Monday, July 1, 2024

Fledgling ventures to the cross of St Brigid's church

One of the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings has achieved a milestone: flying up to the cross of St Brigid's church on Avenue B, where Christo and Amelia often spend time.

However, not everyone was happy to see this achievement. A local Mockingbird buzzed the young hawk as it sat up there, taking dives at the hawk's head and nipping at its back.

This behavior is nothing new. Back in 2016, one of Christo and Dora's kids was mobbed by a Mocking bird atop St Brigid's, as seen in this video.

The hawk eventually took off and I had my first real observation of it soaring.

The fledgling circled over the park, then returned to the cross. It was soon joined by Amelia (below, left).

After a couple of minutes, Amelia took off.

She flew up to the north tower of the church where she had some prey stashed. In the photo below, you can see a pigeon foot sticking out over the ledge a few inches in front of her.

It's not visible in these photos, but Amelia took the prey and flew it up to the roof of the church.

She eventually took the prey back into the park.

After Amelia left, the fledgling flew down to the spot on the roof where she had been. It perched there a while before taking off and exploring some buildings along the avenue.

The young hawks are now exploring buildings, but they're still spending plenty of time in the park.

They have been using one of the fenced-in lawns to play, putting on shows for spectators regularly.

The fenced-in area is safe for the young hawks to play with sticks, chase squirrels, and practice their hunting skills without interference from people or dogs. It's really been great to watch them this year and to see how they make so many people happy.

People keep asking me how long before the fledglings take off on their own. I don't know, but they generally stick around through July and August. 

Stay tuned...

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