February 22, 2010

Lower East Side February 12th

I was checking out Francois Portmann's blog  http://www.fotoportmann.com/birdblog/category/new-york-city/ when I noticed a post mentioning an interesting relationship between a a juvenile Cooper's Hawk and a rehabilitated raven living in Marble Cemetery on the Lower East Side. I decided to visit the cemetery and see for myself. The Raven suffered a broken wing that has not and may ever fully recover. She is as of now a permanent resident of the cemetery. The young Hawk began visiting the Raven (named Samantha) a few weeks back, and has continued to visited regularly. It is not apparently clear to anyone why the Hawk chooses to hang around next a cranky Raven. Ravens are generally social animals, roosting in numbers ranging from a dozen to over a hundred birds. Hawks mate in pairs, but are generally solitary animals in their youth, and their mating relationships seems to be more functional than social. A young Cooper's Hawk has much to learn in its life, and perhaps it feels it needs some sort of direction having been pushed out of the nest area by its parents after the season ended. Living a solitary life is probably stressful for a social animal such as a Raven, so enjoying a little company from a bird that would normally be considered an enemy is probably welcomed given the Raven's physical condition. Unfortunately the Hawk was not present the two times I visited the area, but I did manage to get a few pics of Samantha and a pics of some sleepy squirrels.



After the cemetery, I decided to visited Tompkins Square Park to see I could find the Red Tailed Hawk pair that nests in the park. I had only been there a few minutes when the female arrived in a tree nearby with a small rat in her talons. 
I spotted this bird just outside the park after the female took off, probably her mate.

No comments: