Friday, June 22, 2007

A Queens hawk story

I posted Liz Rhoades' story in the Queens Chronicle about the Unisphere redtails a while ago. Yesterday I received a note from her with another redtail adventure:

Hi Marie,

I had a unique run-in with two red-tails yesterday that just made my day! I had just covered a meeting in Queensboro Hall in Kew Gardens and was in my car heading home around 7 p.m., when suddenly a large bird swooped down in front of me. I knew it was a hawk, pulled over and watched the bird. It perched on the top of a low parking garage behind Queensboro Hall and then practically flew into a parked van's windshield, recovered and landed in a nearby tree.

I got out my camera and took a few pictures. A woman came up to me who had also been watching them and told me they were the Briarwood eyasses, practicing their flying. Mom and Dad were nearby, as was the other fledgling. She said when the eyasses cried for food, the parents took care of them.

As we were watching, a police car stopped, pulled over and one of the officers got out to look. He said he had been watching the hawks and was amazed they were 9-week--old babies because of their size. I was delighted that two wild birds would draw the attention of policemen. The officer was still there when I left, looking for the other fledgling.

Kew Gardens is about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away from Briarwood and the area they were practicing their flying was quite urban---not a lot of open space. It looks like Queens is getting quite hawk-friendly. That's definitely a good thing! I will try to forward two of the photos I took. Hope this works.

Best regards,
Liz Rhoades, managing editor, Queens Chronicle