Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fledgling #2 finds its feet

On Monday, June 22, the same day Fledgling #1 was hanging out on an a/c and a clock, Fledgling #2 was practicing its flying.  I watched it soaring high over Avenue A, circling up and up and up until I could only see a tiny dark speck in the sky.

Flying must be the easy part as landing is another story.  When the hawk returned from the stratosphere, it tried to land on the church where mom and dad perched all the time.

Fledgling #2 attempts to land where there is no perch

The only problem is the target ledge wasn't big enough for the bird to land.

Fledgling #2 attempts to land where there is no perch

The fledgling didn't seem to realize this until it was too late.

Fledgling #2 attempts to land where there is no perch

Maybe head first will work?

Fledgling #2 attempts to land where there is no perch

Failing to land on the ledge, the fledgling made a last-second decision to head for the globe, but that didn't work out either.

Fledgling #2 gives up failed landing

The good news is, in the week since, this bird has improved its take-offs and landings, and is doing very well.

This is the same hawk who went sliding on the church dome the previous day.

More to come... 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hawk o'clock

I've been out photographing the Avenue A hawks so much, I haven't had time to process the photos, so I'm at least a week behind.  It will take some time to catch up.

These images are from Monday, June 22.  Fledgling #1 had spent most of the day lazing around on an 11th floor air-conditioner at the Ageloff Towers, just under the nest, where the youngest sibling still resided.

Fledgling #1 returns to Ageloff

After crying all day for dad to bring it some food, Christo showed up at 3:30, but delivered the meal to the nestling up above.

Whaaa?  Not fair!

Christo and two hawklets

This forced Fledgling #1 to fly off the a/c.  Christo was not going to feed it where it was, so it had to go where dad wanted it.  I think he wanted to feed it at the church across the street (in the week since this incident, this is what I've been seeing take place).  So, the young hawk took off and went straight to the church.

But it landed in a rather odd spot.

Hawk o-clock

Hey, kid, what time is it?

Hawk o-clock

The hawklet bounced around the clock for at least an hour and, while it was up there, it actually managed to push the hour hand up by about five minutes.

I feel its pain.  I had to learn to tell time on a Roman numeral clock, too!

Hawk o-clock

Meanwhile, parents Christo and Dora looked down from their perch on top of the cross, likely wondering what their kid was up to this time.

Christo and Dora look down from cross at fledglin gon clockface

Dora came down for a closer look.  She's on the globe on the upper left.

Mom Dora checks on fledgling on clockface

Eventually, the fledgling remembered it had wings and flew off.

Hawk o-clock

Hawk o-clock

Two Hawks NYC has more on this fledgling's big day.

More to come...

See more hawk photos on my Flickr page.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hitting the slope

Who hasn't ever looked up at the dome of Most Holy Redeemer church on E 3rd Street and thought, I'd love to slide down that!

It seems one of the Avenue A hawk fledglings thought just that this last Sunday.

Hey, look at me!

Baby hawk slides around on dome of Most Holy Redeemer church

I believe this is Fledgling #2.  On this day, only two of the hawks had fledged the nest and Fledgling #1 was acting much more timid and hadn't been seen flying as high as the church dome.  In contrast, I'd observed Fledgling #2, zooming around the area and soaring high on thermals.  This seems to be the more adventurous of the siblings.

The dome is smooth, without any footholds, and I assume it must have also been pretty hot as it was a sweltering afternoon.  The young hawk discovered these things the hard way.

Playing hot lava...

Baby hawk slides around on dome of Most Holy Redeemer church

Whoa...slippery slope!

Baby hawk slides around on dome of Most Holy Redeemer church


Baby hawk slides around on dome of Most Holy Redeemer church

On a wing and a prayer...

Baby hawk slides around on dome of Most Holy Redeemer church


Baby hawk slides around on dome of Most Holy Redeemer church

If you're going to have fun on a slide, make it the biggest one in town.

Baby hawk slides around on dome of Most Holy Redeemer church

This went on for a good 15-20 minutes.   The entire time, mom Dora perched atop the cross and kept a watchful eye on her frolicking youngster.

