6/3, First Cathedral Fledge

I receive e-mail from James shortly after noon on Sunday that the first baby red-tail had fledged from the nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It sounded like the event might have been more of an accident, perhaps a slip caused by a gust of wind, as the new fledgling hadn't gone far. Perhaps 50 ft horizontal and 50 to 80 down, where he ended up perching on a finial on the roof of St. Ansgar chapel.

When I arrived at the cathedral at 4:00, the fledge hadn't moved much farther. It was perched on the stone railing around the edge of Ansgar's roof.

Cathedral Fledgling

It seemed to be working its way through all the emotions that new fledglings have. Fear, curiosity, loneliness.

Cathedral Fledgling

The fledge did jump down to the roof of St. Ansgar and back up to the railing a couple times as I first watched. But thereafter it stayed in the same spot on the railing.

Cathedral Fledgling

Mama Isolde showed up about 15 minutes later, perching briefly on the crenellations above the statues of Sts. Simon and Jude.

Mama Isolde

She flew over to the nest and spent the next 20 minutes bent over something inside. It looked like she was eating, but the remaining two nestlings looked stuffed and paid almost no attention to what she was doing. Rather, they were more curious about what was happening below.

Cathedral Nestlings

The lonely fledgling checked to see what was going on upstairs.

Cathedral Fledgling

Same as a few minutes ago.

Curious Nestling

Isolde disappeared while I wasn't looking, but at 5:00 as another watcher arrived and as thunder rumbled and rain started to fall, we spotted her perched 40 feet away from the nest on the crenellations above the statue of St. Peter.

Despite the rain, the fledgling stayed put. Yes, it flapped a lot and turned around several times, but it didn't move more than a foot from its perch.

Fledgling in the Rain

Fledgling in the Rain

Fledgling in the Rain

As the rain quit, Isolde took off to the north. The fledgling preened its wet feathers. Its two lazy siblings laid down for naps in the nest.

Rain started up again a half hour later, but briefer this time. The fledgling danced around a bit but still stayed put.

I Hate The Rain!

At 5:45, I began a quick trip north to check on the CCNY nest. Robin chirping around the corner of 114th St. caused me to look around. Aha, Mama Isolde was perched on a ledge corner near the hospital roof, a spot where she would have a clean line of view to the nest.

Mama Isolde

Returning to the corner of MSD and 113th St. just before 7:00 (nothing to see at CCNY), I found the scene still much the same despite another cloud burst around 6:15. Mama Isolde still on the hospital roof, the fledgling on the Ansgar railing, and the two nestlings doing no more than preen and look around.

Posted 6/03/2012 10:54:00 PM by Robert

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1 Comment:

On 6/05/2012 10:20 AM , Out Walking the Dog said...

Love the photos - & your description of the emotions a fledgling goes through. He does look pretty bewildered. Here's hoping he & siblings do well.