6/16-6/17, Weekend Snaps

Now that red-tail fledglings are out of their nests, that means one spends more time looking for them than in taking pictures. But although you might be able to get closer and take picer pictures, you might not find them in the first place.

Anyway, having spent so much time by the Cathedral last week waiting for Divine red-tails to fledge, I was there less than two hours over the weekend. Fledglings were seen, but I suspect I only saw two of them.


Arrived on the 113th St. side of the Cathedral to find almost all quiet. But a fledgling was hopping about on the scaffolding atop the Baptistry. As hawkwatchers know, scaffolding is like a jungle gym for a young hawk.

Red-Tail Fledgling

But five minutes later, she took flight, and with three-four hard pumps sailed over my head and across the street to the ledge around the roof of St. Luke's hospital. A mystery solved: now we know how the fledgling got there up two days ago despite its extreme youth. They're just better than we expected them to be.

The fledgling huddled near the base of Tristan's urn for some time, with the resident house finches showing up to give her some grief. Then the reason for her flight to the hospital roof appeared, as papa Tristan flew from the hospital roof back over to the arch of the Cathedral transept.

Tristan on the Transept

Hawkwatcher Winkie appeared about then and pointed out that another hawk was perched on the rooftop finial above the statue of St. Andrew. We cast about for the other two fledglings, checking the chapel roofs and peering intently at the incomplete north transept walls directly below Tristan. Some squalling in there suggested that a bird was not happy to be sharing the area. But alas, if there was a fledgling back there, we didn't see her.

Meanhwile, fledgling #1 had shifted position over to the protective screen on the balconies of the east face of the hospital. There too the finches followed.

Red-Tail Fledgling and Finches

As 8:30 approached, Isolde had disappeared but Tristan was still atop the transept arch, and the one fledgling looked like she would be roosting on the hospital balcony.


Reached the Cathedral just before 6:00. Again things seemed quiet, but again a fledgling was found by the Baptistry, this time on the stonework on the side of the transept buttress. Looked like she was not enjoying the day's warm temperatures, as she had her mouth open to pant and wings spread a bit.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Bruce and Liz appeared from around Morningside Drive corner and indicated that another fledgling was perched in a tree alongside the Cathedral School playground.

Red-Tail Fledgling

The heavy belly band on this one seemed to indicate that this was "Brownie", who some hawkwatchers believe is the second oldest of the trio. (The assumption follows that the first fledgling was also the eldest.)

Suggestions of whining hinted that another fledgling was nearby, but I couldn't spot her in the treetop foliage. But I did spot one parent, probably Isolde, perched atop an antenna at 301 West 110.

After checking back up on the fledgling by the Baptistry...

Red-Tail Fledgling

...the three of us ended up again down by the playground checking on Brownie. Fledgling whining was more apparent this time, but Brownie's crop was full and the sound didn't seem to be coming from her.

Red-Tail Fledgling

After 5-10 minutes, it seemed we all needed to leave in our separate directions and I headed back uphill, stopped by the Baptistry for a couple more pictures and then was off to family dinner. Bruce, however, discovered the third fledgling along his exit route, perched in a tree further down Morningside Drive near the construction site.

Posted 6/18/2007 05:28:00 PM by Robert

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1 Comment:

On 6/21/2007 12:58 AM , Donegal Browne said...


I just realized that the back pattern of the eyass watching the kids on the playground is startlingly similar to Eldest (aka Big Sister) from last year's clutch. Genetics do count.