6/8-6/9, Tentative Flapping

Fledging time for the Cathedral red-tail babies is nigh, but they seem unready. The nest "roof", plus the confines of there being three nestlings each seeking her own space, make it difficult to exercise the wings without interference.

Nevertheless, some flapping has begun, to the extent that one expects that the first fledge will be someone getting bumped out of the nest as someone else exercises. The "launching pad" of St. Andrew's hand is also getting some attention, although no one seems to have actually jumped out there yet.


Humid, almost misty evening, so picture taking was a little more difficult.

6:45 p.m. - Arrive to find other hawkwatchers have gathered because fledging time is approaching. But it also means sometimes finding the good watching spots are alreay occupied.

6:47 - Camera now out, one can see two nestlings on the north side of the nest.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestlings

6:52 - One of them has jumped up on St. Andrew's head.

6:55 - Wander around the corner to see what the third nestling is up to.

6:56 - Bingo! They're all up.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestlings

But the trio are looking in different directions, no coordination at all, so different things have their interest.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestlings

Ah, the I-can-twist-my-head-around stare.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestlings

7:02 - Gabriel's horn is empty. Was there a parent up there when I arrived.

7:10 - Three kids still in their respective spots.

7:11 - And Isolde now perched on Gabriel's horn.

7:20 - Nestling on St. Andrew's head is back in the nest, and most of the view now is another nestling's back.

7:25 - Big stretch of both wings from nestling on north side as she steps back into nest. The sticks in that spot seem wobbly, and although we're seeing some wing stretches and flaps, I wonder if most are for balance.

7:40 - Loads of preening and looking around from northside nestling.

7:41 - Noticing a couple people looking up at the roof of St. Luke's, I check the decorative vase on the corner and see Isolde is now perched there. Actually, no, she and Tristan are there.

Tristan and Isolde

7:45 - Northside nestling tries to jump from the nest edge up on St. Andrew's head but slips. Big wing flap.

7:50 - Two nestlings on north side. One facing outward, one inward but looking back over her shoulder. They watch something fly over Morningside Park, then preen.

7:55 - Check on third nestling on south side of nest. She's having a good scratch.

Gotta Scratch

8:00 - Nestlings sitting around.

8:10 - Both parents take off. One heads off toward Douglass Circle. It seems a bit late to go hunting in Central Park, doesn't it?

8:13 - Big wing flap from single nestling on north side of nest. Sometimes it seems like she (or whoever is perching in that spot) is eying St. Andrew's hand and thinking about trying to perch out there, but when they try to move out there, the nest sticks shift and flap-flap, back into the nest.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestling

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestling

8:22 - Quiet again, but we've found mama Isolde perched atop 301 West 110. So no, no hunting in the park. No idea where Tristan went. Perhaps a bit too early for him to go to roost.

8:27 - Looks like the three nestlings have all gone to bed.



It's cooler out but the air is clearer. None of that humid mistiness from yesterday.

6:04 p.m. - Arrive at nest area to see one nestling perched on St. Adrew's head and another on north side of nest.

6:12 - Third is on south side of nest, but not all the way out.

6:13 - Hawk yoga with a leg stretch from nestling on Andrew's head.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestling

6:17 - And off Andrew's head back into nest.

6:18 - Finally find a hawk parent perched in the area. Tristan is on oen of the pointed cooper roofs over at St. Luke's.

6:33 - Nestlings all seem to have their attention on something inside the nest. Doesn't seem like they're really feeding, but maybe someone is pecking at what's left of a meal. or perhaps they're plotting a conspiracy.

6:34 - Mama Isolde spotted atop 301 West 110.

6:48 - All seemed quiet for awhile, and the only other hawkwatcher has left because of the cool temperatures. But now one of the nestlings pops back up on St. Andrew's head. All can be seen from a viewpoint along 113th St.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestlings

6:49 - Whoever's on Andrew's head turns around, and then sits so that her back is outward.

6:52 - She turns back around, and she and another nestling both watch something in the sky to the north. But Tristan is still on the roof of St. Luke's.

Cathedral Red-Tail Nestlings

6:54 - Preen, preen, preen. All I can see is feathery hawk bottoms.

7:10 - I'd been on the verge of leaving, but then a nestling made another cautious step towards St. Andrew's hand. Nest sticks wobble a bit, flap-flap-flap, jump back in nest. Whew.

7:12 - Another try, but same result.

7:15 - Big flap, and another try at Andrew's hand. Damn, stopped short again. Flap-flap.

Thinking about Flying

Thinking about Flying

Thinking about Flying

Thinking about Flying

Thinking about Flying

7:16 - Big stare at Andrew's hand. Nestling on south side of nest can be seen looking over at sibling's toil.

7:20 - Gotta go. One nestling still on Andrew's head after 30 minutes plus.

Posted 6/09/2007 11:25:00 PM by Robert

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