November 14, 2010

11/14, Morningside Hawk Walking

Loads of raptor activity over Morningside Heights and adjacent SW Harlem on Sunday around 11:30. Juvenile red-tails and a least one Cooper's were migrating through the area, and the resident red-tails were doing a "see and be seen" to let the youngsters know that the area was already claimed. Norman was perched on the chimney at St. Luke's, Isolde was buzzing around, and the male RT from CCNY was perched on a favorite water tower in the General Grant Houses.

At noon, the adults were out of sight, but not long after we found Norman perched atop the East Campus Dorm at Columbia.

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At least one kestrel and likely two were up there buzzing him.

Red-Tail and Kestrel on Morningside Drive

Ten minutes later Norman decided it was time to move on.

Red-Tail over 116th St.

He circled around over West 116th St. several times, and so did the kestrel.

Red-Tail and Kestrel over 116th St.

Norman departed to the south, but the kestrel stayed in the area.

Kestrel on 116th St

The kestrel's mate was also flitting about 116th St.

Another ten minutes later a juvie red-tail appeared, perhaps one of the kids we'd seen over the area earlier.

Juvenile Red-Tail over 116th St

He too circled around over 116th a few times.

Juvenile Red-Tail over 116th St

Juvenile Red-Tail over 116th St

And barely had the juvie RT disappeared behind a rooftop when a Cooper's hawk appeared over Amsterdam Ave.

Coopie over Columbia

Things quieted down then, although glimpses were to be had of the kestrels amidst the rooftops by the CU law school.

Some time later over at Riverside Church, we found one of the peregrines lurking quietly atop the radio antenna at the very top of the church. And then hiding down in Riverside Park near the tennis courts was a juvie red-tail.

Juvie Red-Tail in Riverside Park

Perhaps he was watching for rodents in the wildflower meadow by the highway, although his crop looked a bit full.

Juvie Red-Tail in Riverside Park

But apparently he wasn't thrilled to have an audience.

Juvie Red-Tail in Riverside Park

Within minutes he took off to the south. Another thirty minutes of casting about, the only raptor to be seen was the peregrine atop the church.