2/15, Roosting Together

After a half hour of wandering around Morningside Park and seeing no more than one goose and a score of mallards, I finally found Tristan perched just across Morningside Drive from the cathedral.

Hawk at Sunset

I probably should have spotted him earlier, as there had been a single robin chirping in an obvious way near-by for at least five minutes.

But how could one be sure it was Tristan? The light was going and he was perched in an awkward place for photos. I made the early decision on seeing that the hawk had a red (adult) tail and that the feathers on his back were relatively light. Isolde seems to have a darker back.

Tristan in Morningside Park

Looking at pix on the computer later also revealed the light belly band indicative of Tristan rather than Isolde.

Ten minutes later, Tristan flew off to the north, generally in the direction of his usual roosting spot. I trotted up to the 117th St. overlook and spotted a light blob in the expected treetop. But hmmm, two blobs?

Roosting Together

Yep. The first blob I saw was actually Isolde, perched on a lower branch, and then Tristan shuffled out into clearer view on a higher branch.

As grainy and as poorly lit as this picture might be (it was 5:27; sunset was officially at 5:30), the occasion turns out to be the only time where I have viewed both Tristan and Isolde from the side or even above. Their coloring differences are very obvious. Isolde has a heavier belly band and dark shoulders. Also, Isolde seems to have deep, mournful eyes.

Reviewing pix afterward revealed that the couple were doing a lot of looking around, peering this way and that, looking over shoulders, etc. Perhaps they were making sure that pesky Cooper's wasn't around.

Posted 2/15/2008 06:42:00 PM by Robert

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1 Comment:

On 2/16/2008 7:10 PM , yojimbot said...

Cool posting. Got some more info on the sich at St. John's. I'll blog about it later.