6/16, Perching on the Scaffolding

Today was the first full day that the red-tail fledglings at the cathedral spent out of their nest. But how easy would it be to find them?

I made two visits to the nest area. The first for a half hour between 2:00 and 2:30 started off inauspiciously. First hawk sighting was of an adult flying south, apparently headed toward the Douglass Houses down around 104th St. After checking the Morningside Park rockface area to see if the one fledgling was still in that area, I was back up at the corner of 113th St. as 2:20 approached. Suddenly the characteristic begging noise of a baby red-tail broke out near the cathedral chapels. I soon found a fledgling perched on the scaffolding about 10 feet about Saint Boniface Chapel (i.e., just below the nest).

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

But as the begging calls went on and on, the fledge in view didn't seem to be the one making all the noise. Yes, it did seeem to be doing some begging...

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

But not the persistent begging. Eventually I decided that the other fledgling must be close to it, most likely on the roof of Saint Ansgar Chapel. That roof is normally obscured by a stone railing, but this year scaffolding and netting make it all but impossible to see what or who might be up there.

In the midst of all this, there was another sighting of one of the red-tail parents, seemingly bursting out of the cathedral close and heading east over Morningside Park.

At 6:20, the second visit quickly revealed a fledgling perched in the same section of scaffolding as in the earlier sighting. But this time it was higher up, about even with the feet of the statue of St. Andrew, and so only 15-20 feet from the nest. Except for some some preening and looking around, it was sitting quietly.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

Lincoln and Winkie were also there, and we all looked in various directions for the other fledgling. No luck over the next half hour, and no help from the robins, catbirds, et al.

At 7:00, bad weather rolled in. As the rain began to fall, the one fledgling could be seen shifting around on its scaffolding pipe, looking for a spot where it was little less exposed.

Posted 6/16/2008 09:07:00 PM by Robert

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On 6/16/2008 11:13 PM , Donegal Browne said...


All that scaffolding is finally becoming handy. Do you think it's possible, considering the angles,for her to eventually make it to the nest using the scaffolding?

On 6/16/2008 11:23 PM , rbs said...

I'd think so.