1/5, First Hawks of the Year

Late on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, I encountered a couple of red-tails hunting in the North Woods of Central Park. First sighting was of a hawk flying over the Great Hill and into the neighborhood between the park and the Douglass Houses, but whoever that was went by before I was able to get the camera ready. Fifteen minutes later I found an adult perched along the edge of the North Meadow.

January 5

Note the very light eye color. This may be the same adult hawk spotted by James in the area three weeks ago, as the light eyes and also the tail band look the same. If so, this could be a "replacement" hawk who is taking over the role once claimed by the Cathedral red-tail (Norman?) believed killed during Hurricane Sandy.

The adult was head-bobbing and hunting.

Red-Tail by the North Meadow

And was only there for five minutes before flying over to a tree by the access road for a moment, then taking off again and disappearing in the direction of the skating rink.

A stroll through the Ravine and the North Woods didn't reveal the adult. But as sunset approached and I was headed toward the Douglass Circle park exit, a youn red-tail was spotted watching over the park loop.

Young Red-Tail in the North Woods

You'd think it was time to find a good roost and do some pre-sleep preening, but the 9- or 10-month old seemed to be hunting. It wasn't the best spot and I wondered if he was killing time until the rats supposedly start to emerge from the nearby subway gratings after dark.

Over the next twenty minutes, the young bird shifted over to a tree by the park wall at 108th St., where he was last seen as it got too dark to watch.

Posted 1/05/2013 06:31:00 PM by Robert

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