July 28, 2017

7/26, St. John the Divine


What seemed a quiet Wednesday evening at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine turned out to be more interesting, with all three hawk fledglings putting in an appearance. Some confused flying about made it difficult to keep track but nevertheless, enough young hawks were seen to account for the complete trio.

First found was perched on the cross above St. Savior chapel, although soon enough it disappeared from view.

Adult supervision was provided up top the cathedral for much of the time.


Checking back in the cathedral close, a fledge was found on a Cathedral House chimney.


After which, another flew out of the nearby foliage and perched briefly on a rain gutter.


Probably should have turned around to see what the fledgling was looking at, as there may have been a sibling perched back there.


Followed by some moving about, and then two fledglings perched at the opposite end of the Cathedral House.


And then motion overhead, with two hawks headed toward the cathedral chapels. It seems a food delivery was made, as the parent didn't hang around much, but did circle quite a bit before departing.


A fledgling also departed the scene, but another was still in the area, up on the crossing buttress, eating a meal.


July 21, 2017

7/20, St. John the Divine


Visits to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in the early evenings over the past week and a half have usually found two or three of the red-tailed hawk fledglings in view, but almost always way up on or near the apse roof. The only exceptions worth noting were 1) once finding a fledgling perched on a cell phone antenna down at 109th St., the only time I've spotted one outside the three-block cathedral grounds, and 2) finding all three together atop the south crossing arch.

Friday, though, the kids finally did something different and were easier and more fun to watch. They came down to heights lower than 40 feet above the ground, and perched in trees.

While investigating a robin alarm in the Close, I spotted a young hawk perched in a tree near the pulpit in the central of the lawn. Angling for a better spot to take pictures, I instead had another hawk fly up to branch above me. And then another!


They "conspired" for all of 30 seconds.


Then one took off toward the Cathedral House.


And then the other headed off toward the Diocesan House.


Not quite all the way, as I found him on a shady branch overlooking the center walkway.


And then back over to the tree where the duo had briefly perched.


Where the other active bird was perched on a lower branch.


But within moments, both were flying around again. One landed atop the Synod House for a bit, but then both were out of sight and presumably down around the school.

Meanwhile, what of that first young hawk I had spotted? Still on the same branch.


But then it perked up and decided to move over to a shady spot overlooking the drive.


Where it stayed for the next 30-40 minutes.


Long enough for me to do a complete circuit around the cathedral property and come back to find him in the same spot.


But as the evening deepened and rain threatened, he too started on the move, calling for mama and then flying off.

Note: The use of the word "he" above is deliberate. Two if not all three of the young red-tails looked small and slim, suggesting that they are male.

July 8, 2017

7/7, St. John the Divine

Although it was apparent that the third young hawk had fledged the nest at St. John the Divine by late Wednesday, it took until late Friday to spot all three of the new fledglings lurking about the general area.

First hawk in view, though, was mama Madeleine, who was perched up top the cathedral, keeping an eye on the kids.


First fledge to be found was perched in the turret about the statue of St. James the Great, an "hour" clockwise of the nest site turret.


That fledgling pretty much stayed put the entire time I was in the area.

Next in view was a fledgling in the turret above the statue of St. Andrew, an hour counterclockwise of the nest, and directly above the nest that the hawks used through 2014.


When they turn their back to you, they can be hard to see.


That fledging dropped down into the turret, perhaps to pick at some leftovers, and thereafter was very, very hard to see.

Finally the third fledgling was discovered perched atop a chimney at the Cathedral School.


It did move around a bit, although did not actually leave the chimney.


The evening ended with a quick walk up to Grant's Tomb, where a fledgling was spotted buzzing a young woman tending kids at Claremont Playground.

July 6, 2017

7/5, St. John the Divine

Although it's not yet confirmed, the third baby hawk at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine appears to have fledged from the nest. The nest appeared empty early Wednesday evening, but only two fledglings could be found in the vicinity. Last reported sighting of the last baby still in the nest was Tuesday afternoon around 4:00.

Early Wednesday evening found mama Madeleine up on the roof of the cathedral keeping an eye on things. She quickly took off.


But returned moments later and perched on one of the finials around the edge of the apse roof.


Below her on one of the turrets was a fledgling, but it quickly started moving upward to join mama. First it flew up to the very edge of the apse roof.


Then over to the projecting rooftop by mama.


And from there over to the high cross at the end of the apse.


Note the empty-looking nest to the right.

The fledge appeared content to stay on that prominent spot, and I wandered around the area looking for the other two young birds. Finally, one popped up on the nearby school roof top, making itself quite obvious.


It moved around the shady side of the school roof for a bit, before settling back down.