7/16, Backstop Hawk


Beautiful day.

5:34 p.m. - Tristan is at the Cathedral, perched up top on Gabriel's horn.

Tristan the Red-Tail

5:53 - After walking arcound south end of Morningside Park, stop at pond to take pictures of the great egret perching within just a few feet of people.

Morningside Park Egret

But wait, what's that screeching?

5:55 - Yep, a red-tail fledgling perched in a tree at the bottom of the 116 Steps hill.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

Now, who is this? Belly band is not heavy, so it's not Brownie. Could be either Eldest or Youngest.

Not clear whose attention she's trying to get with the screeching. Tristan is still up on the Cathedral roof, but the fledge can see there from here.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

6:06 - As jazz band set up by the pond dives into the first chart of a free show for park users (very Basie; the first few tunes sound straight off his April in Paris album), fledge flits over to adjacent tree. Meanwhile, a couple paassing by stops to chat, and one mentions that they saw all three of the fledglings perched together on the near-by baseball backstop a few days earlier. Then the fledge flies up into the trees to the south.

6:18 - After heading up the hill, looking around and then taking the path down to the southwest corner of the park, arrive back on lower level just in time to see the fledgling fly out of the trees and land on the fresh logs, less than ten feet from a couple guys sitting on a bench.

Morningside Park Users

Initially they have no clue she's there, but when she hops down to the ground they realize what's behind them.

6:19 - And then she flies up to perch on the backstop screen.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

Lovely location for a photographer to get close and take pix, but the fledgling is pretty backlit from a lot of angles. On the other hand, there are some colorful backdrops from other angles.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

She seems to like the spot, and realatively quickly gets used to the sounds from a couple kids practicing batting and fielding on the diamond below.

What Lovely Talons You Have Spider-Man Eyes

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

6:38 - After looking around for 20 minutes, the fledge flies off to the backstop onto ground on the hillside on the other side of the path.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

A failed leap for prey? If so, she missed. She does pick somethingup in her beak but decides she doesn't like it, then looks around in consternation. (Well, okay, that's the way they look half the time anyway.)

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

And glares at a candy wrapper.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

6:39 - And then flies back up to the backstop.

6:48 - And another flight down to the ground, looking around some rocks a little further up the hill.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

She jogs around a bit, but doesn't move more than 10 feet from where she landed.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

6:51 - Back up to the backstop.

6:54 - And then across the park to a tree near the 113th St. entrance.

Morningside Red-Tail Fledgling

6:55 - Back to the rockface.

6:56 - And up to the top of a tree to the south.

As I'm angling around for a position where I can get an idea what she's up to up there, I realize there are sounds of "hey, camera guy" coming from a woman letting her dog play on the ballfield. She indicates that there is another hawk perched on apartment building across Manhattan Ave. Sure enough, there's a fledgling on a chimney alongside someone's roof deck at the corner of 112th St.

Roof-Deck Hawk

6:58 - And meanwhile, fledgling number takes to the air again, circles around and up over Morningside Drive, disappears into the cathedral close area, then flies back out and up to perch on the rooftop finial above the statue of St. James the Great.

Fledgling on Finial

7:00 - Back to checking in the second fledgling from streetside.

Roof-Deck Hawk

Darkish belly band, so this is probably Brownie.

Roof-Deck Hawk

Unlike the first one, Brownie has a full crop, and a smug look on her beak.

Roof-Deck Hawk

7:08 - Time for me to start heading out. First across the park.

7:11 - Check on fledgling from along Morningside Drive.

Apse Cross and Finials

7:16 - Definitely a fledgling up there. No switcheroos with an adult.

Fledgling on Finial

7:18 - And finally exit.

Posted 7/21/2007 12:43:00 AM by Robert

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