6/7, Lazy Sunday at Uptown Nests

On a very fine Sunday afternoon, I made a circuit of three of upper Manhattan's red-tailed hawk nests. At two, I found the young hawks lazily enjoying the day, but at the third, a suggestion of Manhattan's first fledges of 2015.

First up, at J. Hood Wright Park, two of the nestlings were looking out from the fire escape nest, much like Statler and Waldorf in their balcony seats on the Muppet Show.

JHW Hawk Nestlings - 2165

JHW Hawk Nestlings - 2171

But where was baby number three? There's somebody else toward the back of the nest.

JHW Hawk Nest - 2184

Hold it, though, feather color is wrong. That's an adult back there.

JHW Hawk Nest - 2189

Indeed. Nestling number three was taking a nap and mama was providing some shade.

Not long later there was some fussing about back there, and the third nestling was briefly in view. But immediately one of the two up-front nestlings muscled in as it angled for its own shaded spot under mama's wings.

JHW Hawk Nest - 2207

And mama lives but to serve.

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JHW Hawk Nest - 2225

It looked like the JHW Park hawks were going to continue relaxing under the sun, so I moved on north to another nest.

First view of the Gorman Park nest 15 blocks away revealed three hawks in view, two in the nest and one on the fire escape railing a few feet above.

Gorman Park Hawk Nest - 2229

But let's re-consider that look. Although initial appearance suggest two nestlings fussing around in the nest and an adult on the railing, a closer view says that's a baby hawk on the railing. And the coloring of one hawk in the nest says it's an adult.

Moments later, the adult in the nest popped up onto the railing. It's mama, perching alongside a child who has already learned the usefulness of railings.

Gorman Park Hawk Nest - 2232

Mama must have been sharing some food. She wiped her beak on the railing a couple times. Then she took off, headed toward Fort Tryon Park.

Mom Departs - 2235

So that's two nestlings we've seen in the Gorman Park nest. Where's the third?

Three Nestlings a Roaming - 2246

Wandering around on the far end of the fire escape. Look closer, over toward the left end. You can just see his head poking up where he's been peeking in an apartment window.

Three Nestlings - 2253

It seems exciting that one of the Gorman Park babies has managed to fly up onto the railing, but then it becomes apparent that it didn't. It's been using the fire escape stairs to go up and down, and so only needs to hop back and forth a foot or so.

It stretches a bit, then hops over onto the stair. Looks around a bit, then back over onto the railing.

Sticking the Landing - 2299

A very short flight, just a hop. But still, it's already able to stick a landing.

Moving on and heading back south... Past visits had indicated that the baby hawks in the CCNY nest were the oldest in Manhattan and old enough to fledge this past week. Checking that nest at the end of the afternoon, I found it empty.

I looked around the St. Nicholas Terrace and the CCNY campus for a while looking for a fledgling, but no luck. The only hawk to be seen was one adult who perched on the Shepard Hall flagpole for a few minutes.

CCNY Hawk - 2333

So it seems that both the CCNY baby red-tailed hawks fledged from the nest this past week. There was no sign of them below, but the terrain of St. Nicholas Park makes looking for fledglings very difficult.

Posted 6/08/2015 03:29:00 AM by Robert

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1 Comment:

On 6/09/2015 12:20 PM , Goggla said...

Statler and Waldorf - haha, I love it!

I was wondering if that Gorman Park baby had used the ladder to get to the railing. So glad you were able to document it.