6/14, A Fledgling Visits the Hospital

Sorry, I don't mean the Seventh Ave. fledgling who was picked up by urban rangers and turned over to rehab yesterday. This blog is pretty much about the red-tails at St. John's.

But read on...


Still cool today and overcast, but no rain and mercifully no wind.

5:25 p.m. - Walk east on 113th St. at 5:25. Two hawks are immediately apparent perched on decorative urns on the roof of St. Luke's hospital, one on the usual spot on the corner of Morningside Drive and one 70 feet to the wets, overlooking the delivery area. Looks like Tristan on the western urn, so it must Isolde down at the corner.

5:27 - One baby visible perched on St. Andrew's head up at the nest. And hmmmm, looks like another sitting down but looking out the south side of the nest. Drat, so no one fledged today.

5:29 - No sign of fledgling on roof St. Ansgar chapel. Two nestlings are now both standing up for pictures.

5:35 - Begin pass along Morningside Drive to check the recesses of Boniface and Columba chapels for the fledgling. Acknowledge curious nestling.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestling

5:40 - Back up to the corner; no luck finding fledgling. Notice that a small bird is up on the urn with Isolde, apparently trying to tell her to go away.

Isolde atop St. Luke's

Reddish breast and reddish head, but no creat like a cardinal and the colored head is wrong for a robin. What is that?

(Ed. note: Donna has identified the scold as a male house finch.)

Isolde atop St. Luke's

5:52 - Back up 113th St. Nada on the chapel roofs from here.

6:15 - Talking with another recently arrived hawkwatcher by the three trees on 113th St., we are interrupted by two pedestrians calling for our attention from up the street. It's two people who passed by earlier and asked what I was looking for. They indicate that there are three hawks on the roof of the hospital.

6:16 - Yep. Tristan's no longer on the urn, but about 25 feet from that urn on a drainage protector on a window in the mansard roof is a hawk with a tawny breast. The fledgling.

Red-Tail Fledgling atop St. Luke's

Gee, that's pretty high up for the fledgling, considering she was still hanging about on the Cathedral chapel roofs yesterday. And it's not an easy hop skip and jump from any tall tree up to the hospital roof.

(Some 10-20 minutes later, a hospital worker tells one of the other hawkwatchers that the fledge had been lured over to the hospital when mama left some food on top of an air conditioner on the east face of the building.)

6:17 - And there's Tristan over on the crest of the roof, and Isolde still down on the corner urn.

Three Hawks atop St. Luke's

Even from up here, we can see that the small bird wishing to engage isolde in a dialectic is still not getting her attention.

6:29 - Fledgling has been fairly quietly perched, but now she perks up. She tries to fly up to the top of the mansard roof but doesn't make it and starts to slide down the copper sheating on the corner of the roof. Flap-flap, and she ends up on another window protector around the corner.

Red-Tail Fledgling atop St. Luke's

And the parents are in the air. Tristan shifts down the street to another decorative urn overlooking the hospital entrance in mid-block, and about 135 feet from the fledge. Isolde, well, I didn't see where she went, and to be honest she might have flown off a few minutes ago.

6:30 - Fledgling looks around with curiosity. I don't think she's going to stay in this spot long.

Red-Tail Fledgling atop St. Luke's

6:32 - Nope. She tries to fly up to another section of the rooftop, but again is too low. This time she's up against a window in some sort of modern addition stuck on the old roof of the hospital, and she tries to grab hold and perch on the top of the window sash. She hasn't figure out glass yet. She slips down to the ledge a couple feet below.

6:33 - Stands up, looks around, stares at window glass in disgust.

Red-Tail Fledgling atop St. Luke's

6:38 - Moves along ledge back toward mansard roof. Checks out the window a lot, or else something interesting inside the window. She finds a nice little pipe to perch on.

Red-Tail Fledgling atop St. Luke's

6:39 - Jumps back on ledge.

Red-Tail Fledgling atop St. Luke's

6:41 - Back up on pipe. Looks like she may stay here a little while, plus there's two other hawkwatchers to keep an eye on her.

Red-Tail Fledgling atop St. Luke's

6:47 - Check on Tristan. He's not really been watching the fledgling. Why is that? Is he watching something else...

6:51 - Check on nestlings. Just one visible at the moment.

6:55 - A small bird dive-bombs Tristan a couple times, and I hear a high-pitched chittering. Ah, so that's a kestrel.

7:01 - A kestrel perch is noted further west on an antenna on the hospital roof.

7:04- Kestrel bombing runs start up again. Yow, a dozen attacks or so. Tristan bobs and weaves, but does not give up his perch.

Tristan vs. the Kestrel

7:10 - Fledgling still on pipe. She did make a half-hearted attempt to go up the mansard roof, but has otherwise been quiet for the last half hour.

7:20 - Walk down to and along Morningside Drive to check on nestlings. Yes, two still up there, although one seems to be lying down and only tail feathers sticking over edge of nest can be seen. No sign of Mama Isolde.

7:28 - Back up on 113th St. Fledgling has perked up just a bit and is looking around.

7:29 - Another kestrel divebomb on Tristan, but just a run or two before it's over.

7:30 - Both nestlings standing up and looking around.

Fledgling still just looking around.

7: 31 - Time for me to go, leaving one other hawkwatcher on site to perhaps see where the fledgling goes to roost.

Posted 6/14/2007 10:19:00 PM by Robert

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