Monday, June 27, 2011

Riverside Church: 7 Peregrines

Five fledged babies plus two very protective parents equals total chaos during feeding time. The birds all move generally as a group with each fledgling in a different state of being fed. I located four of the chicks over Broadway and it seemed most had eaten already as they had full crops. There was one male chick however that kept begging over and over. Eventually, he flew over the Church, where mom appeared with a freshly caught adult male starling.

Every chick within earshot lit out after mom,

while she deftly transferred the starling in mid air to the begging male.
He landed nearby with sis in tow.

She eventually got the message that this was her brothers kill and flew off. Meanwhile the hungry little dude pretty much devoured every single part of the starling.

After consuming the bird, the chick was joined by mom.

Such incredible birds!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recent Fledges, Part 3: Riverside Church

At least 3 of the 5 chicks there have fledged. Here's a shot of dad and the group.

One of the chicks missed his perch and slid down the face of the roof.

He later emerged for a feeding.

Another of the young went back to the Church.

And the awkward youngster flew to the School.

Still a lot of practicing for this guy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recent Fledges, Part 2: St. John Hawk

This morning I was only able to locate one juvenile hawk at St. John the Divine. Im guessing that its siblings were somewhere on St. Luke's as I found some bloody feathers over near Amsterdam. Anyway I had great fun watching it learn to take-off and land.


Totally sticks the landing here.

Im thinking this is one of my best hawk pix ever.

Also harassed by a few robins.

What do you he gonna make it?

I have a good feeling about this one!

Recent Fledges, Part 1: Gay St. Kestrel Rescue

Another kestrel rescue, this time on Gay St. in the West Village. Thanks to Camille and Company for keeping this guy safe till I showed up. Also these are her pix!

My first rescue in a downpour!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Neighbors Are At It Again

Now that the first crop of baby kestrels is almost grown up, the parents will begin to mate again. The double clutching behavior of urban kestrels is proof of their abundant food sources.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cathedral Fledges

Yesterday sometime in the afternoon, the eldest chick fledged the Cathedral of St. John Nest. This is a pic from earlier that morning.

This afternoon I located her in the Close.

Looking healthy and well fed.

After some searching, I found the second fledgling on the School.

Also looking well cared for.

And as always, a watchful parent.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Highbridge Yellows

The male chirping his distinctive call.

The subdued female circling,

and then eventually settling on the nest.

I watched them for about 1 hr from 630 to 730. Both the male and female visited the nest, but I did not see a feeding. Hard to say if there was something viable there. As for the nest itself, I cannot quite tell what its constructed of, but there does seem to be some mono-filament as well as plant fiber present. I could be wrong, but it also looks like cobwebs holding it all together.

Special thanks to Ben Cacace for sussing this one out and providing the awesome description on how to find, ie "the stonehenge benches." What really helped was the loudly singing male...just follow that call from the chipwood path.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

East Harlem Kestrel Rescue

June is a very busy month if you are a birder in New York City. The fact is birds nest pretty much everywhere in the City and when their young fledge, there are scant safe places for them to complete their flight training. As a result, many individuals--both officially sanctioned and self-appointed--assume the responsibility of giving these birds at least a halfway decent chance of surviving beyond the first jump. One tool that has emerged are the listservs where citizens, volunteers and "official bird people" can share information about birds that have gotten into trouble. One such announcement came in this morning about some "hawks" in a garden not far from my house. Arriving on scene, I saw this gorgeous but still very young, male kestrel on a Park bench.

The local community garden may appear to be a perfect oasis for these guys, but in fact Parks and gardens are patrolled by many feral cats. This one was no exception and we saw at least one black and white cat climbing a tree in order to get a robin while there. Because of this, these young falcons are assured a death sentence if left on the ground. And although young, this bird was mostly flighted, so it was imperative no to spook it. It took some time, but I managed to get right next to him for a quick capture.

After that, I gave it an inspection to see if any external injuries were visible and that its wings and legs were in good working order. If there were, I have a rehabber on speed-dial! No sign of hunger trace, feather mites or bumblefoot and of course the look down the gullet for frounce.

Once he checked out, I figured it was best to get him to a safe spot where the parents would see it. A nearby roof provided a perfect cats, no holes for him to fall into, no wiring or fencing to get snagged on and a lip surrounding the roof that he would have to jump over to get off the roof.

I gently placed him down and backed away. From a safe spot, we watched the Mom show up and take a few calls from him before moving off. The male worked his way back across the roof to over look the garden, but then settled safely in.

From experience I knew that there can be up to 4 chicks so I then set out to find the remaining brood. After some careful searching, we found the scrape in a building across the street that revealed two more babies soon to go.

While taking a picture we also found a fourth female, already fledged.

Good luck guys and to the 111th St Herb Community Garden, thanks for caring!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Broadway Peregrines

Havent checked in on the Broadway Bridge peregrines in two weeks so I trekked up to the tip of Manhattan to watch what is always a dicey fledge period. In 2008 I saved one bird from the being hit in the road and again in 2009. Unfortunately, in 2010 I was not so lucky, but I figured that there would be another chance in 2011. When I arrived on the scene I noticed a fresh sprig in the scrape. After waiting for a bit to see if any chicks were still there, the mom stopped in for a quick visit.

I eventually found one small and unsteady eyass, sunning itself on a lower railing while the parents circled overhead.

After watching it for some time I noticed a commotion on top of Columbia Hospital. Another eyass was flapping and calling about. Shortly a fish crow came upon the scene and gave her a few a rude welcome.

The crow drove the falcon off and down into the foliage at the base of the bridge.

Turns out the DEC had just released that bird after it was rescued yesterday on the road. After some searching, it emerged from the trees and tried to land on a nearby crane.

This proved to be a terrible perch and it slid down a few feet before launching back towards the bridge.

It flew off and landed on the Bronx side on a building near the El station. Begging loudly, the parents carefully inspected the prodigal chick!

Before flying off to retrieve a starling, which the youngster lustily consumed.

She visited the eyass a few times

Both parents were very territorial and some workmen reported being attacked as they replaced the roof of the 225th Street Station.

Finally, the remaining chick seems viable, but still very young so he'll need a lot of luck. Dont worry dude, we're pulling for you.