Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The reconstituted CCNY pair are showing signs of nesting. I saw the female in a tree sizing up branches for the nest. She then launched and circled up to join her mate. I thought they might copulate here, but it was so windy either bird was having a hard time holding on. Eventually he flew out and she repositioned amongst the gargolyes. This might now be my favorite hawk spot!
Friday, February 15, 2013
Walking over the GWB there was an adult peregrine mid-span. One the Jersey side were lots of white-tailed deer and a few red-tailed hawks. Near the overlook where the resident peregrines. It's clear nesting season has begun. At one of the parks dotting the expressway there was this juvy red-shouldered hawk trying to kill some leaves. Last but not least there was a common raven but it saw me first and was off before I could fetch my camera. Great birding but song birds were limited due to the presence of so many raptors.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
About three weeks ago I found a NSWO at Trinity Cemetery. On a whim I went back to see if it could be found. There were no signs of owls, but as I scanned the headstones, there was a flush from the top of the hill. Amazingly a juvenile hawk lit in front of me with a freshly caught pigeon. The hawk struggled to kill it on the snowy branch. The dove; a hybrid blue racer, white pigeon. As the hawk attempted to kill a second juvenile flew into the tree above. The hawk then made this mantling posture to ward off its begging rival.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
It's the same old story: Hawk chases starling. Starling goes into air vent. Hawk goes into air vent. Hawk tumbles down air vent into basement. Super opens door and hawk is in basement. What you wind up with is a very PO'ed adult red-tailed hawk in a confined basement that it has zero chance of escaping from. So Super calls 311. 311 puts them in touch with Animal Control. Animal Control puts them in touch with Audubon Society. Audubon Society sends out an email asking for volunteers to try to assist with the bird. Since its not on a Park, the Rangers or Park Police cant officially respond. Animal Control is not equipped to handle raptor rescues because the require a good deal of training and experience. Each rescue is different and they are all a unique combination of planning and improvisation. For example, I did this rescue in the dark to keep the bird from seeing my hands reach for it. I never tried this technique before but it worked perfectly. This is what that looked like. So after inspection I realize the bird is completely unharmed and had no signs of frounce or other parasites. Given its hungry and ferocious state, I decided it was best to go up to the roof and release this healthy bird. Before we released it, I scanned the area for how it could have ended up down in the basement. On the top of the roof, I found the answer. From the previous pic you can see he was waiting to foot me as I reached into the box. So instead, I gently turned the box over to slide him out. He got the message and bolted from the roof! As soon as he got near MSG, a peregrine falcon attacked! The bird easily defended itself and then carried on toward the South East. Special shout out to Tim the Super...without him the hawk would have met his fate with the other starlings in the basement.