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Thursday, June 29, 2006


I spotted this little guy swinging on a strand of silk from my ceiling. Spiders don't bother me and I usually just pick them up and place them either, outside or in a house plant. I placed him on a windowsill in the sun. As I was closing the screen I noticed a green, iridescence glinting off of his body. I told him to stay and went to get my camera. It wasn't easy getting a photo because he is a "Jumping Spider". He was less than cooperative and I kept having to retrieve him and put him back on the sill. I wish my camera had better macro capability because the details on this creature (especially his eyes) are stunning. Enjoy.

Jumping Spider (Eris aurantia)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click here for "Spiders Through the Scanning Electron Microscope"-

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)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Baby Huey fledges

Marge just sent word that Baby Huey of the Green-Wood Cemetery hawk nest has fledged. I believe that this is the latest fledge of any of the Red-tailed Hawks that I've kept tabs on. Better late than never. I'll post some photos tomorrow.

"Subject: Baby Huey Has Fledged!
Date: 6/25/06 5:43 PM

I was eager to get to the cemetery to see if "Baby" had fledged. Yesterday was a rainout and Allison was there on Thursday with Baby still on the nest.

As I approached the nest area I heard hawk vocalizations coming from the top of the hill in back of the hillside masoleum. I looked at the nest and found no baby. Now Im off to follow the sounds. Rob alerted me to the sounds robins make when near raptors, so that was a big clue as well. I went slowly up the hill past Henry Bergh and looked at every tree. I then went up on the road behind Henry Bergh following the robin sounds and out flew an adult. Where is baby? I now drove around and around the same area looking in the trees and out of the corner of my eye I see baby sticking out like a sore thumb sitting on top of a masoleum right in back of the hillside masoleum. I was so busy looking into trees that I never suspected him to be right out in the open. He obviously flew right out of the nest and up onto the hill. I assume he fledged today, perhaps in the morning. I went to the other side to get a different angle and he flew on top of a obelisk. He looked like the Eagles you see on a flag post. I walked right up to him. He did not budge and couldn't care less about me. I stood directly below him and took some lousy pictures with my camera phone. I took a couple of minutes to get the best look at him so close up. Rob, I wish you were there with your camera. This of course disturbed me because he is an easy target for anything.

I walked back to my car and used it as a blind. He is very tentative about flying and attempts to take off and stops. He then flew back on top of the masoleum, which I would say is only a distance of about 15' from the obelisk. He had a nice strong wing flap and good take off. That was assuring. He then started to vocalize and out came Big Mamma. I felt like I was witnessing a very special moment. Big Mamma had a sparrow in her talons. Then Junior appeared. All 3 hawks were now vocalizing. Big Mamma & JR sat on the same pine bough together for a couple of minutes. I got to notice how light the feathers are around Big Mammas head. She then went to Baby with the prey but then took off with it..Baby was able to get a piece of it in his talons. Big Mamma and Jr kept flying near Baby and back into the nearby tree. My guess is they were trying to lure him off that masoleum and into a tree. No luck. So Big Mammo alighted onto the masoleum (with mobbing mokers & excited robins all around) and handed off the sparrow to Baby. She then took off. Jr sat in a tree nearby vocalizing for about 20 mins..Once again I suspected he was trying to get him to join him in the nearby tree. Then Mamma & Jr flew off and left Baby who would intermittently vocalize. It was like a child crying for his parents. I left for a few mins and returned to find baby sound asleep, head tucked in, on top of the masoleum. He is so out in the open it bothers me. I notice that the Robins dont get so excited by Baby and the mockers dont even bother him.

I saw a person walk right below him, taking pictures of headstones, and never noticed him. This hawk doesn't flinch for anything.

My guess is he will be on that masoleum or in close vicinity tomorrow. He is still extremely tentative about flying. Quite frankly, I would feel better if he was up in a tree. Then again, racoons cannot climb the masoleum. I would love to see another day of Big Mamma, Jr & Baby interaction. It was so special. I loved it.



