August 7, 2012

8/6, Lions and Lambs?

Monday evening in the cathedral close found a decidedly odd sight. One of the young red-tailed hawks was perched on the pulpit fence, looking around.


Wandering around on the grass below, at times just a few feet away, was a decidedly nonchalant squirrel.


It wasn't a case of a young and dumb squirrel, as at times there three or four of them on the lawn within swooping distance.

Apparently the hawk was digesting an earlier meal and was just casually, albeit actively, watching the area.



This went on for close to 20 minutes before the young hawk made a crude attempt to catch a squirrel. Then back onto the fence for a few minutes. Another crude attempt. Onto the fence for a couple minutes.

Then a more serious swoop at a squirrel in the open lawn, but the squirrel ducked into the bushes and the hawk sailed by, shoulder level but 6 or 7 feet away. He made another half dozen dives at the squirrels over the next 10 minutes, one almost successful, and perched overhead once.


An attack on the pigeons who were hanging about in the alley behind the old orphanage was followed by quiet as an angry robin stopped chirping and a nervous squirrel quit whining.

August 2, 2012

8/2, Still Around

Although I visited the cathedral grounds and Morningside Park several times in the past couple weeks, I hadn't spotted one of the young red-tailed hawks since July 19. A kestrel on the roof of 1MSD, sure, but no hawks. Perhaps, I thought, they'd all made their way over to Central Park. But the first Thursday of August found at least one of them still spending a bit of time in their original haunts.


One youngster was busy hunting in the cathedral close, at first looking for squirrels or mice in the tall grass near the Peace Fountain. Over the next few minutes he turned his attention to the squirrels and pigeons near the old orphanage, and then was gone.

Much later, after I'd made a pass through the park, I headed back west toward Broaday. But while ready to cross Amsterdam I noted that the top of a nearby apt. water tank seemed a little tall.


A fledgling, presumably the same one, had settled in for a good sunset preen atop 509 West 110th.