6/6, That Scruffy Look, plus The Kestrel

A visit to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Friday evening first revealed one of the red-tail nestlings standing on the north side of the nest. It seemed to be preening the back of its left shoulder, but it was virtually motionless for a minute. Learning how to sleep standing up?

Sleeping, or Slowly Preening

I hadn't seen either parent when I was walking over, but just a minute later, one of them (I suspect Isolde) flew in to check on things.

Visiting the Nest

She departed in a half minute, heading north but possibly hooking left around the corner at 114th St.

One nestling was active afterward, but there was no sign of feeding. Indeed just a check-in, and not a food delivery.

Red-Tail Nestling

And, hmmmm, head feathers are growing in. The nestling has that scruffy look that comes with being a month old.

And then I spotted both parents at Norman's chimney cover over on the roof of St. Luke's. The one on the cover seemed to be noshing on food. But they weren't alone. It was quickly obvious that a kestrel was giving them some grief.

Red-Tails atop St. Luke's

Nevertheless, they stayed put.

Still fairly quiet at the nest. Just one nestling preening a bit.

Red-Tail Nestling

Ten minutes later, both nestlings were standing up and looking around.

Red-Tail Nestlings

I walked up 113th St. to get a closer look at the adults.

Red-Tail atop St. Luke's

From that angle, the one on the ladder railing might or not be visible, so a few minutes I walked back around to 114th St. to see. Nope, just the one atop the hospital.

But rounding the corner back to Morningside Drive, I saw something I hadn't seen in months: a red-tail perched on Gabriel's horn atop the cathedral! But even as I lifted my camera, it took off.

St. Bariel and Red-Tail

Quiet at the nest again...

Red-Tail Nestling

...so just before 7:00 I made my exit.

But checking on the adult atop the hospital, whoa... whoever's up there was taking more harassment from the kestrel.

Hawk and Kestrel

I watched from the cathedral steps for the next 10-15 minutes. The sequence was almost a constant. The kestrel would fly in from the west, dive at the hawk, then zoom up at the hawk from below, another dive and ascent, then fly back west for a rest. The kestrel's perch seemed to be somewhere near the top of the tall apt. building at 501 West 113.

Posted 6/07/2008 11:42:00 PM by Robert

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