I just received the following interesting fact from D. Bruce Yolton:

"Subject: Fledge Dates
From: D. Bruce Yolton
Date: 6/25/06 8:47 PM

Because they were laid from a second clutch of eggs, last year's Central Park South eyasses fledged on July 21st and 22nd. These two fledglings might have claim over Baby Huey as the latest NYC fledglings."

Friday, June 23, 2006

Red-tailed Hawk nests: a bird's-eye view

I thought that it might be interesting to see the 8 Red-tailed Hawk nest sites known to me from a bird's-eye view. The New York City hawks seem to have been able to adapt to relatively limited green space. I am only aware of pairs in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. I assume that there are many more breeding pairs in the other boroughs and hope to locate them by next year.

The following images begin at the northern most nest and moves south, to Green-Wood Cemetery.

Click on the images for larger, closer views.

Looking north from Green-Wood Cemetery

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Van Cortlandt Park

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Fordham Rose Hill Campus

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Inwood Hill Park

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

5th Avenue

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Central Park South

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Prospect Park

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Green-Wood Cemetery

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

For more information on New York City Red-tailed Hawks check out Marie Winn's website, D. Bruce Yolton's blog and James O'Brien's "The Origin of Species".

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Green-Wood Cemetery Red-tailed Hawk update

Big Mama's mate, "Junior"

(Photo credit - Rob J)

This morning, before going to work, I pedaled over to Green-Wood Cemetery to take a look at the single eyass. As I've mentioned in previous posts, Big Mama and her beau, Junior, had taken over the cemetery nest site. This season they only hatched a single chick and he is close to fledging. It seems a bit late but, with all the attention this "only child" has been receiving, maybe he's reluctant to leave home.

"Baby Huey"

(Photo credit - Rob J)

I met Marge at the entrance of the cemetery and we drove to the nest site. Upon arriving I noticed the alarm call of a robin and instinctively looked around for a hawk. I found "Junior" perched nearly directly above us. He was keeping an eye on the nest from a safe distance while doing his best to ignore a pair of irate mockingbirds. "Baby Huey" (Marge and Joe's moniker for the huge Red-tailed Hawk eyass) was standing on the nest and preening for most of the time I was present. About an hour after I arrived he began hop-flapping from one side of the nest to the other. He looks strong and has well developed wings. I suspect that he will be out of the nest within the next day or two.

Baby practicing flying

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Also seen near the nest was yet another raccoon pup. He was resting his chin on the entrance to his den and sniffing the warm, summer air.

Raccoon pup in Green-Wood Cemetery

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Horseshoe Crab eggs

Click for larger image
(Photo credit - Rob J)

Doug, Shane and I arrived at Pike's Beach this morning at sunrise. We only had a couple of hours to search for a Wilson's Plover that was seen in the area yesterday. Summer-like conditions were forecast but it was surprisingly cool at the beach. Probably a bit too cold for my shorts and T-shirt and I ended up spending a few minutes in the car, thawing out.

We ran into Shai and Angus, who were also there to scan through the shorebirds. Unfortunately, we ran out of time before locating the plover and had to drive back to Brooklyn.

-Click here to read about the life cycle of the Horseshoe Crab-

- - - - -

Pike’s Beach, 6/18/2006
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
Ruddy Turnstone
Red Knot
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Jaeger spp.
Laughing Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Common Tern
Black Skimmer
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Wren
Eastern Meadowlark

Other common species seen (or heard):
Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Still searching Prospect Park

I’ve spent six hours over the past two days trying to track down Ralph and Alice’s recently fledged offspring. My experiences with other Red-tailed Hawk families involved territories at the outer fringed of the park. In those areas younger, smaller trees, spaces out along the edges of the fields, made it easy to find the fledgling eyass. This season I have to contend with towering, mature Tulip trees, sweetgums and oaks clustered in dense woodlands. I may have to revert to my old technique of quickly cycling round and round all the potential hiding places.

