March 10, 2016

3/10, Nesting Begins

New Riverside Hawk Nest - 6311

Hawk nesting season began on Wednesday evening in Manhattan, with reports from three nesting sites that the female red-tailed hawks were spending their first overnights in their nests. This usually precedes egg-laying by a day or two. The three nests in question were the new Riverside Park nest at 116th St (aka, Morningside West, shown above), Inwood Hill Park, and the Central Park Fifth Ave. nest.

But it seems one nest was running ahead of that schedule, as word came Thursday afternoon that the hawks at J. Hood Wright Park (uptown near the George Washington Bridge) had been spotted doing a switch-off on their nest. That means there's at least one egg in the nest, so when the female needs a break from egg-tending duty, she switches off with the male on keeping the clutch covered.

So look for first Manhattan red-tail hatch come about April 10.

Riverside Hawk - 6265


  1. The female has been on the 116th and Riverside nest since March 14th according to a birder in the area. She was certainly there this evening. Also, the old nest is occupied - the female was seen in it this evening when the male arrived and stayed for a few minutes, then left flying north over the playground. Female is best seen from the Riverside sidewalk at the north end of Sakura Park. Both hawks appear to have quite dark belly bands and are not the pair at the new 116th Street nest. As the falcons are active on the church as well, we're in for some certain interaction.

  2. Thanks Jeff. I had e-mail from someone yesterday who had spent much of the afternoon checking the two sites and also discovered that both 116th and 123rd are active. Too strange.