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.

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