I almost always rely on sound to locate the hawks. For the first week or so the young still depend on hand outs from their parents. When they are hungry the make a loud, chirping call. Also, breeding songbirds, such as robins and cardinals, sound and alarm call when there is a hawk near their nest or young. Squirrels and chipmunks are also very vocal. They repeat their calls over and over, with a tone of urgency, until the hawk moves on. Robins are almost always the first to respond with a loud, “tut, tut, tut” or whinnying call. I zig-zagged back and forth along the forested ridge from the Quaker Cemetery south of the nest, through the Midwood and to Payne Hill, north of the nest. Whenever I heard a stressed robin’s call I bolted towards the source and scoured the area. It was usually either Ralph or Alice. Near the Quaker Cemetery I had a flash of optimism when I spotted two hawks together. They flew off before I got close and I was unsure if they were the fledglings. I found a downy hawk feather tangled in a vine beneath their perch. I tried to convince myself that it was the young birds but a search of the area only turned up Alice.

Hawk feather

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Over the course of the two days I became more familiar with Ralph. My fleeting glimpsed of him visiting the nest on gave me a general impression of this light plumed Red-tailed Hawk. As I searched the Midwood forest each of my chases toward a calling robin ended with me finding him perched nearby. He seemed to favor the top of the ridge at the west side of the Midwood. He was always facing west, in the direction of the nest and the woods surrounding the nest in the Ravine. I thought that perhaps his offspring were still in that area and that he was keeping an eye on them. If they were I never found them.

Ralph perched near the Midwood

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Ralph has very unique plumage. The feathering on his head is very light compared to most Red-tailed Hawks I’ve observed. The streaking on his belly that form the typical Red-tailed belly band is very sparse. What is even more interesting is the rusty, orange feathers on his upper breast. He is one of the few Red-tailed Hawks in the area that is instantly recognizable. There has been some speculation about the progeny of Pale Male of Central Park fame and the possibility that they’ve taken up residence in other city parks. Ralph sure looks similar but only DNA would tell for sure.

After two days of searching I began to consider giving up. I figured that I’d eventually encounter them at some point, but I miss the days of watching young hawks experiencing terra firma for the first time. I tried to convince myself that it would be for the best if I just left them alone. I’m a bit jealous of my counterparts in around the city following their fledgling hawks. At least I can enjoy them vicariously. Still, it would be nice to compare the relatively “wild” habitat of Prospect Park to the more urban hawk surroundings and their experiences. I guess I won’t give up my search.

One last, interesting observation from the park. Yesterday I observed a pair of Black-billed Cuckoos foraging together near Rick’s Place. This species hasn’t nested in Prospect Park for decades and for a pair to be here at such a late date is encouraging.

Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) with food in bill

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Boletes spp?

(Photo credit - Rob J)

- - - - -

Prospect Park, 6/16/2006
Great Egret (Upper Pool.)
Red-tailed Hawk (Adult male, Midwood.)
Black-billed Cuckoo (2, Rick's Place. Breeding?)
Chimney Swift
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Midwood.)
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Tree Swallow
House Wren (3.)
Wood Thrush (Midwood, Ravine, Quaker Cemetery.)
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing (5, Quaker Hill.)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole (6, along Quaker Ridge.)

Other common species seen (or heard):
Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Friday, June 16, 2006

More from the Fordham youngsters

(Photo credit - Rich Fleisher)

Here's another note from our hawkwatchers at Fordham University:

"Subject: Fordham update
Date: 6/15/06 10:40 AM

After being away from campus for several days, I returned to see all three of the fledglings in flight away from the nest. I spoke to one of the campus security guards as well as someone else who told me that on Tuesday, one of the fledglings got caught in a window well grate and had to be freed. A campus maintenance man had thick gloves and covered the bird with a towel as they worked to free the fledgling. Once they succeeded, the bird flew away not worse for wear. We continue to see the differences in the fledglings demeanor that was similar to what we observed while they were around the nest. One of them, the largest, is quite rambunctious. Yesterday I observed her take off after a small bird in flight with Hawkeye flying after her in hot pursuit. One of the others, constantly cries out for food while the third is almost stoic. Finally, I got a chance to see Hawkeye yesterday as he was perched on top of a building not far from the trees where the three fledglings were roosting. He looked somewhat haggard as if feeding all of them was taking its toll.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Green-wood Cemetery update

