Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Keeping watch over the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk family

Following yesterday's post regarding the loss of one of the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings, here is my last photo of all three siblings together. This was taken on June 29 in the park.

The three Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk siblings

The fledglings have been doing so well as far as learning to fly and catching prey, it's devastating to lose one at this stage. Raptors in general only have about a 25% survival rate in their first year. They face a multitude of dangers including collisions/crashes, disease, starvation, and rodenticide poisoning. With those challenges in mind, seeing a hawk (or any bird) survive from a hatchling to an adult is an extraordinary feat.

Two of the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings perch together

Two of the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings perch together

Two of the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings perch together

Red-tailed hawk fledgling stretching

Red-tailed hawk fledgling stretching

One of the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings takes to the sky

The two surviving youngsters appear to be doing well, but we are watching them closely nonetheless. They are still young and curious, making them vulnerable when they are playing on the grass (please keep dogs out of the fenced-off areas) and coming to the ground to hunt for food. 
 
This one decided to take in the view from a fence for a few seconds. These photos were taken with a 400mm zoom lens, at a long distance, and cropped. Please refer to Audubon's Guide to Ethical Bird Photography when observing the hawks (or any wildlife).

Fledgling red-tailed hawk on a fence in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk on a fence in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk on a fence in Tompkins Square

Red-tailed hawk fledgling on a fence

One reason to keep dogs out of the garden areas is because the hawks are practicing their hunting skills in the grass and shrubbery. So far, I've seen them catch mice, rats, a robin, and...fireflies.

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in the grass in Tompkins Square

The fledglings are curious and will also find playthings like sticks and leaves.

Red-tailed hawk fledgling playing with a stick

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

I love how the siblings are still sticking close to each other. Eventually, as they become more independent, they'll go their separate ways.

Two of the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings perch together

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

Fledgling red-tailed hawk in Tompkins Square

On a dark rainy morning, one of the fledglings perched on a fence with the cross of St Nicholas of Myra in the background. I've not yet seen them fly up there, but as it's a favorite perching place for their parents, Christo and Amelia, it won't be long until the fledglings are watching over the neighborhood from this high vantage point.

Fledgling red-tailed hawk after a rain storm

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