2/22, St. John the Divine & the CP North Woods

Friday I mentioned seeing evidence of hawk nesting activity at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, but no adult hawks. Saturday night, Betty Wasserman, a member of the staff at St. Luke's hospital, across the street from St. John's, shared some photos she had recently taken of two adult red-tails perching at the hospital.

Apparently the pair have had a habit of perching on the screen on the east end of St. Luke's, overlooking Morningside Drive and Morningside Park, many days around lunch time.

So despite all the noise and dirt and disruption going on with the apartment building under construction in the northeast corner of the cathedral grounds, the hawks have not given up on the area. It does remain a question as to exactly where they will nest, the signs suggesting that they are working on a new nest not far from the old one. However, the new site is where they were collecting sticks last spring, and then they used the old nest anyway.

But the extra factor is that the female hawk is new. Last year's hawk mother died of frounce in June. Looking at the photos above, I think the hawk at left is the new female, but with both fluffed up in the cold weather, it's hard to tell.

Sunday afternoon I checked on the area to see if I might catch the two hawks perching at the hospital, but no luck. After a look around the area, I strolled over to the northwest corner of Central Park. There I did find an adult hawk, most probably one of the cathedral pair, and I think likely the new female.

North Woods Hawk - 5800

Over a period of about fifteen minutes, she led me on a tour from the Block House to the Great Hill and back into the Ravine. Best looks lasted about five minutes when she perched near the loop road on the sunny side of the Great Hill.

North Woods Hawk - 5802

Check out the belly band and the color on the breast. She's darker than past hawks at the cathedral. Assuming the male is still Norman, it should be relatively easy to tell them apart based on their coloring.

North Woods Hawk - 5813

This adult was a bit shy, as I never got within 50 feet of her before she would move to another location. Finally, she took off toward Lasker Rink and I lost her.

Posted 2/22/2015 06:48:00 PM by Robert

2/20, Morningside Park

So a blog named Morningside Hawks should maybe say something about Morningside hawks? No?

I have been checking the cathedral red-tailed hawk nesting area in recent weeks and seen some evidence of nesting activity, but without any actual red-tails to prove it.

Checking again late Friday afternoon, my timing was just good enough to get a few photos of a juvenile red-tail circling around the northern part of Morningside Park and then soaring south toward 110th St. and perhaps beyond. The youngster had a pretty good belly band.

Red-Tail Over Morningside - 5713

Red-Tail Over Morningside - 5714

Red-Tail Over Morningside - 5715

Meanwhile, perched below in the shadows between 115th and 116th streets was a juvenile Cooper's hawk, digesting a meal.

Morningside Cooper's Hawk - 5724

The Coopie may be the same bird who was scaring the hospital pigeons this past Sunday afternoon.

Posted 2/20/2015 05:37:00 PM by Robert

2/17, Central Park North Woods

Tuesday at the end of the day, I poked my head into the northwest corner of Central Park and found two juvenile red-tailed hawks lurking in the trees not far south of the Block House.

The first, with light-colored head feathers and likely a female, was initially perched 25 or 30 feet above ground level.

North Woods Hawk - 5641

Although she looked unlikely to go anywhere, after 8-10 minutes, she moved down the branch a bit.

North Woods Hawk - 5654

Perched for another minute or two.

North Woods Hawk - 5661

And then took off toward the Block House. Heading that direction I found a juvenile red-tail perched high up a tree, but it was smaller (a male) and its head feathers not so dark. Ah, and there was the female 10-12 feet along on the same branch. Both looked like they were digesting late meals and ready to go to roost anytime.

But despite the apparent friendliness of the two hawks, when the female flew down the branch toward the male, he scrambled out of there and found a protected perch not far away.

Sunset and the evening cold loomed, and I made my exit to get dinner.

Posted 2/17/2015 08:04:00 PM by Robert

2/15, Inwood Hill Park

A sunny but frigid Sunday afternoon looked like it was going to be noteworthy for the lack of interesting birds in the air. But not long before sunset, I encountered the Inwood Hill Park red-tailed hawks in the ravine very close to where their nest is located.

Inwood Hawk - 5581

Initially they were moving from tree to tree, but one had a very full crop and soon picked a perch where (s)he could digest the meal. The other stuck around for just a couple minutes and then disappeared around the hill to the east.

Inwood Hawk - 5559

Posted 2/15/2015 09:23:00 PM by Robert

2/8, Central Park Pool & Ravine

Late on one of the grayest Sunday afternoons you can imagine, I found two young red-tailed hawks in the northwest of Central Park.

One juvie was first seen flying back and forth over the Pool at 102nd St.

CP Juvie Red-Tall #1 - 5399

He headed east into the Ravine area. When I found a red-tail perched over there, I began to think, this isn't where that guy was headed. And then for a few seconds, there was a view of one hawk flying away farther northeast while one stayed put.

The second was apparently digesting a meal.

CP Juvie Red-Tall #2 - 5410

And watching the joggers pass by on the Glen Span Arch below.

CP Juvie Red-Tall #2 - 5411

Posted 2/08/2015 09:19:00 PM by Robert