Even as it looked as if hatch watch should start at the red-tailed hawk nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Thursday's hawk sighting suggested that we need to reset the clock back to zero.
No hawk was visible when I first checked the nest late Thursday, but walking up Morningside Drive, I spotted one flying by. Perhaps the male Norman on the hunt. But then I noticed a hawk perched atop Columbia's East Campus dorm at 117th St. and moments later, two of them up there.
Uh-oh, hawks mating, four weeks after their behavior indicated that they had an egg in the nest. Mating can continue for a few days or a week after first egg is in the nest, but four weeks?
They remained perched alongside each other afterwards. Norman scanning the skies, while Madeleine preened.
Norman gave it another seven or eight minutes — the weather was pretty nice — but eventually flew off. Madeline was still up there a bit later when I departed to go check if there was anything happening at the Grant's Tomb nest (which there wasn't).
So assuming that there has been a failure of the first clutch at the St. John's hawk nest, and also assuming that the hawks are preparing for a second clutch, we are now looking at any possible hatch being delayed until mid or late May.
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