Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blakeman views our "dastardly" photographer

[click on photo to enlarge]
Today there were photos of the 888 7th Ave fledgling on the website. John Blakeman, our Ohio redtail advisor, sends in a few comments, and especially about the photo I have reproduced above. If I'm not mistaken that dastardly [or is he sheep-like?] human being in the background is our own Bruce Yolton, whose photos you have often enjoyed here. [Hope everybody knows I'm kidding ]

From John Blakeman:

It was good to see that the single fledgling is now (as expected in late July and early August) capturing live prey, young rats. The bird, to me, looks large and very healthy. It appears to me to be a very nice big female.

By now in the countryside, half of the wild red-tail fledglings have starved. Unless inordinate amounts of easy to catch food is available, as in Central Park, the rural adults have stopped feeding their young and are maintaining only their own health. The young for two or three weeks (give or take), have had to fend for themselves. In poorer territories, where voles are not as frequent, many yearlings have already starved.

The raptor rehab centers always get a slug of starving, on the ground young red-tails in July. This year was no exception here.

So, the young bird in Central Park is doing well and right now it looks like it has a very good chance to continue to survive and mature into an adult. That's great.
To me, the photo of greatest interest was the one with the young hawk sitting on the fence with the photographers lined up behind the bird. What was this bird thinking? Has it no self-respect? No Ohio red-tail would EVER allow dastardly (or even good) human beings to get so close to it.

I'm sure that (usually) the people in New York are plainly normal. The red-tails? Not so sure about that, as this photo illustrates.

Out here in the countryside, our red-tails allow only sheep (we have very few of those anymore) and cattle to wander up without concern, but never humans. Therefore, do NYC red-tails regard local residents as mere sheep and cattle? Perchance, why so?