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Where do they go during a hurricane?

By UrbanAnthropod, August 29, 2011 9:14 am

Sibling Rivalry

The lingering humidity made things pretty uncomfortable despite having temperatures in the mid-70’s. I almost overheated from a run because the perspiration clung to me. I had to stop because I started seeing spots and felt my head getting really warm. There was something definitely amiss since the cool river breeze failed to keep me comfortable. This was a sign for things to come. Last Friday was a humid and sunny day. We knew that Hurricane Irene would be hitting land soon, but there was no clear sign of it on Cedar Hill. Walking past the cypress tree that Pale Male’s fledglings commonly perched atop, I heard cries. It was none other than Pale Male, himself. I watched him for a short amount of time and wondered where the other watchers were. It was quite strange that he would be so vocal. I couldn’t see what he had, but he definitely had a kill with him since the flies started to congregate. Noone answered the calls and Pale Male just stood on the tree looking east.

Pale Male calls to the babies

Finally, I heard some cries to the east. I picked up and found a crowd behind Alice in Wonderland. Both fledglings were in the same tree. “Buffy” (the younger fledgling) was low on a branch and was letting out loud screams as he mantled a squirrel. His head feathers were extended outward like the frill of a triceratops as he guarded his kill.

Tricerohawk

To his left was “Whitey” (the older fledgling). While struggling to consume the rodent, Buffy invariably dropped the corpse. Whitey took a little pause before swooping down and running off with the body.
Snatched Squirrel

Eventually, Buffy descended and small scuffle broke out, but Whitey escaped with the prize.
Juvenile hawk with squirrel

That didn’t stop Buffy from following Whitey into the same tree. And as before, the clumsily handled rodent was dropped.
Siblings and their dropped squirrel

Whitey was able to retrieve dinner and brought it over near the Boathouse. We we wondered why she would take it to such a noisy place since protesters were actively drumming. But it paid off since Buffy didn’t follow.
Picked off squirrel

Whitey dropped the squirrel when it was dark and got in position to roost. We wondered what would happen if the hurricane was going to be as bad as predicted.

Irene

She came and went. While things were bad in suburbia, it just seemed like a rain storm in much of Manhattan. I went out for a run near the East River and saw the downed trees. Word was that the parks were closed due to precariousness of conditions. In the afternoon, I did wander past Central Park. Things were almost normal. The Park was officially closed, but it was packed with people. Making my way past Cedar Hill, I heard a cry and saw a hawk over 5th Avenue. As I approached, the hovering hawk (Whitey) flew south and another cry was heard on a building. Pale Male flew westward and Buffy was on a building with some food. We were relieved to see the 3 hawks after the storm. We weren’t so concerned about not seeing Ginger/Lima since she had become very sneaky since the babies fledged and it was uncommon to see her except during food drop-offs. What did they do during all the rain? At least they’re safe.

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