5/4, Cathedral Hatch, Plus Riverside Viewing

Cathedral Red-Tail
Isolde aprés feeding

As noted in Saturday's report, feeding behavior had been observed that day at the red-tailed hawk nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. So the plan of the day for Sunday is to get up there and see if it happens some more.

But first, a quick peek at the scene at...

Riverside Park:
Arrived at the nest area about 4:20 and found the hawk mama sitting up, and looking down into the nest. Moving to the spot with a good view, one can see that the kiddies are wiggling around in there. Quick glimpses of fuzzy heads. Then a baby wing pops up.

Riverside Red-Tails

Then 3/4 of a baby hawk head.

Riverside Red-Tails

Sit back down.

Riverside Red-Tails

Cuddle against mama?

Riverside Red-Tails

Chat a bit. (Apparently not a feeding going on, as there's been no sign of mama tearing off tidbits to eat.)

Riverside Red-Tails

And 10 minutes later the kids seemed to settle down for a nap. Mama, however, remained erect.

Riverside Red-Tails

Keeping an eye on the babies.

Riverside Red-Tails

And on the two dozen hawkwatchers who have gathered.

Riverside Red-Tails

At 4:45 I bailed out and headed for the cathedral. Drat, there's a street fair on Broadway and the M104 is running slow.

Cathedral:
It's 5:30 when I finally arrive, but there's hawk activity! In fact, Isolde is definitely behaving like she's feeding a baby hawk or hawks in the usual corner in the back of the nest. About all I could see of her was her wing-tips and feathery rear end sticking out. But she did glance around now and again.

Cathedral Red-Tail

Apparently I caught the tail end of the feeding, because as 5:40 approached she turned so that she was facing the south side of the nest. Another nestling on the left? I wondered.

Cathedral Red-Tail

But no. After a minute of Isolde looking around, she picked up the carcass of whatever had provided the late afternoon meal. Then she dove out the south side of the nest and flew out over Morningside Park. A minute later I found her just coming into land atop 301 West 110th St.

Red-Tail on 110th St.

That antenna atop the Towers on the Park may have been Isolde's favorite perch the last two summers whenever she took a break from the nest during the first few weeks after a hatch, so there was no surprise in seeing her perch there. Well, perhaps some. If the egg(s) hatched just at the end of the week, like Friday or so, then you'd think Isolde would be sticking close to the nest for a few days, unless her mate showed up to keep an eye on things while she was out. But on Sunday she spent close to 10 minutes over there. It was almost 5:50 before she flew back to the nest.

She sat on the edge for a minute or two, looked around.

Cathedral Red-Tail

And then, plop, she disappeared into the bowl of the nest without even the tip-top of her head visible.

I wondered into Morningside Park for a while. Returning to the nest 20 minutes later, all was still quiet. Isolde still hunkered down with the kid(s), and her mate Norman off wherever he hangs out.

Posted 5/06/2008 08:55:00 PM by Robert

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