Green-Wood Cemetery

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Here's a brief update on the Red-tailed Hawks in the Green-wood Cemetery:

"Subject: Re: Big Mama and family
Date: 6/14/06 8:44 PM

HI Rob

Big Mama, Junior & Baby Huey are doing great. (We will be re-naming Baby when he fledges). When I was there on Sunday, neither Big Mama or Junior were on the nest, but "Baby" was there flapping around inside the nest. I did not observe him standing on the ledge yet exercising his wings. Unfortunately I couldn't stay long enough to watch Big Mama & Jr come back with a meal. Baby is still looking downy. Joe Borker was there on Monday and was able to see through his scope the head feathers now coming in through the down.

I will be there on Saturday and again on Monday hopefully with Joe to get a good look through his scope. Im holding a good though for a successful fledge!

All the best

A flight without fanfare

It was not only a flight without fanfare, but also depressingly anticlimactic. My peek into the first stages of life for a Red-tailed Hawk has been just that - a peek. In previous years I’ve been able to sit close to the hawk’s nest and observe their behavior, unobstructed, for hours. Alice and Ralph are very different from Big Mama and Split-tail. They are private and secretive. Their choice of nest location has kept family interactions mostly hidden. This season I found that I could watch their nest through a peephole in the canopy but I had been spoiled by four years of reality television-style observations.

The last time I visited the Ravine hawk nest I estimated that the young hawks would be ready to leave the nest in a week. Today I arrived at the hawk watching spot at around 11:30am and focused my scope on a nest that was occupied by a single eyass. Alice was no longer sitting vigil at the nest. The young hawk looked fully developed and ready to begin exploring his surroundings. His sibling was no doubt close by somewhere in the densely leafed treetops. As I watched the young bird he didn’t seem to be in any rush to leave the nest. He sat with his head close to the edge of the nest and stared into the woods where I sat or the sky each time a helicopter or jet passed overhead. Then, at 12:31:03, he stood up, turned around to face into the Ravine, stretched out his wings and vanished from my view. I muttered, “that’s it” and packed up my equipment.

(Photo credit - Rob J)

I used to think that Big Mama and her mate were the alpha pair of Prospect Park. This was based, primarily on her size, not any vast, empirical data. But now I understand why she kept moving her nest around. She and Split-tail did not protect the most desirable domain in the park. Alice and Ralph began their “career” in Prospect Park with a nest at the southwestern edge of the park. They eventually relocated to the center of the most forested section of the park.

Alice & Ralph's domain

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Searching for the fledged eyass was nearly impossible. Several robins called incessantly from the top of a towering oak in the Midwood. I was certain that there was a hawk in the tree but I couldn’t find a vantage point to see through the foliage. I walked around the Midwood scanning every tree and listening for squirrel’s alarm calls. The woods were quiet so I walked to Center Drive and followed the ridge parallel to the stream. The ridge is directly across from the nest tree but I still couldn’t find the hawk. Finally, as I approached the Boulder Bridge, I heard the shrill, chirping cry of the eyass. It’s a call that always reminds me of a fussy infant. The sound was coming from the Ravine, not far from the nest tree. As I approached the base of the pine tree that holds the nest I realized that the young hawk’s call was coming from back inside the nest. Apparently, junior had taken a short, tenuous flight then returned to the nest. When I was on Center Drive I spotted one of the adults circling the woods. Perhaps junior spotted his parent and was begging for a meal.

I never located his sibling but am fairly certain that he had made it over to the Midwood. This family of Red-tailed Hawks will put my tracking skills to the test. The canopy in their territory has many more hiding places for a young hawk than previous eyass that I’ve followed. With a little luck and a lot of perseverance I should be able to keep you posted on their development.

- - - - -

Prospect Park, 6/13/2006
Red-tailed Hawk
Chimney Swift
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Tree Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole

Other common species seen (or heard):
Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis spp.)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click here for more info on Wood Sorrel-

Fordham and Van Cortlandt updates

Here is the latest from Chris Lyons along with some great photos:

"Subject: Another Fordham Fledgling, and an explanation for the Van Cortlandt nest's destruction
Date: 6/13/06 8:33 PM

Still can't be certain whether all three chicks have fledged--the question is complicated by the fact that the fledged birds keep going back to roost on the pediment the nest is built on. The one I was concerned about, due to his seeming lethargy, is much more active now, but may not have actually flown yet. I saw one bird that I believe to be the first fledgling up on the roof of Collins, trying her wings. 

