Sunday was a grey and windy day, the kind of day when doing anything out-of-doors is a real effort. As the day slinked by I began to feel more and more antsy, like I just couldn't stay inside anymore no matter what the conditions outside. As I sprang out of my building into the steady rain and light wind, I had no idea of where I was actually headed. Walking uphill towards Broadway, the large female RTH shot out from behind a brownstone, slicing low up Convent Ave. I quickly ran up the block and found her still continuing on, now towards the east. These birds can travel a few miles in a matter of minutes so as soon as I lost her, I tried to get to the largest portion of sky available, which was Jackie Robinson Park. At the Park, I scanned the full horizon but saw no site of the large, dark bird. Suddenly all types of birds were in the air way to the east. Gulls, pigeons, starlings and more all spun off wildly like subatomic particles. As I methodically searched the rooftops, I spotted a large, dark raptor. It looked too big to be the make kestrels but soon it flew up and over me...it was the female Kestrel. Somehow without the male she seemed huge, fanning her long tail in the wind.
Shortly, the male was on station as well. Both perched atop a building antenna.
I followed her to St. Nicholas Ave. but she seemed upset at my watching so I hung back as she flew over to an antenna.
She was soon joined by the male and engaged in mating...
As I stood there in the driving wind, being harrassed by drug dealers who were unsure of my presence, I felt a certain joy. Unable to share this with my tormentors, I just stood my ground and was rewarded by first the male and then the female flying out, right across the street and into a tiny 3" hole in a building's cornice. I couldn't believe my luck, after 2 years of searching, I had finally found their nest! It is a strange reality to have such an amazing part of nature in the middle of such an inhospitable location. But maybe, for those quick, daring and lucky enough, there's a place for us here too! A final note: the buildings name? Audoubon Court!