

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