Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

It was a great weekend for the City, and a great weekend for birds. Up at The Cathedral nest it appears there are two babies. Also Triborough Bridge has 3 eyass. CCNY is looking promising, but dark cloud has passed over Highbridge. I rode up to the scenic bluff on St. Nicholas Terrace in the morning. After some time, a hawk emerged from the nest and flew out rapidly to the south. It's clear that alot can be happening in this nest with absolutely no indication from the street. After some time, she emerged from the east.

But the weird part is, this is one gargoyle to the south of the nest.
Some mantling behavior.

After about 15 minutes she emerged.

Feeling hopeful, I bounded up to Highbridge. I found the nest dark and lifeless. For over an hour I watched the nest, at one point hearing an oriole nearby which I could not locate. A hawk wheeled overhead, descending to the north. After some time, I walked down the paved path towards Dykeman St. As I reached the part I call the Big Rock, I heard the distinct sounds of a hawk mating! As I looked up, both hawks uncoupled and flew out north over the park. I sprinted towards the nearest clearing just in time to see them form up and grapple!

I later saw the female perched above Overlook Terrace as I boarded the train for Broadway Bridge.
In a similar scene, at the tip of Manhattan, a falcon flew out of the south tower, diving through the bridge works.

She flew out a number of times.

I dont know which was more numerous, the pollen from the trees, or the pigeons that roost in the bridge too!
Also seen along my travels...

HOSP mating...

Blue Jay bathing...

House Finch eating blossoms.

A flycatcher of some sort. At first I thought pewee, but now Im thinking emp. Anyone know, shoot me an email. In any case, a first for St. Nicholas Park.

In flight.

Last but not least, chimney swifts cavorting!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Nesting Updates

Many stories are emerging this Spring, some happy, some sad.

Both the Fifth Ave. and Riverside Park nests have failed (although for different reasons).

On to the good news...

The Houston St. Pair have 3 chickies!

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine has at least one chick, although the construction continues unabated, so I'm still guarded about this chick's chances. This much disruption is hard to handle.

CCNY, I was over there last night and saw new branches in the nest as well as one of the parents standing guard...I have hope their might be a chick in there too.

Highbridge, at last count there were 2 chicks, but none have been seen recently...RBS is going there today to take a look.

Inwood, Rangers report at least 2 chicks in the nest.

As for the 7th Ave nest of Jr. and Charlotte, they still seem to be using that eyrie, but no eggs or chicks observed.

The Fordham University pair have 3 nestlings.

The Triborough Bridge pair have 2 little ones.

The Briarwood nest has 3 babies.

The Flushing Meadow Park pair have 2.

The Prospect Park pair have at 2 babies.

Still alot of great news despite the obvious tragedy of Riverside and the potential tragedy still hovering (literally) above the Cathedral nest.

On to Peregrines!

The 55 Water St pair have 4 babies and they are close to fledging

Broadway Bridge looks promising (lots of activity, no young sighted yet).

I had a report that the Met life pair fledged 2 young (unconfirmed).

and then there's this crazy video from Jersey City...

Still no word on the Riverside Peregrines, but I do see the parents flying around the Church still.

And then there are the kestrels (more on these guys later)!

Any additional info, please email me!

PS, still no internets from home, so no pix till Monday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spring Color

Some traveling beauties to brighten up the day!

Indigo Bunting female?

Taking a bath with some starlings...

Interesting note here is that one of these male tanagers is much more "orangey" than the second. They were clearly "together" with both of them moving through the trees afterward. Just before this shot, they touched beaks and called to each other!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cathedral, We Have a Problem: Part 2

Back in late March, I had reported that the redtailed hawks that nest on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine had not taken too kindly to the construction work going on all around their active nest. Now its seems our worst fear has come true, with a construction worker actually "attacked" and injured by a protective hawk. It is extremely disturbing to me that this unfortunate incident could have been avoided with a bit more communication and transparency from the Cathedral. Furthermore, followup visits to the site show more of the same hostile interactions taking place many times each day. Here's a litany of pix from yesterday showing Isolde swooping in on a worker as he crosses above the nest. Both myself, Bruce and Donna have all contacted The Audubon Society in an effort to mediate over this sad situation. My only hope is that we can come to a workable resolution for all parties involved. I will illustrate below what maybe the quickest and easiest possible solution.
After carefully standing guard over the nest on St. Luke's, Isolde waited for another worker to cross above her nest. Here she is diving directly at the worker...

she then circled around and made two more passes before flying into Morningside Park and snipping off a branch. She then brought the branch over to the nest.

She then flew out and resumed watch from St. Luke's.

Next, Norman flew in with some food and deposited it at the nest.

In a surprise, this molting juvenile RTH also flew directly over the Cathedral.

Both parents then staged a vigil from St. Luke's (an interesting side note was that they shared this perch with two house finches, WTF?!?)

Isolde in the nest with the scaffolding above. Bruce suggested using more of this green material to form a "canopy" above the walkway, thus protecting the workers and shielding the nest. We have written to Glenn Phillips to try to see if he can get the Cathedral authorities to enact this idea.