3/28, Brooding Time Uptown

Saturday afternoon I took a long walk that passed by five of the red-tailed hawk nests north of Central Park, starting at Dyckman St. and working south to Cathedral Parkway. Four of the five nests definitely had females in them, probably all of them brooding eggs.

At the Highbridge Park/Swindler Cove hawk nest just below Dyckman St., I found the female, Martha, changing her brooding position and wiggling around to get everything back in place. But a few minutes later she suddenly flew away from the nest, leaving it untended. It turned out that there was interloper in the area and she was joining her mate, George, to chase it away. She was back in the nest in a couple minutes, getting out of and back into the nest so fast that neither time did I have a chance to take a decent picture.

Walking around Fort George Hill, I passed by the Gorman Park nest. While walking along Bennett Ave. a couple blocks away, I turned around to discover there was a hawk overhead.

Bennett Ave Hawk - 7796

A juvie.

Bennett Ave Hawk - 7797

And almost instantly, another hawk was chasing the juvie south. Successfully having chased the interloper out of the territory, the Gorman Park male returned north and headed into Fort Tryon Park. A few minutes later I was up the hill on Overlook Terrace, where I could see the Gorman Park female in the nest. Three eggs were confirmed there last Sunday.

Heading south along Ft. Washington Ave., next up was the fire escape nest overlooking J. Hood Wright Park. There it was plain to anyone who might look up that there was a hawk in the nest; the female's tail feathers were sticking way out. From another angle, it was possible to get a look at her looking back.

Wright Park Hawk Nest - 7840

No sign of the Wright Park male red-tail in the area, but before I continued on, there was a look at a juvenile circling over Broadway and 176th. Conceivably it was the same juvie who had been chased away from the Gorman Park nest area.

Thirty blocks south, approaching 141st St. along St. Nicholas Ave., there was the CCNY male hawk perched atop the Presbyterian church downhill from the nest.

CCNY Hawk - 7883

The female was also just visible in the nest, but the fading light made it tough to get a decent picture.

Sunset was still 25 minutes away, so quick walking might get me to St. John the Divine while there was still a bit of light. But even before reaching the south end of St. Nicholas Park, there was another hawk to see. A juvenile was circling high over St. Nick Ave., progressively working its way north. As it passed overhead, he only had a few blocks to go before a confrontation with the CCNY hawks was likely to happen.

Finally reaching Manhattan Ave. and 113th St. just past sunset, it seemed there was nothing to see at the hawk nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Watching the area for another 7 or 8 minutes revealed some activity at the nest, but it had gotten too dark to tell if it was one of the hawks just paying a visit to the nest site, or if there was a switch-off on egg-tending.

Posted 3/28/2015 10:29:00 PM by Robert

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