Adam Welz's Weblog

Red-tailed Hawk youngsters, Riverside Park, NYC, 18 June 2009

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, birds & birding by adamwelz on June 18, 2009

Hi All

went down to the Riverside nest (in Manhattan’s Upper West Side) this afternoon to check out the three youngsters, one of which has properly fledged, one of which still seems to be in the advanced branching stage, and the third which is still in the nest. As I arrived an adult swooped in with a squirrel, which was a pretty spectacular thing to see. I was very keen to lay my eyes on some NYC Red-tails after spending 6 weeks in this amazing city last year with them while shooting a programme for SABC’s Healing Power of Nature series.

The light was shocking so the images are not great (800 ISO and hail-Mary shutter speeds with no depth of field) but here is the nest-bound youngster and the advanced ‘short-flight’ brancher (note crops bulging with squirrel meat).

RTH 1 NYC 17 Jun 09

RTH 3 NYC 17 Jun 09

720 RTH wings spread Riverside NYC 2009-5551

Curious little buggers, young Buteo jamaicensis — they’re constantly looking around. If the one on the nest did not fledge just after I left I’m sure it’ll go in the next couple of days. It was standing around a lot on the edge of the nest and eyeballing the ground met ernstige mening.

You can read more about the Riverside Red-tails at Bruce Yolton’s blog

http://urbanhawks.blogs.com/urban_hawks/

Cheers

Adam

Houston frounce-infected Red-tailed Hawk babies: Update

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, birds & birding by adamwelz on July 11, 2008

Hi All

just got of the phone to Cathy Horvath – and heard some good news.

Hous (aka Houston 1 or just plain Houston), the young Red-tailed Hawk who was fostered in with the Astoria/Triborough Bridge Red-tails, is standing and ate by himself yesterday. I filmed this incredibly sick bird being recaptured a few days ago and in such bad shape that I doubted he’d even make it though the day alive. His frounce lesions were huge, he was extremely skinny and so weak that he lay on his side in the carrier.

Here’s Houston 1’s mouth on 5 July, the recapture day. The frounce lesions are the disgusting cheesy growths in his mouth. Note also the discoloured tongue. Bobby’s ‘caption’ for this photo was “In addition what you can see in his mouth there is much more down his throat , under his jaw, and in his crop that we can feel which makes his case much worse than Hous ” 2 ” . This is why he is so thin presently. He has a hard time swallowing anything solid so Cathy is mixing him up a¬†meal in a blended smoothie¬†type which is tubed into his crop. He’s also getting flagyl, sprartrix, and baytril .”

Houston 2 is also in much better shape. The frounce lesions have almost gone, is eating alone, and jumping around in the cage. The multi-drug approach seems to be working.

Both birds are not yet out of the woods, but for now it’s looking good.

Cheers

Adam

PS You can read more on the Astoria hawk saga at http://palemaleirregulars.blogspot.com/

R I P Houston 3

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, birds & birding by adamwelz on July 1, 2008

NB: FLAMINGO PETITION STORY BELOW THIS POST

Dear Friends

Spoke with Cathy Horvath this morning, and have sad news to report. Houston 3, the silly young Red-tailed Hawk that I helped rescue from the traffic, has died. (See blog post below for more on that.)

The bird, along with its older siblings, Houston 1 & 2, had come into the Horvath’s care after coming down in dangerous situations near the nest. Houston 1 has been released into the foster care of the Triborough Bridge Red-tails, but Houston 2 & 3 remained with the Horvaths as, when they were taken there, they were not yet well flighted-enough to be released near their rather dangerous nest site.

The Houston ‘father’ bird was found on the ground some days ago obviously unwell and unable to fly. He died shortly after of Frounce (in the Horvath’s care) after which the Horvath’s realised that his kids, 2 & 3, were also infected, and began treatment.

Frounce is a nasty disease caused by a protozoan that likes living in the crops of pigeons. It is therefore likely that Houston 2 & 3, and their father, became infected from the same pigeon, probably caught by the father and fed to 2 & 3 while they were still on the nest. The Horvaths do not feed pigeon to their birds.

So now the only one of that family of Red-tails left in the Houston St area is the adult female. When last seen she appeared healthy. A question remains as to whether Houston 1, the one fostered out to Triborough, is also infected with Frounce. He has in past days seen acting strangely, as in lying down, but seemed in good health yesterday. It is possible that he’s clean, as the putative infected pigeon may have been brought to the nest by the male after 1 had already flown, but he must be carefully watched.

Houston 2 is apparently not yet cured but holding up so far.

Cheers

Adam

PS More on the Houston Hawks at Donna Browne’s blog, http://palemaleirregulars.blogspot.com/

PS A friend in China tells me that my blog is blocked by the state Internet Police. (You know you’re talking about something important when you get banned – like birds and birding!) Don’t you just love totalitarian regimes and censorship? I get so tired of hearing of all the ‘progress’ made in China without talk of the costs, the massive environmental costs and the costs in terms of basic human liberty.