3/30, Highbridge Three

Sunday was spent checking on the Highbridge Park red-tailed hawk nest at a time of day when the light would be better than when I visited a week before. Time permitting, I'd try to check a few places to the south for red-tail activity afterwards.

Just as I walked up to the best nest-viewing spot, the Highbridge male, aka George, swooped overhead a couple times before perching in a treetop back up along the upper level of the park. I looked up at him; he looked down at me.

Highbridge Hawk

He disappeared as soon as I turned around to check on the female, aka Martha, in the nest.

The light was definitely better than last time, but she was hunkered down in the nest, with only about two-thirds of her head visible, and that sometimes obscured by a projecting twig. She alternately looked this way, that way, and up.

Highbridge Hawk

And for about 45 minutes that pretty much summed things up. The one time she stood up to rotate her eggs, she took just a couple seconds to do so before plopping back down.

Rotating the Eggs

Meanwhile, except for a brief glimpse of him flying north, George went unseen after the initial mutual stare.

Around 4:45, shadows began to creep across the path, so I headed out. I ended up walking south along Amsterdam, vaguely headed in the direction of the Highbridge tower. As I was passing through Yeshiva University and admiring the architecture on one hall, George showed back up.

Washington Heights Red-Tail

He circled around over Audubon Ave., a block to the west, in the area between 186th and 188th Sts. for about three minutes before disappearing somewhere to the northwest.

Washington Heights Red-Tail

I turned around and headed south again and only made it another five blocks before spotting another red-tail circling about high up and straight overhead.

Washington Heights Juvie Red-Tail

George again? Obviously not. This hawk was missing one or two feathers on its right wing.

Washington Heights Juvie Red-Tail

The new red-tail drifted south, its circles shifting toward the Highbridge tower down about 173rd St. As it got further away, I wondered if it might be the same hawk I had seen two weeks ago over J. Hood Wright Park, five blocks west. If not, perhaps it was the juvie that I'd seen the same day at 161st St. Well, no way to know, but a close look at the pix did reveal that it definitely was a juvie. I lost track of it as I dodged traffic while crossing a street, but the last sighting looked like it might be crossing the Harlem River and heading into the Bronx.

And that was it for hawk sightings on Sunday. None was to be seen at J. Hood Wright or down along Riverside Drive as spotted a couple weeks ago, and none around Trinity Cemetery.

Posted 3/31/2008 10:15:00 PM by Robert

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