3/3, Relocated Nests and a Juvenile's Sunday Dinner

As mentioned here previously, the two northernmost red-tailed hawks nests were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. With egg-laying time just a couple weeks away, it seemed that both sites ought to have new nests by now. Sunday I headed up town to check.

I entered Highbridge Park at my usual spot at 190th St. by the Wallenberg playground and headed downhill toward a likely nest site near Harlem River Dr. that I had spotted a week ago. Before I got that far, George soared overhead and landed high up a tree near where he and Martha nested 5-6 years ago.

Highbridge George

He had spotted me, too.

Highbridge George

But there were plenty of other things for him to watch, also.

Highbridge George

Since George looked set to stay where he was for a while, I continued down toward Harlem River Dr. Sure enough there was a new nest, and in a much better spot for hawkwatchers than three of Martha and George's last four nests (they've moved around bit). The new site is about 200 yards south of last year's nest, located directly across HRD from the gate to the Swindler's Cove dock and boathouse. The interior is easily visible from a couple spots along the park path, and may even remain so once the leaves start coming in on the trees.

It was getting late and it didn't seem like I had much time to check out Inwood Hill, but I had gotten a tip where the new nest there was located so shouldn't need to spend any time searching. I headed west along Dyckman St., my attention wandering as I got closer to the subway stop at the base of Ft. George Hill.

Hold it. There's something large moving around on a broken tree branch next to the playground at the very tip of the park.

Dyckman St. Juvie Red-Tail

A big juvenile red-tail, almost certainly a girl. In fact, I first thought she might be Highbridge Martha, but it was apparent soon enough that she was a year-old bird.

She was also digging into something tasty and didn't care much about me moving around below taking pictures.

Dyckman St. Juvie Red-Tail

One less neighborhood rat.

Dyckman St. Juvie Red-Tail

Her eating habits reminded me a bit of a young child.

Dyckman St. Juvie Red-Tail

After ten minutes she's starting to slow down a bit.

Dyckman St. Juvie Red-Tail

Again, not too concerned about me walking below her branch, less than 20 feet away.

March 3

One last picture and it's time to go.

Dyckman St. Juvie Red-Tail

Fifteen minutes later I was inside Inwood Hill Park walking past the baseball fields. Sure enough, there was a hawk nest exactly where I had heard it was. It was located on the edge of the park, overlooking the Indian Road playground and right where some residents of 214th St. might be able to look out their apartment windows and see all the comings and goings. The locations was also almost a quarter mile east of the old nest site in the park ravine. I've already heard it suggested that the hawks re-built so far away because the great horned owls are nesting in that area again.

Posted 3/03/2013 11:21:00 PM by Robert

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