6/13, Still Just One Fledge at St. John's

Two days since the first red-tailed hawk baby fledged at the Cathedral. Time for another? Perhaps not.

Wednesday

5:10 p.m. - Arrive at Cathedral and immediately spot a fledgling sitting out on the roof of St. Boniface chapel. Also can see a nestling still in the nest, but no sign of either parent around.

5:14 - Angling for a better camera angle of the fledgling along Morningside Drive, it looks like the fledgling has moved out of sight, presumably back along the crest of the roof.

5:16 - Brief sighting of two nestlings in the nest. One looking out of the south side, and the tail end of the other sticking up on the right.

5:24 - Back over on 113th St. One nestling visible, apparently checking out something long and white on the side of the nest. Hmmm, a new stick... no, I think it's what's left of a pigeon wing. That's an odd place for one's leftovers. Perhaps one of the kids tried to clean house but didn't drop the remnants far enough over the side?

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestling

5:30 - Checking out cardinal chirping out at the 112-1/2th St. entrance to Morningside Park.

5:39 - Back up on 113th St. - the fledgling has re-appeared atop St. Boniface chapel.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

5:42 - A nestling looking down, either examining the pigeon wing or the sibling 40-50 feet below.

5:44 - Found a spot on Morningside Drive from where the fledge is visible.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

5:45 - Fledgling returns to where St. Boniface sticks out from the cathedral apse. Note: she flew the 20 feet rather than hop-flap or pick her way along the roof.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

5:48 - Fledgling takes off in flight; looks like she's headed for the roof of St. Ansgar chapel.

5:50 - Yep, there she is. She's picked her spot and she's sticking to it.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

Breeze is mussing her up. Might need to preen a little.

5-50 DSC_0163.JPG

5:52 - Again, a nestling checking out the view below.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestling

I haven't seen a second nestling since shortly after I first arrived. You don't think while I was moving around she... no, she couldn't have. Surely there'd have been a ruckus, or a parent would have shown up, or something?

5:58 - Still one nestling watching the view below, but I'm hearing robin chip-chips from near the 112-1/2th St. entrance of the park. Let's go in and look around. Heck, if there's no secret fledgling over here, maybe an adult hawk has got the robin excited.

6:12 - Pretty much nada in the park. But a couple squirrels seem suggestively "frozen".

Morningside Squirrel

6:18 - The heck with the park. Okay, I see one nestling up in the nest, sitting on St. Andrew's head. That's one hawk.

6:21 - Oh, cool, a parent has shown up and perched on Gabriel's horn. Looks a little flustered, so you'd think it might be Isolde, but it's really Tristan, mussed up by the constant breeze. (Tristan normally looks cool and collected, very Fred Astaire.) So that's two hawks.

Even better, there's mama Isolde, perched on a finial above the statue of St. Peter, immediately to the left of St. Andrew and the nest. That's three hawks.

And ah-ha, the head of a second fledgling poking up in the dark of the back of the nest. Was someone taking a post-prandial nap? That's four hawks.

6:22 - And the fledgling is still perched on the railing about St. Ansgar chapel. That's five hawks, and the family is all accounted for. Hey, they're even all visible at the same time. When was the last time that happened? Ever?

6:27 - Family all still in their respective position. The camera lense only pulls back to 70mm but maybe I can fit this scene in. This is going to be really awkward...

Cathedral and Hawks

6:28 - Good thing I took that picture then, because both parents just took off in a southerly direction.

6:29 - Nestling out on St. Andrew's hand.

6:32 - Nestling returns to nest, stays maybe 20 seconds, and comes back out on hand.

6:33 - Flap-flap-flap; back to nest.

Tristan came back and is on Gabriel's horn again.

6:34 - Nestling again back out to St. Andrew's hand. Maybe not the same one, as the one on his head has finally given up that position.

Oh, clever. She grabs the pigeon wing remnant in her beak and hops back into the nest. Looks like someone was getting peckish.

6:50 - The weather's getting really more blustery and nothing's happened in 15 minutes. C'mon give me a sign. Thank you. Fledgling hops off the railing and goes and hides somewhere out of the wind.

6:51 - Och! A nestling jumps out on St. Andrew's hand and starts flapping. Oooh, nice pose as she extends the wings all the way out and stops flapping.

Almost a Fledgling

One good gust and... No, back into the nest.

6:52 - Then back out on the hand. Flap-flap-flap, flap-flap-flap. Other nestling acts nonchalant and looks the other direction. Back into the nest.

6:53 - Exit.

Posted 6/13/2007 10:25:00 PM by Robert

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