Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A visit with Baby Huey

Geranium in the rain

(Photo credit - Rob J)

It seems like every time I go out to try to take some hawk photos it's either completely overcast or raining. Thankfully, that doesn’t usually stop me, it just makes for dark photos.

I met Marge and Allison at the entrance to the Green-Wood Cemetery this morning. We were hoping to locate “Baby Huey” and take some photos. It wasn’t “supposed“ to rain so I didn’t bring any rain gear. I was pretty wet by the time I got to the cemetery. With my bike locked up we drove around looking for the newly fledged hawk. Marge thought that it would be a good idea to start on the hillside across from the nest area.

Adult eating nearby

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Marge and Allison were scanning the hill to the left of the car and I was looking to the right. It didn’t take very long to find Baby as he was balanced atop a large, granite obelisk. White splatters all over the top of the point suggested that it was a favorite perch. As Marge reported yesterday, he isn’t the least bit afraid of humans. I walked slowly towards his perch and stood directly beneath him. He gave me an occasional glance, but that was about the extent of his concern. In fact, he seemed downright bored with us and yawned a few times. As I was taking photographs I noticed that one of his parents was perched nearby on top of a flat-topped obelisk. He or she appeared to be eating something rather large, a squirrel, perhaps. I was surprised that none of the food was brought to Baby. Maybe he had already eaten his share before we arrived.

Baby as a monument

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Easier than balancing in a tree

(Photo credit - Rob J)

At one point the wind began to pick up. Baby was facing into the breeze and opened his wings to catch the updraft. He didn’t take flight but just let the wind lift his body ever so slightly. It seemed as though he was looking at his wings and thinking, ”so that’s how it works“. After about twenty five minutes he turned around on his perch and flew off to the west, in the direction of one of his parents.

Baby enjoying the rain

(Photo credit - Rob J)

We walked over the hillside and scanned the ground, tombstones and mausoleums for the young red-tail. A pair of robins were calling near a dense cluster of large trees. One tree was a linden and I could easily see through the branches and foliage. He wasn’t in that tree. A towering elm tree adjacent to the linden had such dense foliage that it was impossible to see anything perched inside. We couldn’t relocate him but I was convinced that he was in the elm. Robins in trees on either side of the elm faced the tree and called continuosly. We walked back to the car and circled the area a few times and the robins were still focused on that one tree.

The rain began coming down much harder and we decided to leave Baby to work undisturbed on his flying skills. Despite his young age this bird already has the intense facial expression of an experienced predator. He’ll probably need about a month before he can successfully hunt on his own.

On our way out Marge wanted to stop and check on the Snow Goose. He is the wild goose that appeared in the cemetery, injured, during last year's migration. His wing appears to have healed but I guess he finds life in Brooklyn uncomplicated so he stuck around. He fearlessly approaches Marge when ever she visits as she has been bringing him cracked corn. Allison and I remained in the car so as not to spook him. He looks happy enough with his adopted flock of Canada Geese and I noticed the shaft of a black feather emerging on his bad wing. I guess we'll see what happens when the next flock of migrating Snow Geese pass by the cemetery.

Marge's friend

(Photo credit - Rob J)


Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing. (The Peregrines have flown the coop by the way.)

Walker said...

We had a flock of Canadian geese with a sole white goose member in it for several years. The flock landed in the cornfield across the street at least two times a year and that went on for about three years. Quite identifiable flock because of its mixed-breed nature!

Pamela said...

May I have the permission to link your blog to mine.
I have very few visitors, but the ones I do have would appreciate your pictures and wonders

Rob J. said...


Of course you can link, thanks for asking. BTW - love the photo on your site of the "Circum Horizontal Arc". I did have to look that one up.


Tine said...

wow, I need hours to browse your blog. The pictures are awesome especially those of 'baby'. I had a hawk sitting in my garden a few months ago, you don't see them much in our country but we have a lot of buzzards. If you want you can take a look at my nature photos at
I'm going to put your link to my blog.

Rob J. said...


Thank you for your kind words. I looked at your photos and was very impressed. If you are not already, you should be a professional photographer.


Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope