3/16, Egg-nant in Highbridge

Reports are beginning to come in of Manhattan's female red-tailed hawks brooding eggs in their nests. On a snowy Saturday afternoon I again checked on Highbridge as it's usually one of the first. To my surprise, Martha was not brooding, but it very much seemed she will be soon.

Approaching the nest site from along Dyckman St., I found both Martha and George perched in a tree close to where they nested last year. Martha was perched high up.

Highbridge Martha

While George was about 30 feet down in the crook of a branch and digging into a meal. It seemed he had just started because ten minutes later he was still working on it. Martha, meanwhile, just sat quietly, watching the snow I guess.

George seemed to slow down, but then picked up the carcass and flew south toward the nest site. I found him standing on the edge of the nest, where he had resumed eating.

George Visits the Nest

Martha flew past a few minutes later, alighting in a treetop perhaps 40 yards from the nest. A minute or two later, George again picked up his food and took off, this time landing even closer and again resuming his meal.

Highbridge George

Ah, it's squirrel.

There they stayed, Martha quietly perching and George tearing off bits of food. It's been over a half hour and he's still eating. I can't recall ever seeing a hawk spending that long on a meal.

A third time he picked up the carcass and took off, this time returning to the nest. No, it looks like he's not trying to eat any more of it. (I wondered if he had spent so much time on the meal because he wanted to line the nest with a bit of fur.) Martha joined him a minute later.

Marth and George in Their Nest

Nest inspection time?

March 16

Another minute and George was off, landing in a nearby tree where he could watch Martha and the nest. Martha stayed put.

Martha in Her Nest

And stayed put.

Martha in Her Nest

And stayed put some more.

Martha in Her Nest

Close to an hour after I first spotted the pair, another burst of snow started coming down. I left them to their contemplations.

Posted 3/16/2013 08:43:00 PM by Robert

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