December 29, 2016

12/28, Riverside Park in the 110s

A walk along the Riverside Park wall early Wednesday afternoon again found a red-tailed hawk perched just inside the park, across from where 114th St. meets Riverside Drive. Presumably this was the same hawk who was just a tree or two away late Monday afternoon.

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The light was much better than two days ago, so it was plain that this was definitely an adult hawk.

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Also looks a bit small, suggesting that this is a male. He reminded me of the hawk who was busy hunting a block or two up back at the start of March.

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So one wonders, is this the male hawk from this past season's 116th St. nest? Or the male from Grant's Tomb hunting to the south? Or some other guy visiting the area?

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Not too many minutes later, the hawk decided the hunting near the park wall wasn't that good — no pigeons, squirrels or other meal-sized prey in sight — and flew downhill to see if the hunting was better there.

Riverside Red-tail - 0971

December 26, 2016

12/26, Riverside Park in the 110s

It's winter, which means that should you have time for a stroll in or by a park, it's much easier to spot any hawks who might be lurking about. Late Monday afternoon, just before sunset, I strolled up Riverside Drive in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, and found a red-tailed hawk in Riverside Park between 114th St. and 115th St., about two blocks south of where this past summer's 116th St. nest was (and still is) located.

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It was casually watching the area, but not peering around intently as it would if it were hunting. Perhaps it was simply digesting and drying off.

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Extreme photo manipulation on Photoshop suggests that the bird was an adult. Although the overall tail color was not obvious because of the gloomy light, there seems to be only a single dark transverse bar near the tip of the tail feathers rather than the multiple stripes of a juvenile's brown tail.

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Fifteen minutes later up the street at Grant's Tomb, I found what appeared to be both of the resident pair of adult red-tails going to roost for the night on opposites sides of the walkway leading to the monument. Unfortunately, by that point it was just past sunset, and the light was too poor for photography.