A two-plus hour walk through the north end of Central Park and around Morningside Park late Sunday afternoon was a complete bust for finding any red-tailed hawks. On the positive side, a half hour past sunset, I did find where the juvie red-tail who's been hunting in Riverside Park in the 110s goes to roost at night.
On a gloomy Saturday afternoon, in the break between the snow and the rain, I went for a long walk to check on the Upper Manhattan red-tailed hawk nests. As it turned out, only one hawk was to be seen, and him at the very first nest.
First stop was J. Hood Wright Park, at Ft. Washington Ave. and 175th St. In the past I've had poor luck spotting one of the adult hawks here when it wasn't nesting season. But Saturday one of them was perched atop a fire escape on the back side of a building on 176th St. Barely was my camera out before he jumped off.
And landed in a tree in the park.
I don't know their markings well but the build suggests that this was the male of the Wright Park pair.
After ten minutes in the tree, the hawk turned around.
Flew back to the fire escape.
And after a couple more minutes, took off towards P.S. 173 and out of sight.
Visits were subsequently paid to the Gorman Park, Highbridge Park, and Inwood Hill Park nest areas.
The juvenile red-tailed hawk was reported still hanging about Riverside Park in the 110s on Wednesday, but I had no luck finding him Thursday or Friday afternoon.
The squirrels were all pretty nonchalant, as usual.
And the only action to be had on Friday was a downy woodpecker working over a tree near the wall at about 110th St.
The juvenile red-tailed hawk hanging about near the Soldiers and Sailors Monument was not the only young raptor I'd heard was lurking in Riverside Park this winter. Another RT was supposed to be up in the 110s. Friday afternoon I went looking for him, and he flew right up.
Even sat still for half a minute for a close-up.
But then he was off and hunting like a maniac. Here, there and everywhere between 112th and 106th streets. Never perching anywhere for longer than 20 seconds. And when it seemed like he was gone, he'd come zooming by from somewhere behind.
A ton of fun to watch, though, as he used the gusty wind to his advantage to do "pop ups", zooming along at hip level and then suddenly going straight up to land on a branch 30 feet overhead.
Even on gray, gloomy days, the hawks are still out there. There having been reports of multiple juvenile red-tails loose in Riverside Park, I took the Riverside route on my way to the book store late Sunday afternoon. Luckily, one juvenile red-tail was active, as otherwise I would have walked right by him.
As sunset approached, he had settled in above the dog run across from the Normandy.