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.
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.
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.
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.