March 31, 2018

3/31, Spot the Hawk

Spot the Hawk

Always keep your eyes open when you're about town. You could be inline skating along Flatbush Ave. at sunset, for example, and have a hawk fly by and perch overhead.

March 29, 2018

3/29, Grant's Tomb

The General - 8458

Both adult red-tails at Grant's Tomb were observed early Thursday evening, although the female incompletely and very briefly. A glimpse was obtained of her quickly changing position in the nest, after which her tail feathers were poking up.

Just about the same time, the male flew by the nest and perched in a tree above the guard booth. He stayed for at least 10 minutes.

The nest, by the way, is in a new light tower this year, at the southeast corner of the tomb retaining wall and overlooking the front plaza. When egg brooding began is not clear — just that it was probably after March 16 but before March 23.

March 23, 2018

3/23, St. John the Divine

Madeleine in Her Nest

Brooding at the red-tail nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine looks to be under way, as the female was spotted changing her nest position late Friday afternoon. How long she has been at it is unknown, as sightlines on the nest make it extremely difficult to see her except when she moves around. (A formerly good spot to the north is now obstructed by hospital scaffolding.) Possibly it has been a week, but likely not more.

March 9, 2018

3/9, The 2018 Nesting Season

A new season of hawkwatching has begun as red-tailed hawks around Manhattan are working on their nests and showing signs that eggs will soon be laid.

Hawks will again be nesting in Morningside Heights at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Grant's Tomb locations. The only change is that the Grant's Tomb pair have relocated their nest to a different light stanchion on the tomb perimeter, possibly because of park path reconstruction below the old nest.

At both sites, the females were observed late this week spending time in their nests, quietly watching the skies. There was speculation that the Grant's Tomb female might already by brooding, but it seems more likely that she was "overnighting" and getting used to spending prolonged time in the nest in advance of actual egg-laying.

What effect the winter weather has had on nesting schedules is hard to guess. FWIW, last year both the cathedral and tomb nests apparently had females overnighting if not brooding by March 10. But also recall that the cathedral nest had an early failure and that they "re-clutched" in mid April.