Thursday, July 07, 2011

Fledging flash!

Just got a call from Rik Davis, faithful hawkwatcher [and hawk photographer] at the Hawk Bench.

The first fledge at the Fifth Avenue nest!!! Successful!!!!

The first nestling took its leave sometime before Rik got to the Model-boat pond--that is, before 11 a.m. this morning. Subsequently it was located in a tree near the top of the hill going from the MBP to 72nd Street and Fifth Ave. and photographed there by Lincoln Karim

The photo here is of Charles Kennedy, hawkwatcher extraordinaire, Central Park naturalist and our friend who died on October 20, 2004. At every landmark in the cycle of the Fifth Avenue redtails-- mating, nest building, incubation, hatching and today, the first fledge--we all think of Charles.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Blakeman's views on the spikes and a PS from Marie

Soon-to-be-fledglings look down at the "spikes"
photo courtesy of taken on July 4, 2011

In regard to the spikes on the Fifth Avenue nest [see post of 7/3/11], Mai Stewart posed the question to John Blakeman on July 3:

John --

It occurs to me that some people may be concerned that the eyasses, now in their pre-fledge, hop-flapping stage, might lose their footing and inadvertently fall with disastrous results onto the pigeon spikes on the 12th floor balcony below -- or even when they fledge. The letter posted recently on Marie's site voiced the fear that they could be harmed by the spikes -- do you think this is a possibility and cause for concern?

Many thanks,

On Jul 4, 2011, John Blakeman responded unequivocally:


Just why this pigeon spike issue has such urgency is beyond me.

No red-tail is ever going to get injured landing on such a spike. The bird will simply stay off the spikes, just as they stay off the equally sharp spines of honeylocust trees.

This is an issue with only imagined harms to the hawks. They aren't dumb. They simply will not get themselves injured on the pigeon spikes. They will simply fly off to some ledge or perch without them, probably on another building.

No big deal. This is an imaginary problem of no significance whatsoever. A pursuit of a "solution" will only create other problems, mostly social ones among humans.

The entire topic should be simply dropped. The hawks are smart enough to figure it all out, which might require them to land on other surfaces without the spikes.
Again, no big deal.

--John Blakeman

PS from Marie I'm glad to hear this is a non-issue!