6/12, A Fledgling Wanders the Chapel Roofs

Fledge found, pictures taken. Whew!


Went over to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine earlier than usual hoping to find yesterday's supposed red-tail fledgling. Wandered around for quite some time, seeing only the two nestlings in the nest and papa Tristan perched across the street on the corner of the roof at St. Luke's. I kept getting drawn back to the area around the north transept by robin calls, plus Tristan seemed to be generally oriented to face that direction. Sorry, wrong place.

5:50 p.m. - From the opposite side of 113th St. while trying yet again to scope out the roofs of the low structures by the transept, I notice out of the corner of my idea that someone small is walking out along the roof of St. Boniface Chapel.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Yay! The fledgling.

Apparently she was hiding underneath and a bit counterclockwise of the nest. The statue of St. Andrew up at the roof line, where the nest is located, is between St. Boniface and St. Columba chapels.

5:52 - Jim O. also arrives and we both try for views along Morningside Drive which reveal the fledgling but are not backlit. I find a few spots across the street where she can be seen through the foliage.

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:01 - Papa Tristan flies over and perches on the tall finial at the east end of St. Ansgar chapel, about 45-50 feet away* from the fledgling.

Tristan on Guard

She looks over. Hi, dad!

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:07 - Tristan flies down onto the roof of St. Ansgar Chapel. Jim and I theorize that he's trying to get the fledge to join him. Does he have any bait?

6:08 - Nestlings upstairs are idly watching the (lack of) activity below.

6:09 - Tristan gives up waiting and flies over to the scaffolding atop the Baptistry, 80 feet to the west. Even with the naked eye, it seems obvious he's got food clutched in one talon.

Tristan atop the Baptistry

6:10 - Tristan flies back to St. Luke's, perching on the edge along the eaves. Looks like he's eating. Or perhaps dressing dinner for someone else?

(BTW: Where did he get dinner? He's mostly been on the roof of the hospital for over an hour.)

Tristan atop St. Luke's

6:13 - A nestling hops out on St. Andrew's hand. First time I've seen either do that today. It's about time.

Red-Tail Nestlings

6:18 - Although the fledgling has moved about a bit, the most exciting thing she's done in the past half hour has been a hop-flap that propels her all of three feet. Now she outright flies over to the roof of St. Ansgar.

6:20 - Fledgling can be seen through roof-edge railing, poking about in the area where papa was at 15 minutes ago.

A nestling apparently decides to show she's just as nimble and hops up on St. Andrew's head. Sorry girl, that is so four days ago.

Red-Tail Nestlings

6:27 - Fledgling now up on the railing where we can see her easily. And then she starts wandering around.

Red-Tail Fledgling

6:28 - Tristan flies over to the nest. Possibly a food delivery. He doesn't stay long before flying back to the hospital roof.

6:30 - The fledgling has reached an even more visible part of the railing on St. Ansgar.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

6:32 - Tristan flies back to St. Ansgar and perched on the tall finial where he can look down on the adventurous hawkling.

Tristan and St. Matthew

She wanders back papa's way but then decided that finial is awful tall; no way she could fly all the way up there to join him.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

So she wanders the other direction and tries to fly up on a shorter finial. She gets partway and perches clumsily.

6:38 Fledgling has wandered almost to the other end of St. Ansgar chapel.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

She must have recently eaten, as I can also see some blood on her talons. Did she just scarf up some food that dad left on the roof?

6:40 - Fledgling hops down on the roof of the Baptistry, but decides it's boring and returns to the roof St. Ansgar chapel almost immediately. We lose sight of her.

Tristan on a Finial

6:45 - All hell breaks loose with a big windy cloudburst. Throughout, Tristan remains on his finial.

6:58 - Rain eases up.

7:08 - No sign of the fledgling since her foray to the roof of the Baptistry. Tristan still on the finial. Nestlings look like they're still disgruntled about the blast of rain that was blown right at them by the easterly gusts.


* All distances measured using Google Earth.

Posted 6/12/2007 11:06:00 PM by Robert

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