1/11, Riverside Park in the 110s

Taking a break from work with a late afternoon stroll along Riverside Drive, I found the "neighborhood hawk" perched little more than a block from the office. This would be the male adult red-tailed hawk who's been so easy to spot in the 110s of Riverside the past few weeks.

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Hunting was in progress.

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Perhaps five minutes later the bird was in the air. Stopping at 110th St., he looked around for a moment or two.

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Then away and further south, apparently making a U-turn as he was next found deeper down in the park at about 109th St. Much later, not long after sunset, he was perched very close to the park wall at 114th St. before flying off to, apparently, go to roost.

Posted 1/11/2017 10:55:00 PM by Robert

1/8, Riverside Park in the 110s

Sunday was cold and there were a couple inches of snow on the ground, so for hawks the hunting was tougher than usual. Just before sunset in the stretch of Riverside Park in the low 110s, I again encountered the male adult red-tail who haunts the area (and is presumably the papa from last year's 116th St. nest), along with another neighborhood hawkwatcher.

As late as it was, it looked like the hawk was still trying to scrounge up a meal to finish his day.

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Unfortunately, it was looking like he was going to have to go to bed unsatisfied.

Posted 1/08/2017 09:20:00 PM by Robert

1/6, Riverside Park in the 110s

A pass along the Riverside Park wall near the office at lunch time on Friday found an adult red-tailed hawk also out looking for a meal. When first spotted, it was landing in the top of a tree at 112th St.

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This could be the adult male whom I encountered last week a few blocks up the road. If not, it may be his mate. With temperatures having dropped the last couple days and birds fluffing up to stay warm, it's more difficult to use size as a guesstimate of gender.

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Within a couple minutes, the hawk swooped south, perhaps going for a squirrel along the park wall. But when re-found, it was perched sans prey at 110th St.

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But busy looking around for food.

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Posted 1/06/2017 02:40:00 PM by Robert

12/28, Riverside Park in the 110s

A walk along the Riverside Park wall early Wednesday afternoon again found a red-tailed hawk perched just inside the park, across from where 114th St. meets Riverside Drive. Presumably this was the same hawk who was just a tree or two away late Monday afternoon.

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The light was much better than two days ago, so it was plain that this was definitely an adult hawk.

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Also looks a bit small, suggesting that this is a male. He reminded me of the hawk who was busy hunting a block or two up back at the start of March.

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So one wonders, is this the male hawk from this past season's 116th St. nest? Or the male from Grant's Tomb hunting to the south? Or some other guy visiting the area?

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Not too many minutes later, the hawk decided the hunting near the park wall wasn't that good — no pigeons, squirrels or other meal-sized prey in sight — and flew downhill to see if the hunting was better there.

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Posted 12/29/2016 01:40:00 AM by Robert

12/26, Riverside Park in the 110s

It's winter, which means that should you have time for a stroll in or by a park, it's much easier to spot any hawks who might be lurking about. Late Monday afternoon, just before sunset, I strolled up Riverside Drive in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, and found a red-tailed hawk in Riverside Park between 114th St. and 115th St., about two blocks south of where this past summer's 116th St. nest was (and still is) located.

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It was casually watching the area, but not peering around intently as it would if it were hunting. Perhaps it was simply digesting and drying off.

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Extreme photo manipulation on Photoshop suggests that the bird was an adult. Although the overall tail color was not obvious because of the gloomy light, there seems to be only a single dark transverse bar near the tip of the tail feathers rather than the multiple stripes of a juvenile's brown tail.

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Fifteen minutes later up the street at Grant's Tomb, I found what appeared to be both of the resident pair of adult red-tails going to roost for the night on opposites sides of the walkway leading to the monument. Unfortunately, by that point it was just past sunset, and the light was too poor for photography.

Posted 12/26/2016 09:24:00 PM by Robert