Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Raptor withdrawal

It's the slow time of year for seeing a lot of hawk action in the park.  Since our fledgling left in late September, there hasn't been much excitement to report, but Christo and Amelia are definitely around and can be seen in Tompkins Square and the surrounding neighborhood.

There was some confusion when a young hawk was seen hunting behind the bathrooms late one afternoon.  I thought it was the resident fledgling, but a closer look proved it to be a different young Red-Tail (below).  The face was much lighter, the markings on the chest were not quite right, and the tail was completely different.  Urban Hawks has more on this handsome young stranger.

Immature red-tail in Tompkins Square

Christo seems to be back to his old schedule of turning up behind the park offices at dusk to hunt for dinner. As the sun goes down, the rats come out and Christo is there.  Below, he gets harassed by a Blue Jay, something the hawks calmly endure all the time. 

Christo mobbed by a blue jay

After suffering some raptor withdrawal, I got my fix by attending the Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in Morningside Heights. After the ceremonies, there were birds on display compliments of Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation (WINORR).

I just happened to wear my Kestrel shirt that day!

Goggla with Mr Kestrel

A closer look at the little guy - he was so sweet and calm.

Kestrel portrait

Along with the Kestrel, a Peregrine Falcon attracted a lot of attention. I could never get this close to one in the wild.

Peregrine portrait

This hawk was not part of the WINORR family, but there were many birds brought in to be part of the blessing ceremonies.

Sharp-shinned hawk

Like this Snowy Owl.

Blessing of the snowy owl

Meanwhile, one of the resident wild Red-Tailed hawks perched on Gabriel's horn atop the cathedral, overlooking Morningside Park.

Red-tail and Gabriel

This is a popular perch for the resident hawks, as observed many times by Morningside Hawks blog. Check out the rest of his site for the history of raptors in that area.