Nest at the Cathedral

By UrbanAnthropod, July 1, 2010 11:33 am

The unfinished Cathedral of St. John the Divine has been the nesting sight for a pair of hawks for a while now. The current pair, Isolde and Norman, have had a successful fledging this year. I visited the nest a few times this month to see how this new fledgling faired. I can often see Norman and Isolde passing by the window at work on the other side of Central Park. In the winter, I sometimes have caught a glimpse of their courtship flights. It’s always an amazing sight to see two hawks fly at each other as if they were attaching. The aerial acrobatics is a phenomenal sight.

Visiting these raptors and seeing them up close has really sparked an interest in seeking out more of them. I am by no means an avian photographer. I fear that if I did ever get into it, I’d be sinking a lot of money into that hole. At this moment, I have some gear that is good for walking around. But avian photography is a whole other story. Wildlife in the city is so amazing. I think everyone just doesn’t expect it to be here. Even though we hear of the famous ones, like Pale Male. These raptors seem to be unseen by the general public and they’re all around us. They’re doing us a service by hunting pigeons and rats. We all know, we can do without all the pigeons and rats in this city!

I caught this shot of the fledgling testing the wind.

Testing the wind

The hawks sometimes decorate the Cathedral like feathery gargoyles.

Feathery gargoyle

Nearby, is a pair of American Kestrels. I’d love to get a shot of these guys. They’re so beautiful and sleek. They’re a tad territorial and it’s amusing to watch these tiny kestrels harrass the large red-tails.

Here’s a video of a kestrel dive-bombing the fledgling as he/she hangs out on Garbiel’s head.

Related posts:

  1. Nesting at the Cathedral
  2. Overnighting and sitting
  3. Charlotte? Is that you?
  4. Wild in El Barrio
  5. You know it’s winter

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