7/8, Surprise News at St. John the Divine

Late Monday night in response to my query about the status of the sick red-tailed hawk fledgling at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, I learned from the wildlife rehabbers at WINORR that the adult hawk from the cathedral who died three weeks ago was not their father. Rather, it was their mother.

A necropsy by state wildlife officials revealed that the deceased hawk was a small female, small enough that it could be mistakenly identified as a male. The cause of death of death was frounce. Although there was no plaques obviously visible, there was a mass that had cut off an artery.

Cathedral Hawk - 3700

I will admit to having been a bit puzzled once or twice during the isolated sightings of the adult hawk over the past month, as its belly band seemed a bit darker than I thought the female's was and was more like that of the male. See for example the photo at right, taken Monday, June 30.

Nevertheless, the whole matter seems confusing, as the female hawk (Isolde) at the cathedral never struck me as being particularly small. Has there been some mis-identification of the adult female at the cathedral over the past year or two?

But the end word of all that is that Isolde has died, whether last month or sometime before. The male hawk, presumably Norman, has been taking care of the fledglings on his own since early June.

Regarding the sick fledgling, he remains under treatment. Although the rehabbers think the frounce protozoan may have been eliminated, there is still an accumulation of plaque that needs to be broken down and dissolved before the bird can firmly be considered on the road to recovery. So it could be some time.

And as for the other two young hawks at the cathedral this year, they have in recent days begun more actively to practice hunting, if not actually trying to hunt. They have often been seen swooping around the pulpit lawn on the south side of the cathedral, and on Tuesday afternoon there was word that one of them had been going after Phil the white peacock. Tuesday evening I got a few quick looks at one swooping through the area before disappearing into the trees. Later I might have spotted both, with one of them popping out of the area and crossing Amsterdam Ave. to perch atop the apartments between 110th and 11th Sts.

Posted 7/08/2014 09:39:00 PM by Robert

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1 Comment:

On 7/11/2014 4:40 PM , Goggla said...

Oh, no, I'm sorry to hear this.