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Without Dad

By UrbanAnthropod, May 7, 2011 6:14 pm

After the passing of the male red-tailed hawk at Riverside Park, there was a lot of concern about the livelihood of the nest and the new eyasses. With the news of the dead father, I thought I would collect some rodent carcasses from our research institute and leave them in the trees where he would cache food. Turns out, others had the same idea in mind. The parks Department and some rehabilitators have set up a program to do just that. I arrived at the nest to see Mom and nestlings in good condition. As I worked my way up to the highway, I instantly came across a dead quail. Upon closer inspection, there were white rats and quail scattered about. Making my way up, I discovered that my view was obfuscated by all the foliage. Eventually finding a decent vantage point, I could see that Mom was standing high over her kids. This is a great time to visit the nest as the eyasses are big enough to pop up and prop themselves up for long periods. They’re not quite as dependent on Mom for warmth so she is off them a lot more.

Mom and Eyass

Mom and a nestling.

Mom Stands over her eyasses

Mom, with her nestlings concealed in the nest.

Eyass ingests some meat
Mom feeding her nestlings

I fear that the foliage issue will become worse for me. given that they’ve taken well to the feeding program, things look bright for this nest. In weeks to come, the nestlings will grow their feathers and start branching. That’s when the fun begins. Hopefully, the Parks Department will keep the food off the ground. We don’t want the nestlings to learn to eat dead food. That’s how they’ll come across the poisoned rats that most likely did in their Dad.

**Shot with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with a Sigma 150-500mm lenswith a Sigma 2x Teleconverter stabilized by an Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod

**More Raptors in New York City can be seen at Flickr.

Geo

Riverside Park

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