April 13, 2009

4/13, Riverside Juvenile Red-Tail

Raptor sightings have been few and far between for me the last few weeks despite much walking about in what is supposed to be hawk territory. I watched the Riverside Boat Basin mama red-tail sit on her eggs a couple weekends ago and last weekend viewed a merlin that James had spotted on a Harlem steeple, and... that's almost it. Add to that just a 2-second glimpse last Wednesday of a red-tail being chased in upper Riverside Park by the neighborhood crows and that's all that's been definite.

The crow chasee apparently had not taken the hint, as this evening I had a 20-minute-plus viewing of a juvenile red-tail in the same area, hanging about the bird sanctuary in Riverside Park. He was easy to find, as three pedestrians were standing by the park wall at 119th St. looking up in a nearby tree.

Riverside Juvenile Red-Tail

And sometimes glaring back.

Riverside Juvenile Red-Tail

Very soon he took off.

April 13

And shifted to a tree a couple hundred feet south, then quickly to another in the heart of the sanctuary, close to the trailside sign explaining the sanctuary's history and listing last year's bird sightings.

Riverside Juvenile Red-Tail

And there he stayed until I departed about 10-15 minutes before sunset. There was plenty of bobbing and craning of his head for better views of the park floor below, but he didn't seem to be actively hunting.

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