Please visit Laura Goggin's website, www.gogginphotography.com for sad news about a hawk's death in Chinatown. She has documented a terribly tragic event in an increadibly touching and respectful way.
Tonight I found both of the Sheep Meadow hawks in different trees on the east side of Sheep Meadow. They have built a new nest in the same stand of trees as the old nest, but in the Northwestern most tree in the group. It doesn't look like the nest is ready for use yet, and the female did not spend the night in the nest. It will be interesting to see if they end up using this new nest or use another location, possibly a building on Central Park South. For now, we just have to wait and see what happens.
I was in L.A. for Easter but made a side trip to whale watch around the Channel Islands on Good Friday. Lots of great wildlife, including Brown Boobies, Spotted Harbor Seals, Sea Lions, Dolphins, Brown Pelicans, Fin and Gray Whales.
I went to Central Park South tonight to figure out where the Sheep Meadow Red-tailed Hawk pair have relocated only to see the male briefly at 64th and Fifth Avenue. I saw them copulate last week by Tavern on the Green, but that was the last time I saw the female. So, this is still a mystery. If anyone has figured it out, please let me know.
While looking for the Red-tails, I saw The Century Peregrine Falcons again on Central Park West. They were on both The Century and the Zeckendorf buildings.
I got to see the female getting a break, and her return. Everything looks on target for a mid-April hatch. Two eggs have been confirmed by NYU staff.
When I arrived at the Fifth Avenue nest, Octavia was on it, and Pale Male was being harassed by an American Kestrel. He ended up perching on what the "regulars" call the Linda Building. I must have missed the exchanges for the day, as Pale Male soon went off to roost for the night. There isn't a lot of action when their are eggs to be kept warm!
Thanks to some great detective work by Melody Andres, we now know that both the Grant's Tomb (1) nest at 123rd Street and Riverside Drive and the 116th Street and Riverside Drive nest (2) are both active with two different pairs of hawks. These are close by to a Peregrine Falcon scrape (3) at Riverside Church, and close to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine nest site (4).
I had always thought Manhattan Hawk and Peregrine nests were like a checkerboard, with each taking different squares, but these three nests are so close together that it defies all that I had believed about nest positioning in the city.
116th Street and Riverside Drive
Two years ago, a Peregrine Falcon nest box was installed on The Century building at 25 Central Park West. It was installed by the owners without permission of the Coop board on a landmarked building without a permit. At the time, I thought it was outrageous that the owners of the apartment then cried foul, knowing full well that they had intentionally gone behind the back of the Coop, which at the time was having the facade repaired. The box was removed that year by the Coop.
So, I was upset today seeing what must be the same pair hanging out on both towers of The Century today. The falcons certainly seem to be planning on using the same ledge a scrape this year. I hope either the city DEP or state DEC can get involved and mediate a solution. It would be great if this Peregrine Falcon pair could be supported somehow, while the regulations of both the Coop and city's building department are both respected.
At least one egg has been confirmed by NYU staff and the Washington Square female has begun sitting on the nest. Tonight, I caught a late exchange. So, one by one, the New York City nests are settling down to business.
I spent the weekend trying to figure out what was happening with our three pairs of hawks in Central Park.
- The Sheep Meadow pair continue to be seen in the SE corner of the park, but don't seem to have settled on a nesting location just yet.
- The pair that tried to nest on the Beresford last year, are bringing twigs to the Beresford and San Remo this year.
- Pale Male and Octavia are doing just fine. Pale Male gave Octavia a long break on Sunday afternoon.
- A Merlin was a nice extra bonus near the band shell.
When hawk watchers talk of an exchange, they're talking about the process where the male gives the female a break. When these start, it's usually safe to assume at least the first egg has been laid. Today, I was fortunate to see Pale Male give Octavia a break of about twenty minutes.
(The exchange was a little odd, in that Pale Male left the nest unattended for about four minutes. He may have been helping Octavia with a territorial dispute out of my view.)
The hawks in Tompkins Square Park, copulated, rested and copulated again within an hour today. They didn't even bother to fly to another branch. Spring really is in the air.
Reports are coming in about how nests are doing around Manhattan...
- There is a pair hanging out in Chinatown around Canal Street and the Manhattan Bridge, but no nest has been found as of yet.
- There is a new nest at 116th and Riverside Drive, possibly the pair that abandoned a fledgling at Grant's Tomb last year. (Update 3/18/16. Grant's Tomb and the 116th Street might both be active this year.)
- The Sheep Meadow nest blew down over the winter and the pair has been seen bringing twigs to a number of buildings on or near Central Park South including Trump Parc, The Plaza and the Crown Building.
- The pair that tried to nest on the Beresford last year, as been seen bringing twigs to both the San Remo and the Beresford this winter.
It should be a fun year, and hawk watching will get easier after we change to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday.
Over the next few weeks, female hawks around New York City will begin spending nights sitting on their nests and will then lay eggs soon thereafter and start the brooding process. Pale Male's mate Octavia spent the night on the nest tonight. Spring must be right around the corner!
I made a brief visit to Washington Square Park, and didn't find the resident Red-tailed Hawks, although there nest looks newly refurbished. I did find another raptor in the park however, a Merlin.
I visited the park on Sunday expecting the activity I had seen before I left, but instead saw two relaxed hawks one at 1st Avenue and 4th and the other at Avenue A and 3rd. Maybe it's some relaxing before egg laying?
I've been in Panama and Costa Rica on vacation this last week. I had a great time and got to see lots of great animals including a one in a lifetime view of a Puma.
On the last day of the trip, we saw a few Three-toed Sloths.