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Highbridge Park, Broadway Bridge and Columbus Circle

James O'Brien (yojimbot.blogspot.com) hosted a Harlem and Washington Heights bird watching walk on Sunday.

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From his 145th Street apartment, we could see this Red-tailed Hawk on an apartment building to the south, who...

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...then flew southwest out of sight.

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We walked through Highbridge park on the upper path.  We saw a Red-tail or two in the distance but unlike our previous trip, no Cooper's Hawks or American Kestrels.

We then took a brief subway ride to Broadway Bridge, which is a car and subway draw bridge at the upper end of Manhattan.  The bridge is home to two Peregrine Falcons.

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Just after we arrived the pair of Peregrine Falcons hassled a Red-tailed Hawk perched on top of an apartment building just east of the Marble Hill train station.  This hawk may be one of the Inwood Hill Park Red-tails.

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The Red-tailed Hawk did all it could to puff up and look as big possible.

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Soon the Peregrines moved out of sight to the north.

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The Red-tail reappeared from the southeast before flying out of sight.  For a period of time it appeared to have a smaller bird pursuing it, possibly a Kestrel.

On my way home, I got off the 1 train at Columbus Circle and looked for the Central Park South hawks.  One of them was on a building between 8th and 9th Avenues on 58th Street.
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Soon a second hawk appeared and both of them flew around Columbus Circle.

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They both landed on a corner of the Time Warner building.

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They flew between the Time Warner, Trump International and the new Zeckendorf buildings.

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All in all, it was a great day for raptor watching.


Five Red-tailed Hawk Saturday

On Saturday, I had a slow start.  I started in the Ramble trying to chase down the White-crowned Sparrow without much luck.  I then walked to Turtle Pond and found a cute group of Buffleheads among some Mallards and Northern Shovelers. 

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Then I saw a hawk flying south of the Beresford.  It was Lola, the Fifth Avenue female.

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She landed on a water tower on south side of West 77th Street.  The building is just west of the New York Historical Society.  After about 15 minutes, she flew due east.

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I thought she had gone to the Model Boat Pond, so I walked there.  When I arrived I saw that Pale Male was on a building two blocks south of the nest location.  (Lola may have stopped in the Ramble for a late lunch.)

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Pale Male posed for pictures and then flew off towards the Met.

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It was such a nice day, I thought I would look to see what the Central Park South hawks were up to.  Charlotte was on the Essex House sign.

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The nest still looks to be in good shape.

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The Essex House boiler could use an overhaul.

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Soon Charlotte went NW and circled around and then above the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

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Then she landed on the top of a construction crane on a new building being built on Central Park West between 61st and 62nd.

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Junior soon joined her.  If I got it right, she's on the top and he's below her.

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Charlotte

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Junior

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Having seen four of the six building-breeding Manhattan Red-tailed Hawks, I went up to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.  My luck ran out, as I was only able to see the male of the Cathedral pair.  However, five out of six isn't that bad!

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The Cathedral nest looked to be in good condition as well.


Friday in the Park

I made it to the park on Friday!  Finally, a sunny day where I didn't have to work. I spent a few hours trying to photograph a White-crowned Sparrow without success.  I did see it a few times, but just as I tried to take a picture it would be scared off by a passing tourist.

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Lola spent at least an hour in the afternoon on the NE tower of the Beresford.

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Mute swans arrived on The Lake a few weeks ago.  They are very good at getting food from tourists.  I wonder if they spend the summer on an urban lake in Canada?


Fall Owls

On Saturday, the first owl of the fall season was spotted in Central Park, a Long-eared Owl (LEO).   (I was working, so I didn't get to photograph LEO.)

I did make it the park around dusk to look for Eastern Screech Owls (ESO).  Unfortunately, I suspect that there may no longer be any surviving ESOs in the park. These owls were reintroduced to the park in 1998 and 2001-2002 and have not been fairing well.  Screech Owls fly at low heights and easily run into cars.  (The original decline in Eastern Screech Owls occurred about the same time as the carriage paths in the park were turned into roadways.)

I suspect the fall owl season will consist of viewing migrating Long-eared and Northern Saw-whet Owls, and confirming the disappearance of the Eastern Screech Owl from Central Park.

December Update: At least two Eastern Screech Owls are in the North Woods!  I'm happy to be wrong!

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A now empty North Woods ESO cavity that was active last winter.


Marathon Sunday

On Marathon Sunday, I came into a park full of runners.  The marathon route goes right through Pale Male and Lola's territory.

I walked around the Great Lawn and saw a hawk skim just above ground level from the center of the lawn to the eastern edge.  The hawk grabbed a small bird and then jumped into a low branch of a small tree between two baseball diamonds.  The bird was the immature hawk that Lola has been tolerating and to some observers, has even been playing with.

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The immature Red-tailed Hawk just after catching a bird on the east side of the Great Lawn.

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Note the immature's stripped tail rather than a mature's solid red tail.

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The immature also has a very light eye color, which will darken over time.

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Just after the immature Red-tailed Hawk finished eating, Pale Male came in to chase it away.

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Pale Male landed in a tree on the west side of the Great Lawn and the immature hawk went northwest out of sight.

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Pale Male preens his feathers.

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The fluffed up look of a cold day.

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After looking for the immature hawks perch without success, I returned to the Great Lawn to discover Pale Male had moved to the East Pinetum.

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Were he settled into a tree that was to be his roost for the evening.

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Late Saturday Afternoon with Pale Male and Lola

There's no doubt fall has arrived in New York.  It was in the low 40's, the leaves have turned to wonderful fall colors.  Another sign of fall has arrived is the return of Buffleheads to the Reservoir.

Male Bufflehead
Male Bufflehead

Female Bufflehead
Female Bufflehead

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
After visiting the Reservoir, I walked south and ran into Pale Male on the North West corner of the Met.  Is he trying to avoid being seem on the surveillance cameras?

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
After about twenty minutes he moved about 20 feet, so he would have a good view of an area alongside the transverse, where there are rodents.  The cold weather had him fluffed up to stay warm.

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
After about twenty minutes, he flew off the Met and caught a mouse.  He flew 200 feet to catch his prey.  He must have incredible vision.

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
After eating, he went back to the Met.

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Lola, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
Lola went up 5th Avenue...

Lola, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
...landing on a building around 88th Street and 5th Avenue.

Lola, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
Pale Male left the Met and looked to settling in for the night.

Lola, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
Lola moved to a building two blocks south of where she was...

Lola, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
...and then she flew east.

Pale Male, Red-tailed Hawk, Central Park, New York
Pale Male followed.  We lost her, but found his roost for the evening in the East Pinetum.

Moon, Central Park, New York
As I let the park, there was a full moon in a clear, crisp fall sky.