Thursday, June 01, 2006

Stand By Your Man

As the chicks mature, their parents spend more of their time away from the nest. Coming from the train, I spotted the pair high above 110th St.

They seemed to be in sync, looking this way then thataways.

I became aware of a mockingbird singing his multi-mimetic alarm call. As I circled the block, the mockingbird made his move.

The persistent mocker hounded the male through the Park. I picked up the male on top of St. Luke's--and he was soon joined by the female.

The male then moved into the Park, while the female moved closer to the nest.

I decided to follow the male into the I meandered the lush walkways, I spotted a flash of red across the ballfields. Circling around, there was the tell tale sign of feathery confetti! For about 10 minutes he defeathered and partially consumed part of this chick. It looks to me like another pigeon squab, plundered from one of the nearby abandoned buildings.

Some robins got wise to his presence and they began pipping their alarm calls. The male then flew overhead to a tall locust tree.

Still hounded, the male then flew up the hill and began circling. As I ran up the hill in pursuit, I heard a large commotion. It seems that two grackles took exception to the hawks proximity to their nesting locations.

As they continually hounded the male, a male kestrel appeared on the scene! Just as quickly, the female was off the nest and just missed killing the kestrel!

The kestrel quickly hightailed it out of there and the male brought the food to the nest. He stood guard as the mother fed the young.

This diet of tender meat has the chicks growing rapidly...the change is evident day to day!

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