The pale-chested eyass (most unusual for this area, though apparently many Red-Tail chicks never develop that orangey wash we're so accustomed to seeing here) has definitely fledged. On Monday afternoon, I was informed he'd been hanging around outside the door of the University Chapel, the towers of which are favorite lookout perches for his parents (they actually copulated up there a number of times, earlier in the year). I went over there after work, and photographed him from close range. Like his sibling the week before, he showed no sign of concern over the attention he was attracting from passersby. His parents actually were perched up above for much of the time I was photographing him, and they didn't seem much bothered either.   

Today (Tuesday) I saw two eyasses up on the pediment around noon, and spotted both adults towards the end of the day, but it's definitely getting harder to keep track of the family, and at this time of year, there aren't a lot of people around to watch them. It's a happy accident for Hawkeye and Rose that fledging occurs when it does, at the time the campus is at its quietest and most deserted. At least I assume it's an accident.  

We checked the area around the Van Cortlandt Park nest this past weekend, and found no sign of adults or eyasses. We went down to area directly under the nest tree for the first time, and found a lot of sticks from the now-wrecked nest lying there. Later, we ran into Alex Pirko, who originally told me about this nest, and whose photographs of it were posted here. He showed me a photograph from the previous weekend, of a raccoon in a tree immediately adjacent to the nest. Having wondered how the huge nest got so thoroughly trashed, I now see a very convincing explanation. An adult raccoon can weigh anywhere from 12 to 35 pounds--a Red-Tailed Hawk generally weighs in somewhere around 2 pounds. So a full grown raccoon could easily weigh two or three times as much as Jodie, Travis, and all three eyasses combined. If the chicks fledged not long after we last saw them, a raccoon who had noted all the fledging activity, or simply smelled rotting meat, might decide to climb up and see if there was any leftover food. Not hard to believe, since raccoons often brave the wrath of adult Red-Tails to rob active nests of eggs or small chicks, and the adult hawks frequently back down and allow this depredation. So just in the process of clambering up onto the nest, nosing around for tidbits, maybe digging through the sticks for buried morsels, then leaving as unceremoniously as he had arrived, a raccoon could do an awful lot of damage to a structure that was never intended to support such a heavy animal. Add in the torrential rains we had recently, and it's a wonder there were any sticks left at all. It'll be interesting to see if Jodie & Travis return to rebuild on this site next year, given the dangers inherent in having raccoons know the location. But in this case, I doubt very much a raccoon would have tackled the nearly fullgrown chicks--too much trouble for too little food. I hope all three are doing fine, but unless I'm lucky enough to stumble across them in the next few weeks, I may never know."

(Photo credit - Chris Lyons)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More Fordham hawk photos

Here are some more photos from Fordham's newest "students":

"Subject: More pictures--from the day after fledging
From: Christopher Lyons
Date: 6/11/06

As of Friday evening, there was still only one fledged eyass. Friday morning, the fledgling was perched on top of a large bush in front of Collins Hall, right by the steps to the main entrance. She was allowing numerous people (myself included) to get within a few feet of her. No major magnification was needed for these shots--people were taking pictures with their PHONES. But her only reaction to the paparazzi was the occasional disinterested stare. When I came back around noon, she was nowhere to be found. But later that day I heard from a co-worker that she was now up on the roof of Collins Hall, so she's definitely learning fast. When I got there, she had actually ascended to the very peak of the pediment she'd flown from the day before, calling loudly to her parents for food as they passed overhead, while her siblings for once were forced to look up at their older sister."

"Made it Ma! Top of the World!"

(Photo credit - Chris Lyons)

(Photo credit - Chris Lyons)

(Photo credit - Chris Lyons)

(Photo credit - Chris Lyons)