2/11, Riverside Park in the 110s

An hour-plus of looking for hawks on the Riverside side of Morningside Heights late Saturday afternoon looked to have been futile. The usually reliable "Mr. 116th St." didn't seem be around and the Grant's Tomb hawks were elsewhere. But as I was headed back south and toward home, the 116th St. bird put in an appearance.

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Note: Although I call him Mr. 116th St., there's no way to be sure that he was the male of last year's 116th St. nest. Also, no one I've heard from has reporting seeing a "Mrs. 116th St" in the area.

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He'd been perched by the Riverside Park wall at 112th St. But when I caught up to him, he had just flown across the road, into the strip between the main part of Riverside Drive and the neighborhood access road.

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It didn't seem like much of a spot for hunting, but there was a small area of ground clear of snow. Perhaps he thought he'd catch a mouse sneaking out come sunset, which wasn't far away.

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And there's the brief bit of "urban alpenglow" as the setting sun colors the apartment buildings.

Ten or 15 minutes go by, and he finally swoops at something on the ground but comes up with nothing.

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Stared intently at the ground for a bit longer.

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Flies over to another tree and perches briefly.

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And then quietly disappears whilst I look the other way.

Posted 2/11/2017 06:48:00 PM by Robert

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