6/19, So Many Hawkwatchers...

...and just one hawk to watch.

Thursday's hawkwatching at the cathedral began about 6:00 when Bruce and I both arrived at the corner of Morningside and 113th. A few minutes later as I scanned the scaffolding for the source of a begging noise, there was some movement in the crenellations above the red-tailed hawk nest. Indeed, there's a fledgling up there.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

But was it the source of the noise? It seemed happy to sit there and preen.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

A half hour later, it became more active. It shifted over to the other side of the little turret, then it jumped over onto the scaffolding.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

First landing on a short pipe a bit above the nest level.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

But it seemed to be thinking about moving somewhere lower.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

Did it want to go all the way down to the chapel roofs? Or just to the same level as the nest?

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

It reached a pipe at the nest level.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

And there it stayed. The only thing now on its agenda seemed to be preening, and then some more preening.

Hawkwatchers gathered along Morningside Drive. The baby hawk stayed where it was.

Finally at 7:15, it was on the move again. It hop-flapped across the scaffolding 30 feet to the left and onto the turret above the statue of St. Peter. It looked over the south side of the turret but turned around and came back.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

And then hopped onto the closest scaffolding pipe.

Cathedral Red-Tail Fledgling

And there it stayed.

Down below the hawkwatcher count had reached eight, plus passers-by. Everyone gazed up. Everyone scanned the chapel roofs to see if they could spot the source of the occasional fledgling begging noises. Everyone scanned the rooftops and the trees to see if an adult red-tail was also keeping watch.

But it was just the one fledgling way up there, hiding in the scaffolding shadows. And finally hawkwatchers began to drift off.

Posted 6/20/2008 02:51:00 AM by Robert

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