March 30, 2014

3/30, St. John the Divine

Passing along 113th St. after the rain started late Sunday afternoon, I was surprised to find one of the cathedral red-tail hawks perched out in the wet. The male (Norman? Mr. X?) was atop the construction netting on the Minturn Pavilion at St. Luke's hospital.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6730)

In the cathedral nest itself, Isolde is apparently brooding eggs. Although I have yet to catch the duo in a switch-off, Isolde was visible in the nest last Monday, hunkered down with just the tip of her tail in view. Hatch time seems likely to be in the April 20-25 timeframe.

March 23, 2014

3/23, St. John the Divine

In all probability, the red-tailed hawk Isolde is now brooding eggs in her nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. But unless you catch her in a switch-off with the male, the only way you're going to know she's up there is if you spot the tip of her tail feathers poking up above the edge of the nest.

Late Sunday, there was no such sign. But the male was hanging about the area. First atop the high chimney at St. Luke's Hospital for a few minutes, and then perched on the turret above St. Peter, about 30 feet from the nest.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6660)

It looked like his duties for the day were done and he was just chilling out until bed time.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6664)

3/23, The El Dorado

Following word that maybe, just maybe, red-tailed hawks might be trying to nest along Central Park West again, I tried to check out the area Sunday afternoon. A hawk did appear way way up atop the El Dorado, where it stayed for about 15 minutes.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6617)

But stare as I might at the photos, darn if can decide whether it was an adult or a juvenile.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6629)

March 16, 2014

3/16, Brooding at J. Hood Wright Park

Now in their third nesting season, the red-tailed hawks at J. Hood Wright Park in Washington Heights have wasted no time. This go-round, they are in line with other area nest schedules rather than running a week or two behind.

Checking the nest late Sunday afternoon, I was cautiously coming to the decision that I could just barely see a hawk in the nest, when another hawk landed on the railing above the nest.

Red-Tailed Hawk and Nest (6559)

It appeared to be the female returning from a meal break.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6566)

She looked around for half a minute, waiting for the male to get out of the nest. A switch-off was in progress.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6567)

Whoa. Nice belly band on that guy.

Red-Tailed Hawks and Nest (6569)

And then he was off and gone, while she hopped into the nest. Aside from what might have been an egg-turning about 15 minutes later, there was no further activity before I had to leave.

March 15, 2014

3/15, St. John the Divine

A half dozen prior visits to the red-tailed hawk nesting site at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine during the past month all suffered from poor timing, but late Saturday afternoon finally proved out. Isolde was sitting in the nest, quietly watching the skies.

Red-Tailed Hawk in Nest (6454)

That her head was so clearly visible suggests that she has not laid eggs yet. She will be hunkered down and hard to see once she is brooding. But clearly egg-laying time is coming soon.

After 40 minutes, I wandered around to see if her mate was anywhere to be seen, but no dice. Isolde apparently took a short stroll of her own, returning to the nest shortly after I did.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6502)

March 8, 2014

3/8, Highbridge Park, North

I barely stepped out of the 1-Train stop at Dyckman St. on Saturday afternoon before spotting a red-tailed hawk. Highbridge George was lurking about the rooftops of the Dyckman Houses on the north side of the street.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6387)

He spent five minutes casing the area around the subway station, perhaps looking for an unwary pigeon.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6391)

And then he was soaring away, heading south for somewhere near the George Washington High ballfield.

No sign of Martha around the nest or anywhere else in the Swindler Cove area.

March 2, 2014

3/2, Inwood Hill Park

Checked on three red-tailed hawk nesting sites in upper Manhattan on Sunday afternoon and saw three nests but just one hawk.

Red-Tailed Hawk (6359)

In Inwood Hill Park, last year's nest near 214th St. fell out of the tree later in the year, and the hawks have moved back to their old tree in the ravine. The new-old nest looks well along and almost ready for the first egg, which will probably be between two and three weeks from today.

The Inwood nest was the last site I checked on the day, and it was near sunset. The female was perched about 50 yards away from the nest, chilling out before bedtime and possibly digesting dinner.