Dora watches fledgling hawk slide around the dome of Most Holy Redeemer church

See more photos on my Flickr page.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Empty nest

So, this was the scene at Avenue A and 3rd Street at 9:10am this morning.  The third nestling had eaten breakfast and was just quietly sitting at the back of the nest, so I decided to head off to work.

Eleven minutes before fledging

Eleven minutes later, this was all that was left.

This little guy had us all fooled!  I really didn't think it was going to fledge, so I've been kicking myself all day for not sticking around a few minutes longer.  Oh well, I'm happy to have witnessed one fledge last Saturday.

According to a witness on the street, the hawk suddenly flew up and circled over the building before gliding east.  I went out later in the day to look for it, but didn't find it before the big rain storm hit.  There was one photographer there in the morning who must have seen the fledge, so if you're out there, Mr Photographer, please let us know!

Two Hawks NYC has photos of the third nestling this morning before the fledge.

For those keeping stats, this hawk hatched on May 3, making it 51 days old when it fledged.

Fledgling #1 was also 51 days old when it flew and Fledgling #2 was 50-51 days old.

A big THANK YOU to the resident(s) of the apartment with the a/c who set up the web cam and allowed the hawks to raise a family right outside their window.  Not only have we enjoyed watching them grow up, it's been a wonderful learning experience.

The next phase is observing the fledglings as they explore the neighborhood and figure out how to be hawks.  If you see one on a window, a/c, or anywhere else that looks odd, the bird is probably ok.  But, if you feel you must call for help, please contact me or WINORR (Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation).  They are experienced and can advise a course of action.

More to come...

Fledge 2.

Fledge 1.

Third fledge

The third and youngest hawk at the Ageloff nest fledged this morning at 9:21am.  Thanks to commenter Greg Masters on the web cam for keeping a vigilant eye.

As luck would have it, I went past the nest about five minutes before, but then had to continue on to work, so missed the flight.  I left a group of hawk watchers there, so I'm hoping someone caught it on camera.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Second fledge

The second hawk fledge on Avenue A happened at 2:45pm on Saturday, June 20.  I was actually able to see it happen.  Two days later, the adrenaline still has me shaking.  I don't think I've ever seen any bird leave its nest for the first time, so seeing a baby hawk take its first flight was an absolute thrill for me.

After the first hawk fledged, things were pretty quiet on the nest for a while.  The remaining two kids had a nap, then the middle child woke up and had a look in its eye...

Seconds from fledging

It started flapping, but looked more determined.

Seconds from fledging

It kept looking at Most Holy Redeemer church, where both parents sat atop the cross.

Suddenly, it was up in the air!  A collective cheer rang out in the street below, where a crowd had gathered to watch.


It managed to get really good height, flying higher than the 12-story building.




It flew high over the intersection of Avenue A and 3rd Street, then banked left and sailed east on 3rd Street towards the church, where its parents still perched.

First flight

It then made another left turn and headed straight for a ledge on the south side of the clock tower of the church.

First flight

First flight

It sort of dove in face-first, but stuck the landing.

First landing

Safely landed

Did I just do that???

Fledgling #2

Here you can see the fledgling on the lower ledge just as dad Christo takes notice from the cross above.

Dad, mom, and fledgling #2

Christo then came down lower to check on the fledgling.  He is on the green ledge on the left, while mom Dora remains up top.

Mom, dad and baby

Christo then moves closer, on top of the globe on the upper left.

Dad Christo looks down on his fledgling

Thinking the fledgling would stay put for a while, I went to look for its older sibling.  To my surprise, a short while later, a fellow hawk-watcher let me know the fledgling had flown from the church all the way over to PS 63 just west of Avenue A.  When I arrived, I found it near the ball court being mobbed by a gang of robins and sparrows (welcome to the real world!), but it seemed ok otherwise.

I left it practicing its moves on the high bar.

Fledgling #2 goes exploring

I was really impressed by this fledgling's flying skills.  Two days later (today), I watched it soaring and catching thermals like a pro.

To recap, this hawk hatched on either May 1 or 2, putting it at 50-51 days old when it fledged.

See more photos on my Flickr page.

Two Hawks NYC also has a post on this fledge.

Urban Hawks has nice photos of both fledges as well.


Still more to come...