7/11, Hunting in the Cathedral Close

Two of the young red-tailed hawks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine were hunting in the close, the campus on the south side of the cathedral, late Monday afternoon. One was low, one was high.

The first to be found was the low bird, first spotted just west of the Cathedral House.

Hunting in the Cathedral Close

It was obviously hunting, head wiggling about to examine things from different angles and hopping from branch to branch.

Hunting in the Cathedral Close

Although it did preen for a moment now and again.

Hunting in the Cathedral Close

This went on for about 10 minutes.

Hunting in the Cathedral Close

And then the young bird took and swooped around to the other side of the Cathedral House.

Hunting in the Cathedral Close

The sparrows in the area almost went insane. Instead of the angry chip-chipping of robins, there was an unceasing twitter.

Hunting in the Cathedral Close

Hunting in the Cathedral Close

The young hawk apparently decided space here was too constrained and the hunting would be poor. After a couple minutes, it took off, apparently going over the roof of the Cathedral Close. While looking to see where it went, I found another of the cathedral's young hawks perched way, way up atop the unfinished tower of the West Front.

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Another couple minutes and it took off.

Young Red-Tail over the Cathedral

Soared over the close (it seems to be getting this flying thing down).

Young Red-Tail over the Cathedral

And sailed down to the other end of the cathedral.

Young Red-Tail and Gabriel

It too was ogling the ground of the close, looking for unwary prey.

It wasn't immediately clear that the birds I had seen were separate, so it seemed time to head around to Morningside Park to see if the other young red-tails were lurking there. But before I exited the close, angry robin noises again indicated the presence of a hawk. The low-hunting bird had apparently found prey.

Young Red-Tail Eating Pigeon

It was perched in a tree by the Peace Fountain, slowly plucking a pigeon and preparing to feast.

Young Red-Tail Eating Pigeon

Posted 7/11/2011 08:08:00 PM by Robert

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