4/13, Re-Nesting in Highbridge

Saturday was three weeks since I had last visited the Highbridge Park hawk nest, end even though hatch wasn't due until the end of the coming week, I headed uptown to check how things were going. Imagine my distress to find the nest empty and apparently abandoned.

Abandoned Nest

Fifteen minutes of watching showed no hawk activity. I headed downhill to see if there was anything on the ground below that might suggest what happened. On the way I passed through the area where last year's nest was located and noted a small bundle of sticks in the crotch of a tree above the park path.

There was nothing to see below the nest, and no sign of a hawk about. I thought I might as well walk up to Inwood Hill Park to check on the nest there.

Again approaching the area where last year's nest was at, I found George perching high above the path. I barely had time to take a couple poor photos of him scratching before he took off, flew over Swindlers Cove, and across the Harlem River into the Bronx.

George Scratches

So why was George in this area? Hold it, do I see a hawk head poking up from that small bunch of sticks, adjusting their position?

Yes, there's Martha. And there she stayed for the next hour and more as the shadows crept across the area and sunset approached. She never stood completely up, but a couple times got halfway up, adjusted the sticks and laid down in a new position. Chances of taking a decent picture of her were nil unless I was willing to climb up the boulders of the hillside.

Martha in New-New Nest

So the Highbridge Park red-tails have for unknown reason abandoned what seemed like a perfectly good nest two or three weeks after the female had already started brooding. And they've moved into a new nest that's so small that Martha's tail feather poke over the edge when she lays in certain angles, apparently brooding a new clutch.

Posted 4/13/2013 11:17:00 PM by Robert

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