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Friday, June 04, 2010

Red-tailed Nestling Update

The five red-tailed nestlings in Prospect Park are getting big fast.

In just one week, the pair of hawks in the Ravine nest have grown tremendously. Their wings and tails seem fully formed. While adult plumes are beginning to cover their heads,
it is still fairly sparse and their ears are still very visible. They are suddenly spending much more time flap-hopping from one side of the nest to the other.

As I crossed the road at the edge of Nelly's Lawn, I could clearly see one of the nestlings standing tall in the pine tree nest. Judging by its large size, I'm guessing that it is likely a female. Its head is now fully feathered and it spent most of the 30 minutes that I was present, preening. One of its nest mates has begun branching and I spotted the smaller hawk perched on a branch below the nest. Like a tightrope walker, he would spread his wings and hold them out while walking from one end of the branch to the other. I scanned the branches surrounding the nest, but couldn't locate the third hawk of this trio. The unseasonably hot, midday sun was merciless, so I just assumed that the third bird was resting motionless at the back of the nest.

Depending on the weather, tomorrow afternoon I will spend some time watching the nestlings in Green-Wood Cemetery.

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