July 29, 2013

7/29, Kestrel in the Close

Two more days of nada when looking for the three young St. John's red-tailed hawks around the cathedral and in Morningside Park. But early Monday evening, I did encounter a bird of prey in the close on the south side of the cathedral. A female American Kestrel was on top of the Diocesan House.

Female Kestrel

She flew over to the lawn pulpit to get a better look at what might she might catch in the bushes, then returned.

July 29

Then off into the trees and out of sight.

July 28, 2013

7/27, On Gabriel's Horn

Back from vacation and back to checking on the juvenile red-tailed hawks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. I had no luck finding them in an hour of looking about the cathedral grounds and adjacent Morningside Park on Friday, but Saturday revealed one of the trio almost immediately.

Gabriel & Fledge

He was up on Gabriel's horn, seemingly intent on something down below along Morningside Drive. After several minutes of this, he took off.


But instead of dropping down, he circled around twice.

July 27

And then sailed off west, disappearing in the direction of the cathedral's West Front, perhaps heading for the hospital roof.

P.S.: Interesting birds encountered while out west included spruce grouse (with chicks), osprey, western tanager, camp robber (Canada jay), turkey vulture, great blue heron, and American white pelican.

July 13, 2013

7/13, Out of Sight

Late Saturday afternoon and into the evening, the young cathedral red-tailed hawks played hard to find. No sightings around the cathedral or down in Morningside Park, no helpful robin alarms, nothing.

As it came time to leave, a belated sighting of one of the parents on the north side of the cathedral nave.

July 13

July 9, 2013

7/9, Over the Close

Perhaps following what seems to have been the progression of the past few years, the young red-tailed hawks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine seem to be changing their lurking place from the north side of the cathedral to the south. If this continues, they'll be terrorizing the squirrels in the cathedral's close and staring at peacock over the next two to three weeks.

First sighting on Tuesday evening was a hawk fledgling on the unfinished tower of the cathedrals' West front, watching the activity in the close.

Hawk Fledge on West Front Tower

What was there to see? Well, Phil, for example.

July 9

Perched on a fence so that we were at eye level.


After 30-40 minutes checking for the other fledglings along Morningside Drive and in Morningside Park -- no luck despite the robin having a conniption near the street -- I ehaded back toward Amsterdam Ave. And there atop the cathedral nave was another fledgling.

Hawk Fledge stop Nave

Soon after I stepped back into the close, the second fledge over to join its sib atop the West Front, where they stayed as the sky turned gloomy.

July 8, 2013

7/8, In Morningside Park

Although it's been about a month since they fledged, Monday marked the first time that I found one of the St. John's cathedral red-tail youngsters lurking across the street inside Morningside Park.

Morningside Park Juvenile Hawk

Robin noise was the big clue. Enough of it that for a little bit, I wondered if there was another juvenile hawk perched not far away.

July 8

Some 15 minutes later the hawk perked up.

Morningside Park Juvenile Hawk

Walked down the branch and stared at something in the foliage just below.

Morningside Park Juvenile Hawk

Then dropped into the network of twigs and leaves.

Finding nothing there, it dropped a bit further down onto a solid branch and began working its way back out.

Morningside Park Juvenile Hawk

The new spot seemed to leave it more open to robin attacks, and then a pesky blue jay showed up.

Morningside Park Juvenile Hawk

But it finally settled on a spot that it liked and stayed put.

No sign of the other two fledglings.

July 6, 2013

7/6, High Bridge Tower

The young red-tails fledged from the Washington Heights fire escape nest between two and three weeks ago. Although I saw one of them two weeks ago, two visits since then have come up empty.

Well, almost empty.

Both times I spotted one or both of the adults, but not in the vicinity of the nest. Instead they were a few blocks to the east around Highbridge Park, either in flight or perching on the weather vane atop High Bridge Tower.

July 7

7/5, Stronger Every Day

The cathedral red-tail fledglings are still lurking about 113th St., but they're perching higher up and farther away from their past haunts. Also, the parents are not hanging about to keep an eye on them.

I'd had sightings of the three fledges over the past week, but Friday evening provided for some long looks. First seen was a fledge perched on St. Ansgar chapel, but even as I maneuvered for a camera angle, he moved over to the eave of St. Boniface.

Fledge on Chapel

And moments later, from there over to a tree limb over Morningside Drive. But wait, another fledge comes swooping on and perches on the next tree south.

Fledge on Morningside Drive

But this situation doesn't last long either. The second fledge took off for a spot somewhere on the west side of the cathedral's transept, and the second followed to the east side. The second stayed put.

Fledge on Transept Beam

But the other decided to move higher up. It took off and circled above the parking lot.

July 5

And circled and circled -- at least five loops -- gaining height.

Fledge over 113th St.

And finally alit on St. Gabriel atop the cathedral.

Fledge and Gabriel

And there they stayed. One fledge hanging low and watching the edge of the parking lot for mice.

Fledge on Transept Beam

Fledge on Transept Beam

And one perched on high.

Fledge and Gabriel