6/29, Moving to Morningside Park

Between work, a concert, and weather, this was the first day since Sunday that I've been able to visit the Cathedral and Morningside Park to see what the red-tailed hawks were up to.

Turns out that the fledglings have made the move from the chapel roofs over to Morningside Park. This means that they can be harder to find because of obscurring foliage, and the use of sound (i.e., robin complaints) becomes a major clue of their presence.

(Note: Four posts made today to catch up. Be sure to check for reports on solstice Thursday, Friday and Saturday a week ago, and last Sunday.


6:09 p.m. - One hawk quickly spotted. Tristan is perched on the crenellations above the statue of Saint Matthew.

Tristan the Red-Tail

But where are the kids?

6:33 - Walked up to 114th St. and down to 110th St. Nada. Now down in the Morningside Park alongside the ball fields and see a hawk circling about over Morningside Drive. A couple loops later it heads out over the park and then east along 111th St. It's Tristan, and he'll likely hang a right the other side of 301 West 110th and head into Central Park.

6:53 - Walked up to the park pond, then back south before following the upper path from 110th back to 112-1/2th, stopping at one point because of slow but insistent robin plaints. Now at the 112th St. overlook thinking, at this time of year last year, the fledglings should be perched in a tree right around here.

6:54 - And there's a fledgling perched extremely quietly in a tree about 50 feet away.

Sleeping Red-Tail Fledgling

Very visible once spotted, but her back is turned this way. I should have noticed her five minutes ago when I walked along the path below, but no I had to say hello to the squirrels.

6:56 - This fledgling is very quiet. In fact, her head has been been leaning over her right shoulder and I've finally realized that she's snoozing.

7:00 - Fledgling is half awake now, preening in a slow, casual way. I don't think she's opened her eyes yet.

7:01 - Okay, now she looks around.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Is it because of the cardinal chirping over atop the 116 Steps hill? No sign of what the cardinal is chiriping about, although another is chirping near the dog run, so it may just be territorial claims.

7:10 - Now checking out the fledgling's front side. She's fluffed up and the angle's bad, but it does look like one of the two with a heavier belly band. Maybe the heaviest, so this would seem to be Brownie.

7:22 - Fledgling is looking a bit perkier and more interested in her surroundings.

Red-Tail Fledgling

7:25 - Back up to check around the nest area. Tristan has returned sometime in the last 10 minutes and is perched on Gabriel's horn.

7:26 - Ooops, Tristan gone again.

7:32 - Almost sounds like fledgling whining in park trees, but it's not coming from the fledgling already found.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Can't quite decide if it's coming from east or south of her. Let's try walking down Morningside Drive and checking out park treetops.

7:40 - I can't see anything, but someone on the lower terrace at the Cathedral Gardens dorm is looking toward 301 West 110th like there's something interesting on the roof.

7:42 - Hawk flies off top of 301 from somewhere other than the usual perching area, flies over 300 and south along Central Park West. Turns around near apartment tower at 107th St. and disappears, descending toward lower rooftops.

7:51 - Walking along park path by ball fields, can't quite make out where found fledgling is at.

Some odd wiggling from tree branch overhead. For once it actually means something.

Red-Tail Fledgling

There's a fledgling preening her/his tail, and this is about the spot where the whining might have been coming from 15-20 minutes ago.

Red-Tail Fledgling

I walked under this tree twice earlier without noticing anything. Yes, the light is bad this evening, but still... I must be out of practice in finding fledglings.

7:56 - Head back uphill where I might be able to see both fledglings. Light's bad, though.

8:01 - First fledgling in view, but can't see second one from here.

Red-Tail Fledgling

8:02 - A hawk comes flying up, following the course of the upper park path, and settles in atreet west across the path from first fledgling. Tawny breast feathers; it's a fledgling.

Red-Tail Fledgling

The question is, who is this? Did the second fledgling I spotted ten minutes ago just fly up here? Or was the third one hanging around down toward 110th St. (perhaps where I'd been hearing robin complaints off and on) and decide to shift position? I lean toward the second explanation, but can't be sure of it. Call her the third anyway.

8:15 - Been quiet for a while, but now fledgling three is looking around with interest, particularly the area along the park wall where there might be mice, like she's in hunting mode despite a full crop and nil experience. Fledgling one is less active, but does look around a bit.

8:20 - Light is going to pot, so it's tough to take pix. Fledglings one and three still in position. Haven't checked on two since first heading uphill.

8:29 - Belatedly spot mama Isolde perched on usual perch at 301 West 110th. So that seems to mean all five family members accounted for this evening.

8:40 - It's about 15 minutes past firefly time. As camera and binocualrs go back into pack, fledgling three perks up as if she has decided there's a better play to roost for the night. First she switches to a tree about 15-20 feet south, then after a minute goes east into one of the bigger trees overlooking on the ball field.

Fledgling still where I spotted her almost two hours ago. Looks she's got a roost and sticking to it.

Posted 6/30/2007 11:27:00 PM by Robert

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On 7/01/2007 1:22 AM , Ben C. said...


Have you ever had a person ask you whether Tristan is the name for the male hawk or the female hawk?

I know some opera so I don't have this difficulty but wondered if you ran across this with the public.


On 7/01/2007 2:18 AM , rbs said...

With folks walking by and asking "what are you watching?" the usual response is to just say the mother or the father hawk.

If they;re actually listening, then they'll ask how you can tell which is which which.