February 22, 2017

2/22, Neighborhood Gossip

Riverside Hawk - 1292

It's getting closer to egg-laying time at the city red-tailed hawk nests, and word is coming in about nest-building activities in progress all around town.

One second-hand report came in that hawks (plural) were adding sticks to the nest on the Grant's Tomb light tower this past Saturday. However, neighborhood hawkwatcher Jeff indicates that the female at Grant's Tomb does not have the coloring of last year's female. In fact her coloring seems more like that of last year's 116th St. female, and there is some belief that the 116th male died before either of his progeny was ready to fledge. So the hot gossip is that a widow and widower hawk who lived next door to each other last year may have linked up for the 2017 nesting season.

Meanwhile, the male hawk who has been hanging round the 110th-115th section of Riverside Park was found at dusk on Wednesday, as shown above and below, perched in a typical spot close to the park wall around 114th St. Apparently he'd fed well enough for the day, as he didn't seem to be hunting, nor did he seem all that bothered by a squirrel who kept approaching to investigate and/or chastise the enemy.

This 110s male hawk also seems to be a bachelor still. No one has reported spotting him in company with another hawk nor even a definite sighting of a different adult hawk in his little territory. It's getting late for finding a season's mate, so one wonders how much longer he'll lurk about the area.

Riverside Hawk - 1294

Unfortunately, no reports received in the past month or more of hawk activity over on Morningside Drive. In all likelihood the cathedral hawks are around, but Morningside is a tougher locale to hawkwatch than is Riverside.

February 11, 2017

2/11, Riverside Park in the 110s

An hour-plus of looking for hawks on the Riverside side of Morningside Heights late Saturday afternoon looked to have been futile. The usually reliable "Mr. 116th St." didn't seem be around and the Grant's Tomb hawks were elsewhere. But as I was headed back south and toward home, the 116th St. bird put in an appearance.

Hunting Hawk - 1237

Note: Although I call him Mr. 116th St., there's no way to be sure that he was the male of last year's 116th St. nest. Also, no one I've heard from has reporting seeing a "Mrs. 116th St" in the area.

Hunting Hawk - 1235

He'd been perched by the Riverside Park wall at 112th St. But when I caught up to him, he had just flown across the road, into the strip between the main part of Riverside Drive and the neighborhood access road.

Hunting Hawk - 1255

It didn't seem like much of a spot for hunting, but there was a small area of ground clear of snow. Perhaps he thought he'd catch a mouse sneaking out come sunset, which wasn't far away.

Hunting Hawk - 1261

And there's the brief bit of "urban alpenglow" as the setting sun colors the apartment buildings.

Ten or 15 minutes go by, and he finally swoops at something on the ground but comes up with nothing.

Hunting Hawk - 1275

Stared intently at the ground for a bit longer.

Hunting Hawk - 1284

Flies over to another tree and perches briefly.

Hunting Hawk - 1289

And then quietly disappears whilst I look the other way.