May 25, 2011

5/25, Nestling Number Three

I didn't expect to see much of interest at the cathedral red-tail nest tonight. Yes, the babies are getting older and are more visible. But they just haven't quite reached the point where they're starting to exercise their wings and mad bursts of flapping will make for an exciting scene.

Indeed, it was relatively quiet when I first passed by, and I wondered into Morningside Park. There I found the pond busy with birds. Canada geese (with two goslings), mallards, a great egret, and hiding in the willow tree, a black-crowned night heron.

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Eventually I hiked back up to Morningside Drive. Ah, how nice, the red-tail babies are perched so that they frame St. Andrew's head.

One Minute There are Two Baby Hawks...

And they're checking me out, too.

One Minute There are Two Baby Hawks...

And looking down at whatever's directly below the nest.

...the Next Minute There are Three

Wait, back up.

That's one red-tail nestling on the left and... two on the right. Once again, three baby red-tailed hawks at the cathedral nest.

...the Next Minute There are Three

A close look at the head feathers suggests that the baby in the middle is younger than the other two, the runt of the clutch as it were.

The Three Nestlings

And where is mama Isolde? She wasn't around earlier, but sometime in the last 20 minutes, she's landed up on Gabriel's wings. Someone else is not happy to see her; a bit hard to see who, but the noise indicates that a pair of blue jays want her to go away.

Isolde and the Blue Jays

Which of course she doesn't.

Still some occasional glimpses of all three babies in the nest. Maybe they're wondering what the noise is somewhere up above them. Maybe they're wondering where dinner is.

Red-Tail Nestlings

About 7:20 Isolde jumps off Gabriel's wing, and a minute later an adult hawk flies into the nest, to be followed moments later by another. Norman has delivered dinner and for half a minute St. Andrew's shoulders are packed with a red-tail family of five. Then Norman takes off, soon to re-appear on Gabriel's horn.

Norman on Gabriel's Horn

While Isolde starts parceling out dinner to the three nestlings.

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