7/12-7/13, More Hanging about Morningside Drive

Red-Tail Fledgling Close-Up

Thursday

Gorgeous day.

Almost immedately spot first red-tail hawk fledgling spotted at 5:22, perched quietly near the 112th St. overlook in Morningside Park. Not sure who this is as she's perched in profile and there's speckled shadow all over her.

Red-Tail Fledgling

On walking down Morningside Drive a few minutes later, find a second fledgling perched a bit more than a block south. This looks like Brownie.

Red-Tail Fledgling

She's in obvious sight to anyone who bothers to look around as the walk, with bright sunshine gleaming off her pale front. Actually, this will prove it difficult to take pictures, as in many she ends up over-exposed.

While checking out Brownie from below, she returns the favor, although she's more likely to be scoping out the two small dogs running around.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Then she turns back around and lets out some very loud screeches from Brownie. These are more a "whole wheat" cry rather than the seagull-like fledgling whining.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Roam around the south end of Morningside Park and along Morningside Drive two or three times over the next hour and half, but no further hawk sightings a re made. The first fledgling has moved off to parts unknown by 6:00. Brownie stays put the entire time, doing no more than shift position on the same branch and with no further screeching when I happen to be around.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Just past 7:30 Brownie finally decides to move elsewhere, first flying to a treetop close to the southwest corner of the park, then somewhere east along 110th St.

Friday

Not so gorgeous day. Muggy and very overcast.

Reach Morningside Drive just before 6:00 and suspect there's a hawk near-by as there seems to be some isolated screeching from around rockface hill. Then am immediately treated to sight of fledgling flying into tree near 112th St. overlook. She looks around for a couple minutes...

Red-Tail Fledgling

...and then apparently tries to snatch a mouse or squirrel on the ground on the other side of the overlook. She barely misses the head of someone sitting on a bench as she makes her swoop. The attack is unsuccessful and she immediately flies across the street, perched briefly atop the chainlink fence by St. Savior chapel, and then flies up into a tree to the south.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Okay, good look at the belly band there. But after the experience of last Sunday, I'm not really sure whether this is Eldest or Youngest. My guess is Eldest, but I wouldn't swear to it.

A few minutes later she flies back across the street and perches high above the sidewalk by the 112-1/2th St. entrance to Morningside Park. With the bad light, and what light there is being back lighting, she's hard to see and the the average pedestrian would almost surely never spot her up there. Five minutes later when I'm looking another way, she quietly disappears.

After wandering into south end of Morningside Park, find on walking back north that a fledglig has perched on one of the dead tree branches on rockface hill.

Red-Tail Fledgling Watches over Morningside Park

Hard to say who this is, as she's all fluffed up.

But when I rush up the stairs to get a better view, she disappears. Damn.

But, but... from top of hill, turn around to see that an adult hawk is perched on the corner of the roof at the hospital.

Red-Tail Tristan atop St. Luke's

And there are pedestrians gathering on the sidewalk by the park entrance to watch a fledgling perched on a tree branch and chowing down on a pigeon.

Red-Tail Fledgling "Dines"

Again the belly band is not helpful, but this looks like either Eldest or Youngest.

The fledgling spends close to 15 minutes eating her pigeon, during which I wander over to 113th St. for a minute and dtermine that the adult on the hospital roof is Tristan. Around 6:45 she finishes up, looks around a bit, tries to wipe the schmutz off her beak and nose by scraping them along on the branch.

Red-Tail Fledgling Close-Up

Then she shifts over to the streetlight by the 112th St. overlook.

Red-Tail Fledgling on Morningside Drive

Where she occasionally tries to wipe her beak off and sometimes slips when doing so, ...

Red-Tail Fledgling on Morningside Drive

... checks out pedestrians, ...

Red-Tail Fledgling on Morningside Drive

... stares at squirrels in near-by trees, ...

Red-Tail Fledgling on Morningside Drive

... and perhaps stares at things farther away.

Red-Tail Fledgling on Morningside Drive

After 7-8 minutes she takes off, first buzzing along the sidewalk for 40-50 feet and surprising the heck out of some pedestrians and bike riders before peeling off east and down into the park.

Another fledgling sighting was made about 15 minutes later down by the small basketball court, when a hawk flew from the east side of the park and into one of the tallest trees on bottom of rockface hill. While perched there she screeched a few times, again the "whole wheat" screech of a healthy hawk, before flying somewhere west or southwest.

Posted 7/15/2007 09:47:00 PM by Robert

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