Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sad hawk update

I received word today that a dead hawk was found on 4th Ave and 9th Street.  It appears to be a juvenile.  You can see a photo here.

I don't know for sure, but it seems likely this hawk is either from Washington Square Park or the Avenue A nest. The body has been sent away for a necropsy to determine the cause of death, but my first guess would be that it hit a window. 

Roger Paw, who keeps track of the Washington Square Park hawks, has also posted the news here.

This follows the tragic loss of one of the Cornell hawk fledglings earlier in the month.  You can read the details here under the news for July 8.  The fledgling was chasing a squirrel when it flew into a window.  Sadly, this is a common danger for all birds.  In December 2013, a juvenile hawk slammed into a glass bus stop on Avenue A and, fortunately, survived.

I've not seen all three Avenue A hawk kids together for about three weeks.  As they learn to hunt, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of them.  They are still clumsy and learning to fly, hunt, and take care of themselves.  If you see one in distress, please send me a note or contact WINORR (Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation).  They can assess the situation advise on how to proceed.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hawk in transition

While walking past Seward Park tonight, some angry robins alerted me to the presence of a hawk.  Sure enough, in a tree right over the sidewalk near the fountain, a red-tail perched.

Notice anything interesting about this bird?

Hawk in transition

It has a beautiful eye color, not quite as bright yellowish as a fledgling, but not dark brown like an adult.

If you look closely at the tail, you can see a brown striped baby feather on the left and a red adult feather on the right.

Hawk in transition

This is not a great shot, but we can see the tail better. There are clearly two or three striped juvenile feathers, three full adult red feathers, and several more growing in.

Hawk in transition

A full hawk tail should have twelve feathers.

Hawk in transition

I'm not an expert, but I'm guessing this hawk is just over a year old and going through its first molt.

So, who is this bird?  Where did it come from?  Generally, hawks migrate through the area in winter, so seeing a juvenile like this in summer seems unusual.  Could this be a fledgling born in the city last year?  Unfortunately, it's impossible to know.

Over the last few weeks, I've seen a juvenile red-tail flying around SoHo, just below Houston, and as far west as Thompson Street.  I have no idea if this is the same bird, but it's possible.  I really wish we had a way of identifying these individuals so we could track them around the city and beyond.  I'd love to know if hawks born here migrate elsewhere, or stay in the area. I'd also like to know if the established adults are in any way tolerant of the presence of their previous offspring.

If anyone has further knowledge or theories, please let me know.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer ugh

Summer.

Ugh.

Hot, heavy and humid, it's my least favorite season.  The heat zaps the energy right out of me, making it much harder for me to keep track of hawks, especially when they choose to remain atop sweltering buildings rather than in the shade of Tompkins Square.

As a result, I've been lax taking photos, but Christo, Dora and the family are all doing well.  They still seem to be hanging out in the same area of Most Holy Redeemer church.  Christo makes regular trips to Tompkins Square to pick up food, but I have yet to see any other family members in the park yet.

Dora is still a near-permanent fixture glued to the church, either on the cross or dome.  I did finally see her atop Village View on First Avenue the other day, but she keeps returning to the church where she can keep an eye on the fledglings.  You can see in this photo she is starting to molt.  When she flies overhead, her raggedy wings resemble a vulture.

Dora

Christo appears to still be delivering food to Dora as well as to the kids.  I'd love to know how many rats he's caught since arriving in the neighborhood.  He's the Rat Master.

Christo delivers

A year ago, we were enjoying watching the Christodora hawk fledglings playing with sticks in the park.  I'm hoping we get to see the Ageloff fledglings having as much fun this year.

For the latest stats on all the Manhattan hawk nests, check out this post over at Morningside Hawks. There are potentially 25 baby hawks (in addition to 26 parents) being raised in the city.

See more photos on my Flickr page.

Previously.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Escape from New York - Part 3

It's that time of year: fire escape season.

For those of us without the luxury of a terrace or balcony, the fire escape is the best place to get away from it all.

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Previously:

Escape from New York - Part 2

Escape from New York - Part 1

Monday, July 13, 2015

City kids

As far as I know, Christo and Dora's kids are all doing well.  Since fledging the nest on Avenue A, they've stayed around Most Holy Redeemer church on 3rd Street, as well as the immediate area.  Dad Christo has been keeping the family together in order to feed them, but I'm hoping he takes the kids to Tompkins Square Park soon to teach them to hunt.

What I find interesting about these urban hawks is how they are more at home on rooftops than in trees.  So far, I've only seen Fledgling #1 perch in a tree, and that is because it was deliberately put there by a person.  As of yet, I haven't seen any of the three siblings voluntarily hanging out in a tree.

By why sit in a boring old tree when the rooftops are so much fun?

Fledglings #2 & #3 playing on a rooftop

Here are Fledglings #2 and #3 (I don't know who is who) playing around on their favorite rooftop tower on 4th Street.

