Monday, March 24, 2008

Cathedral, We Have a Problem!

Since the appearance of scaffolding at the Cathedral, I have been continually wishing for the best for all parties involved. Today however, I had to come clean on the fact that the Cathedral renovation is causing a serious issue for the hawks. From my roof, I saw only fleeting glimpses of the hawks, and none near the nest. Continuing on to Morningside, I saw neither hide nor hair of either hawk for two hours. I did see numerous construction workers going both above and below the nest in a steady pace.

Another photographer, Calvorn showed up and I began to lament the situation. We were about to leave, when we noticed the construction workers begin to break for lunch. At that exact moment, both hawks flew in from the south Close, one into the nest, the second dove from directly above a worker's head. Unfortunately my camera was packed, but I whipped it out just in time to catch the female briefly on the nest.

The female quickly exited. Next the male then flew onto a finial above the nest.

It then flew over to St. Luke's.

Eyeing the construction workers the whole time.

WTF is up with that food aid bag?!?

Back and forth they both flew, making feints at the nest, sometimes landing nearby, sometimes circling back.

They were clearly stressed and I wondered if the Cathedral had even warned the worker's of the danger to them. Furthermore, it is sad to see an institution which I respect and honor, up end the very ethics for which I do admire it.
With all the workmen gone, the female alit on the trumpet.

I was out of position when it happened, but the male eventually flew out of nowhere and copulated with her, thereby missing perhaps the best shot of all time! But that sting is nothing to the sting I would feel if a person or hawk was injured over such a blind misunderstanding.
Once the workmen had receded, the female returned to the nest!

The male then flew in with prey...a sure sign of his ability to provide food for the possible brood. It is also significant that it was a squab, as baby birds are often fed to the young eyass.

The newlyweds redtail to redtail!

They both then flew out. Landing on separate wings of St. Luke's. The female partially consumed the meal while the male lit out to ward off another hawk, high above morningside.

Later I found the male hunting hard over 111th and St. Nick.

In a parallel situation, the peregrines will also attempt to nest on the heavily scaffolded Riverside Church. Here are my first ever pix of peregrine's mating!

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