Monday, August 23, 2010

Brooklyn Red-tailed Hawk updates

I've been a little negligent this summer with regard to my Red-tailed Hawk family updates. I was reminded of this when I ran into a Brooklyn birder at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last weekend. She asked how all the hawks were doing (since I hadn't posted on my blog).

Here's a brief recap of the three, known Brooklyn Red-tailed Hawk families:

Prospect Park, Nelly's Lawn

Parents Nelly and Max successfully fledged three hawks. I visited the area several times after the young hawks left the next. A few weeks into their new found freedom I realized that I couldn't find one of the trio. Eventually I learned from Bobby that a juvenile red-tail was picked up by rangers near the north end of the park. The raptor was ill. Wildlife specialists determined that it was afflicted with a fairly common avian disease called "frounce". I don't know if it survived and has been released back into the park. Last week I did find one of the juveniles flying over Lookout Hill, calling for his parents. Nelly and Max appeared in the sky to the north and she followed them towards Nelly's Lawn, crying the whole time.

Prospect Park, Ravine

For the 9th year, adult red-tails Alice and Ralph nested in a pine tree in the Ravine. They had 2 offspring which successfully fledged. I haven't been able to determine where they have gone. Presumably they are alright because the park rangers haven't been called regarding any other ill raptors.

Green-Wood Cemetery

Big Mama and Junior raised two offspring in the cemetery. The carcass of one of the young was discovered a couple of weeks after leaving the nest. Bobby subsequently brought a young, rehabbed red-tail to the cemetery for release. The juvenile male was immediately accepted by his foster family, but vanished within a week. There is good news, however. Heydi emailed me to say that a juvenile red-tail suddenly appeared at the Marine Park Saltmarsh Center, about 4 miles south of the cemetery. The hawk had a band on its leg and during the two week period that it stayed in that area, she was able to photo the band. I had only photographed half the band numbers prior to release, so I emailed Cathy to find out the full band number. It is "1957-01989".

In the enhanced photo that Heydi took you can read "198":


I'll try to track him down again to take more photos, but it seems that the young Red-tailed Hawk that originated in the Bronx has a case of wanderlust.

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