Fledglings #2 & #3 playing on a rooftop

Fledglings #2 & #3 playing on a rooftop

Fledglings #2 & #3 playing on a rooftop

Fledglings #2 & #3 playing on a rooftop

Fledglings #2 & #3 playing on a rooftop

The Washington Square Park hawks, who are a bit older than the East Village hawks, are starting to explore trees and chase prey, so I'm hoping our hawks get the same idea.

See more photos on my Flickr page.

Previously.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Games hawks play

More photos from June 28, which was a really active day for the Avenue A hawk family.

Dad Christo took a break from delivering dinner to chill out on top of a rooftop tower on 4th Street for a minute.  But one kid wouldn't let him have any peace.

Dad Christo is challenged by his kid

Dad Christo is challenged by his kid

The king is unseated!

Dad Christo is challenged by his kid

I win!

Dad Christo is challenged by his kid

This is either Fledgling #2 or #3.  A short while later, its sibling (either #2 or #3) joined it on a neighboring rooftop.

 2/3 fledglings

Look at me as I show off my prowess perching on barbed wire...

Fledgling playing on barbed wire

This bird loves that barbed wire.  I've seen it several times trying to balance on it.  This photo was taken three days earlier.

Fledgling playing on barbed wire

Meanwhile, Fledgling #1 opted for a less dangerous activity: hanging out with a trio of pigeons on Avenue A.

Juvenile hawk with three pigeon 
friends

This one takes after its dad, showing off for the spectators.

Fledgling on 4th Street


See more photos on my Flickr page.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Family reunion

I'm still catching up on hawk posts.  The week after fledging from the Avenue A nest, there was so much action, the hawks kept me busy.  The following photos are from June 28.

This was the day I finally got to see all three siblings together.

All three siblings together

Fledgling #1 is on the right, while #2 and #3 (I can't tell them apart) are on the green roof.  They sort of stayed in this configuration for a few days, with the two younger siblings sticking together and the oldest somewhat separated.

All three siblings together

This isn't to say the lone fledgling was alone.  The other two did come visit.

Siblings

But as it had been through a week of trauma, the first fledge acted much more timid than the other two.  After being rescued twice, and placed in Tompkins Square Park each time, I was happy to see it finally made its way back to home base where it could be with its siblings and be cared for by mom and dad.

Having all three kids together makes it much easier for dad Christo to feed them.  He's been using the roof of Most Holy Redeemer church as a kitchen table, delivering food there, forcing the kids to come and get it.  (Last year, Christo also gathered all three fledglings together to feed them.)

Here, he takes a rat up to the peak of the roof.

Christo brings a rat to the dinner table

One of the kids awaits, beak wide open...

Dad Christo delivers a rat to his fledgling

The young hawk grabs the rat out of dad's talons, then slides down the other side of the roof.  Oops!

The pass-off

Not to worry as the fledgling recovers and takes the rat off to the left (you can just see the rat in its beak) just as its sibling flies in from the right and dad takes off.

Dinner time

The two sibs move to the 3rd Street side of the church.

Fledglings #2 & #3

Fledglings #2 & #3

All the while, mom Dora watches their activity from the church tower above.  She really hasn't left the church much since spring.  Christo still brings food to her while she keeps an eye on the family.  She's a study in focus and endurance.

Dora

In other hawk news, Morningside Hawks has an amusing post on a juvenile hawk who went picnicking on the 4th of July.

Just a note...please don't attempt to feed the hawks.  They only eat what they catch.

Previously.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fledgling #1 has a thing for window screens

It seems hawk Fledgling #1 might have a thing for window screens.

On Monday, June 22, two days after fledging and with its youngest sibling still in the nest, this hawk was seen returning to the 12th floor of the Ageloff and doing some window undressing.

Fledgling #1 battling with a window screen

Fledgling #1 battling with a window screen 

Fledgling #1 battling with a window screen

Two Hawks NYC has some video of the little rascal in action.

The following day, the fledgling again went after a window screen, this time on 4th Street.  I was standing in the street looking for the hawk when it flew out from somewhere behind me and stuck itself to a third floor window right in front of me.

Ta-da!

Fledgling #1 battles with a window screen

It looked like it was trying to perch on the tiny ledge, but things just weren't working out.

Fledgling #1 battles with a window screen

When it found it couldn't perch, the hawk had a go at screen-climbing.

Fledgling #1 battles with a window screen

Unlike the screen on the Ageloff, this one didn't look like it sustained any damage.

Fledgling #1 battles with a window screen

After a few minutes, the hawk wore itself out.

Fledgling #1 tires after battling with a window screen

Then it dropped down to a second-floor air-conditioner...hey, it's a Frigidaire!

Fledgling #1 drops onto a/c

As it was late evening, the hawk ended up sleeping on the air-conditioner.

Fledgling #1 rests on an a/c

Thank you to the resident who was cool with everything and left the bird alone.  Thanks also to Two Hawks and Ranger Rob who checked on it during the night.  It takes a village...


See more hawk-on-window-screen action on my Flickr page.