July 19, 2008

7/19, The Cormorant House

Another fruitless day looking about for hawks at the north end of Central Park and around Morningside Park.

Entering Central Park at 96th St. at 5:30, I moseyed over toward the reservoir and discovered that the North Gatehouse had some sun worshippers loitering on the roof.

Sun Worshippers

You'd never have known it was 90°F out the way the cormorants were soaking up the rays.

Sun Worshippers

After that I headed north and wandered around a bit. An egret flew over when I was atop Green Hill...

Egret in Silhouette

But otherwise not much to see nor hear. Just an occasional bad bearing on someone's inline skates passing by on the loop.

Morningside was chockful of families barbecuing, and any sound of birds was completely inaudible. The same thing happened last year about this week of July, so I'd guess the mass barbecue is a regular event.

July 14, 2008

7/14, No Sign of Hawks

Long walks in Morningside Park and the north end of Central Park last Wednesday and today again revealed no sign of the Morningside red-tailed hawks, neither the healthy fledgling or the parents. It's been almost three weeks now since the fledge headed over to Central Park.

At the start of today's stroll, I thought I might have spotted one of them, as there was a very healthy sized bird perched above the entrance to the Synod House on the cathedral grounds. But alas, a closer approach revealed that it was a crow guarding the corner of Amsterdam and 110th.

Cathedral Crow

Meanwhile, latest word is that injured cathedral red-tail fledgling is making slow progress. Although she is a healthy eater, the lame foot remains a problem and she may remain with the rehabilitator for a while.

It turns out that two kestrel fledglings from near by are also spending some time with the rehabilitator. Both were found near the corner of St. Nick and 111th St. One had a serious case of frounce, but at last word seems to be getting better.

July 10, 2008

7/5-7/6, Morningside Egret

A couple long walks in the late afternoon on Saturday and Sunday revealed no sign of the cathedral red-tailed hawk fledgling or its parents in the Great Hill/North Woods area of Central Park, or in the southern end of Morningside Park. The most promising alarm noises from area song birds came from the cathedral close Sunday at about 5:30, but sorry, no hawk.

Both days found a great egret fishing in the Morningside Park pond. Saturday I was able to get a few decent pictures...

Morningside Egret

Morningside Egret

...before a couple smaller birds started harassing it, causing it to fly to a back corner of the pond where it had some vegetation cover. Sunday, the same thing happened, only quicker. Although the pix didn't turn out well, they did reveal that the aggressive little duo were eastern kingbirds.

July 3, 2008

7/3, Cathedral Fledge Doing Well

Hawk rehabilitator Bobby Horvath reports that the lead-poisoned female red-tail fledgling from the Cathedral of St. John seems to be doing well, although her lame right foot remains problematic. He wrote this afternoon that, "The Cathedral bird is strong, eats well and at times stands on the bad foot 'normally' but it is infrequent."

Bobby has also been charged with the several Houston St. red-tailed hawks who have had so much trouble. The father and the one of the fledglings have died of frounce; another fledgling in his care is hanging in there but remains touch and go. The eldest Houston fledgling was released last week in Astoria Park before the symptoms appeared but is now showing symptoms, too. Hawkwatchers are trying to re-capture it so that it may be treated. Although the hawks in rehab are kept apart, the Cathedral fledgling is receiving frounce medication "to be on the safe side".

Meanwhile, the most recent sighting I've seen reported of the other Cathedral red-tail fledgling was on Sunday. James saw it then in the trees along the 110th St. edge of Central Park.

July 1, 2008

7/1, North Woods Raccoon

Another hour's fruitless walk looking for the cathedral red-tailed hawk fledgling on Tuesday evening. A great egret was again fishing in the Morningside Park pond, but otherwise little of interest in that park.

Over in Central Park's North Woods, as I was chatting with a dogwalker, one of his dogs flushed a young raccoon up a tree not far from the Block House.

North Woods Raccoon

Even after the dogs were gone, the raccoon looked like it was going to stay put until I vacated also.

North Woods Raccoon

6/27, A Quiet Hour's Walk

WIth the healthy cathedral red-tailed hawk fledgling having made its way over to Central Park last Wednesday, hawkwatching in the Morningside area suddenly got a whole lot harder. Much more territory to cover, and no idea where to start unless you catch a glimpse of one the parents flying by.

An hour's walk on Friday in Morningside Park and the North Woods-Great Hill corner of Central Park did not reveal the hawkling. All that was notable was a great egret visiting the Morningside Park pond.

Striding Egret

Fishing as intently as egrets always do.


The pond's Canada goslings are beginning to look like teenagers: close to full-size but looking like they were just woken up from a nap. But I'll have to keep a close eye on them, as it seemed that their first long wing feathers were coming in oddly, like a couple of the 2006 goslings and at least one of which never was able to fly.