March 24, 2009

3/21, Three Red-Tails

I ran across three red-tails on Saturday when I planned to scout the north end of Central Park. As it turned out, noen of the three were actually in the park.

First, barely two blocks from home, I looked up in a gap between a couple buildings and saw a very suggestive shape on top of a chimney cover.

100th & Amsterdam Red-Tail

That hawk was perched along Amsterdam between 100th and 101st Sts. My first impression was that it was a juvenile, but after staring at pic and manipulating them with Photoshop, I'm no longer sure about that. It could well have been adult.

The chimney hawk didn't look inclined to move, so I turned around to head east on 100th St. Almost within seconds, I saw another come soaring along and over the street, between Manhattan Ave. and CPW.

CPW & 100th Red-Tail

Note the missing primary in the right wing. This is almost certainly one of the two red-tails encountered in the Ravine last Wednesday, and I think it was the juvenile.

CPW & 100th Red-Tail

Then disappeared to the south. A couple minutes later it made the return trip and headed back north.

After a fruitless hour on the Great Hill, in the North Woods and the Ravine, and around Harlem Meer, I headed over toward Morningside Park. Partway up Morningside Drive, I realized there was a hawk perched on the scaffolding just above the nest. It looked a little small, but it was definitely a red-tail.

Cathedral Juvie Red-Tail

Besides the brown tail and light eyes marking a juvenile bird, note this hawk also seemed to have a relatively light colored head.

The juvie perched on the railing for the next 12-15 minutes, then took off and flew low over the hospital. It briefly perched on a ledge along 114th St., then quietly disappeared.

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