I finally got up to CCNY to find two hawks hanging out and not brooding. What was interesting was one was young, less than a year old, with a brown tail. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this nest in 2017 or if we'll need to wait until 2018?
It looks like we might have fewer nests this year in Manhattan, but I'm sure we'll get more news after nests hatch. Eight nests are confirmed to have brooding pairs. I haven't gotten reports about CCNY and have gotten conflicting reports about the two West End Avenue nests.
There are also a number of areas where nests may be found over the next month. I also suspect that we're missing nests in Harlem and Tribeca.
I was on my way to visit CCNY uptown when I saw an email on my phone with a report of a grounded hawk in Washington Square Park. So, I switched subway trains and headed for the park. When I got there I found a hawk in a tree looking a bit stunned, but otherwise fine. It didn't look like either of the nesting adults, so I was confused. Then the resident male, Booby appeared on the Judson church cross and I could see the female on the Ustream camera feed, so I knew for sure this was an intruder.
Bobby hunted nearby, caught a small rodent and ate it, before going off to roost in a favorite spot. Only after Bobby had left did the intruder leave the park, flying down LaGuardia Place.
The adult male of Washington Square Park gave the female a break from egg sitting, spent some time on the Judson Church Cross and then spent time on low perches on the southern side of the park.
My visit to the Lower East Side started with a trip to Houston and Avenue D where I saw a Red-tailed Hawk fly off a nest under construction on a school air conditioner. This is the same site of a nest built in 2008. We'll see what happens with this pair/nest.
Then it was off to Tompkins Square Park, where the activity was similar to yesterday's.
The hawks in Tompkins Square Park are brooding. Today, I got to see a few nest exchanges, both hawks share a rodent, and see them copulate.
After the snowstorm the park ended up with an record number of over 40 American Woodcocks on Thursday. It also had a Wilson's Snipe. While the number of American Woodcocks was much lower in the park today, I was able to get photographs of both species. The first two photographs are of the American Woodcock, the rest are of the Wilson's Snipe.
The Washington Square Park hawks have one egg in the nest with one or two more to come over the next few days. The male gave the female several long breaks during the day. At sunset, the male started hunting for rodents in the park. He ended up catching a rat as it ran across a playground. He then went to a few different location before calling to his mate in case she wanted the rodent. When she didn't come he gave us the slip going towards the east. It was fun to have the extra hour of daylight after work to watch them.
Update 3-14-17: The second egg was laid at 11:45 am on Tuesday.
Update 3-17-17: The third egg was laid on Friday afternoon.
I've started a new Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest spreadsheet for 2017. It's been too cold to venture up north for me to see how the upper Manhattan nests, so it's missing any details for nest above 125th Street. If you have any input on these nests or news of any new nests, please drop me a note. Thanks.
The Fifth Avenue nest seems to have settled down now that it has eggs. Octavia was hunkered down while I visited and Pale Male just stayed near the nest. Let's hope they do well through our Tuesday snowstorm.
My visit to Tompkins Square Park started off slowly. The male arrived and quietly sat on a branch looking for prey. But soon we saw three hawks, the pair and an intruder flying over head. After the intruder was chased off the pair made a trip to the top of the Christodora Apartments. Then they went out of sight. This nest is usually a few days behind Washington Square Park, so expect eggs next week.
The first overnight of the Washington Square Park female turned out to be a premature stay on the nest as she skipped at least the next two nights. While this is the first time I've seen a hawk spend a night on a nest and not return, I don't think it is a cause for concern. Either Wednesday's Peregrine battle or large protest in the park could have caused the female to feel a need to occupy/protect the nest for the night.
This evening, both hawks were very active and were being a couple by sharing perches and food. It looked like things were back to normal for late winter. I suspect brooding will start within a week.
Update 3/11/17: The first egg was seen on the nest Saturday afternoon around 1 p.m.
It appears that Octavia has started brooding. She spent last night on the nest as well as tonight. Pale Male sat on the nest after he brought Octavia a small rodent. So, it looks like we should have little ones in mid-April.
On International Women's Day, which had a noisy demonstration in Washington Square Park, the female spent her first overnight of the year on the nest. The park was full of protesters when I arrived at the park tonight and I almost walked to Tompkins Square Park. Luckily, I decided to stay and watched a Red-tailed Hawk chase a Peregrine Falcon from One Fifth Avenue and went out of sight. Shortly thereafter the male was on the Judson Cross and the female was in the nest. She was still on the nest when I left the park at 7 p.m.
A hawk can start spending the night on the nest way before eggs are laid. It will be interesting to see how long it takes until we see the first egg.
Update 3/9/17: The female did not spend the night on the nest the next night. This is unusual, but given the Peregrine Falcon's late appearance and the protesters in the park, she might have felt a need to protect the nest on Wednesday night. The next week should be interesting.
Tonight, I watched the female Dora for about half an hour, before Christo came with a small mouse and began calling. The two copulated and then Dora ate the rodent Christo brought. (For those interested in bird anatomy, Dora's cloaca is clearly visible in one of the photographs.)
The hawks on Fifth Avenue are looking like they've got everything ready for spring. They copulated on the Carlyle this afternoon and worked on the nest. The female usually starts spending nights on the nest by March 15, laying eggs soon thereafter. We're getting close to this special milestone.
Cold Weather helps bring owls to Central Park. Today, the park had a Long-eared Owl. At fly out it flew to a few perches and flew to the ground to hunt a rodent. A great bird for such a cold and windy day.
This morning there were reports of both the male and female Washington Square Park Red-tailed Hawks visiting the nest and at least one observation of copulation on 1 Fifth Avenue. When I arrived, Bobby, the male, was the only hawk I saw. He made two visits to the nest while I was there and added at stick to the nest.
The Tompkins Square Park pair are getting serious about nesting. They've built a new nest close to Avenue A and 9th Street, and the male is busy courting the female. They copulated while I was there and he also caught a small rodent and went off to give it to his mate as a present. So, it looks like everything is in place for spring.
I caught up with Bobby, the male adult Red-tailed Hawk of Washington Square Park at dusk. He was on D'Agostino Hall, 37 Washington Square West and 29 Washington Square West before flying north towards 8th Street. No sign of his mate.