3/19, Central Park North Meadow & Great Hill

A friend relayed a report the other day of a birdwatcher recently encountering five juvenile red-tailed hawks being spotted in the north end of Central Park. That sounded pretty amazing, especially at this time of year. But Thursday at lunch time, I apparently encountered them all in the space of an hour. An adult hawk made it a half dozen sightings.

First half decent pictures were of a juvenile flailing about in an evergreen treetop by the 96th St. transverse close to the west loop road.

96th Transverse Hawk - 7080

96th Transverse Hawk - 7086

Initially it seemed that the hawk might be trying to hold something down while it pulled pieces off to eat, but then I wondered if it was trying to get at something inside the foliage.

96th Transverse Hawk - 7087

96th Transverse Hawk - 7093

Then something swooped out of the sky, and the juvie hawk tore out of the tree and headed toward the North Meadow.

Circling Juvie Hawk #1 - 7101

And then I realized there were multiple hawks circling around over the North Meadow Recreation Center. They kept at it long enough that I was eventually able to determine that there were three of them. Were a pair of adults trying to chase the juvenile out of the area?

Well, there was a juvenile with a damaged right-6 feather in its tail.

Circling Juvie Hawk #2 - 7110

And a juvenile whose tail feathers looked undamaged.

Circling Juvie Hawk #1 - 7114

Circling Juvie Hawk #1 - 7115

Circling Juvie Hawk #1 - 7116

Ah, and one adult.

Circling Adult Hawk - 7117

And then poof, all three were gone, scattering to points east.

Well, that was exciting, but now it was time to head back toward the office.

But on the southeast flank of the Great Hill there was another juvenile perched on a tall stump.

Great Hill Juvie Hawk #1 - 7155

On top of a squirrel on top of a tall stump.

Great Hill Juvie Hawk #1 - 7158

But not eating. Just looking around.

Great Hill Juvie Hawk #1 - 7166

While I was watching this juvenile, another hawk sped north just beyond the trees around the rim of the Great Hill. Well, one more picture and move on.

Great Hill Juvie Hawk #1 - 7214

But 100 yards up the loop road was another juvenile red-tail perched on a tall stump.

Great Hill Juvie Hawk #2 - 7230

Looks small, so probably a boy hawk.

While I maneuvered to get closer to this juvie, the one that had flown by a few minutes ago flew back and landed in a nearby tree, but then took off before I could get my camera in position. So that makes five juvie hawks spotted between the 96th St. Transverse and the Great Hill.

A couple more shots of juvie #4, who had changed trees.

Great Hill Juvie Hawk #2 - 7239

And when he made his exit, so did I.

Great Hill Juvie Hawk #2 - 7240

Posted 3/19/2015 08:24:00 PM by Robert

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1 Comment:

On 3/20/2015 10:14 PM , Goggla said...

Wow, a great day for hawk sightings!