6/30, St. John the Divine

After a few days of not running into any of the hawks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Monday evening was almost a bit of an overload. Action and noise galore, but no blood so it didn't get a PG rating.

It started off quietly, just a single fledgling in sight, perched atop a Deanery chimney with surprisingly no robins to complain about it.

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A circuit around the cathedral close seemed quiet, but wait, a hawk in the air. Not the chimney fledgling, as he was just making a move over to the roof of the Cathedral School.

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And then the air got busy. Pigeons swirling around, and two young hawks circling and circling around.

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A bit hard to say, but it does look like the two young hawks are a girl with a heavy belly band and a boy with a slightly less dark band.

And then the duo disappeared. No, one was just visible perched way up the cathedral wall where the nave meets the crossing.

Then a hawk came busting out of the east and into the trees in front of the Cathedral House. Who was that?

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Mama Isolde was present. After a few minutes of looking around, often back over toward the cathedral, she headed that way herself.

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Perched partway up the wall, she had one child above her and one below. She took off again, and returned to the trees.

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But the young hawk below had seen her and was hungry for a meal. He started begging, shrieking like a steam whistle.

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And then decide to chase after mama.

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Over into the trees. Beg, beg, beg. Then onto the branch where Isolde was perched so fast that she took off, heading over to the spires atop St. James chapel.

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The fledge chased after and Isolde took off. She circled around and around and around, and finally peeled off to the south, perhaps headed toward the Douglass Houses.


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The hungry fledge again disappeared into the trees and things quieted down.

Meanwhile, the other fledge was still perched up near the roof of the cathedral, chowing down on part of a pigeon. Once again, the quiet fledgling dines while the whiner goes hungry.

Posted 6/30/2014 11:59:00 PM by Robert

6/29, J. Hood Wright Park

It had been three weeks since I last visited J. Hood Wright Park up in Washington Heights, at which time none of the three red-tailed hawk nestlings had fledged, although they all looked old enough to do so. Finally checking up there again on Sunday afternoon, I found the nest empty as expected. Time to walk around the park.

Despite a lack of assistance from the local robins, I eventually discovered a fledgling hawk perched about the park restrooms, fifteen feet above the heads of the people using the chess tables.

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Looking around with no evident desire to go elsewhere.

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Perked up after a while.

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And turned around.

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And a bit later he did hop into the trees closer to the playground.

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But what he was looking for was not obvious. The ground there is almost all paved, and full of children running around.

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Oh, hello.

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Posted 6/29/2014 09:17:00 PM by Robert

6/26, St. John the Divine

Despite the assistance of a half dozen robins, it took some time to find one of the cathedral hawk fledglings on Thursday. Finally I spotted him atop a chimney of the Deanery.

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Just preening and looking around.

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Soon enough he disappeared into the tree cover over the Deanery and the Cathedral House. Continued robin chirping and pigeon flights suggested he and/or his sibling continued to lurk in the area.

Posted 6/26/2014 11:03:00 PM by Robert

6/25, St. John the Divine

The two red-tailed hawk fledglings at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine were active Wednesday evening, flying about the close on the south side of the cathedral, ogling the other birds in the area and generally giving the pigeons agita. It seems only a short matter of time before they start actively trying to hunt for their own meals.

Things were intially quiet, with just one fledgling in view, preening atop the south end of the Cathedral House.

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But after 10 minutes he perked up.

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Looked around.

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And flew to a tree near the end of the building.

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But hardly had he landed there but the other fledgling appeared from over the old orphanage building, swooped past him, and then landed close to where the first had been perched.

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Where he only stayed a moment before turning around and flying back toward the first fledge.

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Again passing close by (was that a mock attack or a missed landing?) before landing on the edge of the orphanage roof.

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And a moment later the first fledgling joined him there.

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The two only perched next to each other for a couple minutes before they each disappeared onto or beyond the orphanage roof.

Eventually I found one perched atop the Diocesan House on the south of the lawn.

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But again he was in motion, first heading into a tree and disturbing the robins, and then back to the north end of Cathedral House.

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Then onto the crossing buttress, back to a tree, and then eastward over the Cathedral School roof and out of sight.

With the sky showing signs of weather moving in, I headed back west. But on the way out, I discovered mama Isolde perched all the way up atop the half-built West Front tower. And not far away in a tree by the Peace Garden was the other fledgling.

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Posted 6/25/2014 10:38:00 PM by Robert

6/24, St. John the Divine

The start of an extremely pleasant Tuesday found one of the cathedral hawk fledglings perched on a chimney atop the Cathedral House.

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A slight breeze up there.

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Lots of head wiggling as the fledge eyed anything and everything that passed by below.

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But he was in no rush to go anywhere.

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About 7:00 he did perk and decide to make a move. Took off toward the other end of the Cathedral House, then re-appeared heading for the cathedral apse roof. But was it the same bird coming back?

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Hopped around the apse a bit, checking the skies to the east and southeast.

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Then flew back west to the nave roof.

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The new spot was a good position to be close to the crossing arch, one of mama Isolde's preferred food drop-off locations.

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Assuming mama Isolde was going to deliver an evening meal.

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Belatedly I discovered the other healthy fledge on the other side of the close, perched atop the Diocese House, and also keeping an eye out for mama.

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Waiting, waiting.

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Posted 6/24/2014 09:50:00 PM by Robert

6/21, St. John the Divine

Friday evening was a complete bust in finding either of the two remaining red-tailed hawk fledglings at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which was disconcerting because if one family member gets frounce, you have to monitor whether any of the others do too. But Saturday at almost the same time of day, I found both fledglings and also their mother within five minutes of walking onto the cathedral grounds.

First up was a fledgling on one of the south side roofs of the nave, about 100 feet up.

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And down close to where the nave meets the crossing was mama Isolde.

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Yes, she was looking downward for a reason, because somewhere right over my head, robins were alarming and someone was making feed-me screeches.

The other fledgling was in a tree right in front of the Cathedral House.

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I'd like to get a better look at that fledgling up high — it's looking like there's a distinct difference in the darkness of the duo's belly bands.

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Isolde took off, but despite some preening, the fledge in the tree kept begging.

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Beg, beg, beg.

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And some action. The fledge on the roof got up and flew toward the west end of the nave, perched for a moment and then turned around and headed back to the crossing. Meanwhile, the fledge in the tree hopped over to the nearby building.

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Took off, circled around and came back to the same rooftop.

The cause of the excitement? Isolde had returned, bringing food for the fledge who was not begging.

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Isolde plucked a few feathers out of the dead pigeon, then took off.

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The fledge down low realized he'd lost out. Time to fly to the east end of the apse and sulk.

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The fledge with the meal looked around for a while like he wasn't that hungry, but finally decided what the heck, a meal is a meal.

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The hungry fledge eventually flew over to the crossing arch, but not too close to his sib.

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After a while, both fledglings ended up near the top of the crossing of the arch. But the just fed fledge flew around a little bit, hopped down into the gap behind the arch several times, and otherwise acted frisky. The hungry fledge sat there, waiting for Isolde to come with more food.

Posted 6/22/2014 09:26:00 PM by Robert