Octavia spent about twenty minutes on her nest this afternoon. Red-tailed Hawks courtship and nest building usually kicks in by Valentine's Day, so we should starts seeing activity all around the city.
The Sheep Meadow nest blew down this winter and a pair seems to be building a nest on The San Remo.
The day started with Octavia and Pale Male on the Carlyle Hotel. He left before I could get my camera out. But she stayed for about half an hour.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent with the Great Horned Owl. For the first time, I was able to follow her above 79th Street. She was perched in a tree in the Locust Grove and then she flew over the Great Lawn.
Central Park was full of people today. It seemed that everyone who stayed inside on Saturday was in the park on Sunday. Pale Male had just finished eating a bird in the Ramble when I arrived.
The Great Horned Owl, that no on saw for two weeks but was rediscovered a few days ago, was out in the open in the bright sunlight. She did her best to sleep but helicopters, a drone, a Gray Squirrel, a Tufted Titmouse, Pale Male and a Cooper's Hawk did there best to keep her awake.
As winter finally arrives and we get a light dusting of snow, Central Park has two Snow Geese on the reservoir. Large flocks of snow geese fly over the park during migration, but it's unusual for there to be a pair hanging out on the reservoir, especially in January. So, they were a nice treat on a gray day.
As I was leaving the park, I ran into Pale Male in the east Pinetum. He looked handsome with a dusting of snow.
After all of the owl, gull and bunting photos, I thought I should post a hawk entry. This afternoon, Pale Male has a favorite set of perches on a building at 73rd and Fifth. One the second floor from the top are six windows across. Each window has an ornamental railing, perfect for a hawk. Tonight Pale Male was perched on the second window from the left.
My birding centered around Turtle Pond in Central Park today. The Pond had a pair of Belted Kingfishers, one of whom seemed to be exhausted after getting wet while fishing. After the Kingfisher's it was Pale Male who was very photogenic, leading photographers and bird watchers on a journey from tree to tree until he caught a rat. It was a fun Sunday afternoon.
After being difficult to find for two days, the rehabilitated fledgling was back by the north of the Met and the Ancient Playground today. She was there from 11 a.m. til sunset. She then roosted fairly high in a large tree half a block into the park.
I looked for the Fifth Avenue fledgling yesterday evening and this evening and came up empty. That's not too much of a surprise. Most fledglings wonder off this time of year and are difficult to track.
Its parents however were found. Octavia was on a building at 84th and Fifth before going to a building a few blocks south, and then Pale Male and Octavia flew to the park. We caught up with Pale Male in a favorite roosting tree near Cedar Hill.
When I arrived the rehabbed fledgling was on a railing on the path that follows the East Drive around 87th Street. It had a group of folks getting very close with smartphones, and then tried to catch a rodent. It came up empty and jumped back on the railing before flying across the street to the east side of Fifth Avenue.
I learned she had flown back and forth three times in the afternoon. She' not getting much height while flying. She's basically gliding and doing very little flapping. Let's hope she gains some strength and starts getting higher soon.
The young hawk who was returned to the park a week ago, is working her way up Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue. Having started at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she was in front of the Neue Galerie New York yesterday and today she was in front of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She's either a cultured hawk or she enjoys the rodents the food vendors attract!
I spotted her crossing the East Drive in the early afternoon and saw her land in a tree above the Fifth Avenue sidewalk that's adjacent to park. She stayed in this tree for over five hours, although she changed perches and direction a few times. It was a hot afternoon, and the tree had lots of shade and a nice breeze.
Pale Male and Octavia's youngster is still hanging out in the same location, and still frightening us all with low flights across Fifth Avenue. Today, she amazed me as she few down within a yard of me, caught and ate a small rodent and then flew across Fifth Avenue. This happened all so quickly, I couldn't change lenses and take any pictures.
The Fifth Avenue fledgling. who was returned to the park from rehab on Sunday, was found on Friday afternoon along Fifth Avenue just north of 85th Street. It drew a huge crowd as it perched near the sidewalk and eventually flew across 5th Avenue to the east side of the street.
It is hunting fine on its own, but I think all of us would love to see it move to higher perches and a more secluded, less trafficked section of the park.
I saw two hawks this evening, an young adult who's been hanging around the park for a few weeks (light eye color with red tail), and then the youngster of Pale Male and Octavia who was returned to the park on Sunday after being nursed back to health by the Horvaths.
The juvenile was on the north side of the Met and then flew to the Ancient Playground (Yes that's its name, as it is an Egyptian themed playground with a view of the Egyptian galleries at the Met.) It roosted there for the night.
Tonight was very much like last night with Pale Male hunting along the transverse. However, we had trouble keeping up with him and didn't get to see him eat his late night snack. He kept crossing back and forth from the north to the south sides of the transverse, which while only a short flight for Pale Male, meant a long trip for those watching him each time he crossed. We all gave up after it had gotten too dark to see him after one too many trips.
This time of year, it's not uncommon to see Pale Male hunting before going to roost up around the 85/86th Street Transverse. Tonight, he caught a rat near the south gate house of the reservoir and ate it in the east Pinetum. After his meal, he went to roost in a favorite spot in the Pinetum.
Pale Male was on one of his favorite trees this afternoon and into the early evening. The tree is on Cedar Hill in the high seventies on the east side of the park. Many hawk watchers call it the feeding tree because Pale Male uses it to leave food for his mates or fledglings, as well as a tree he himself eats in.
He's molting, so he looks a little rough around the edges this time of year.
For those joining us late, Pale Male and Octavia's youngster's got into trouble this year. One is at a rehabilitator's getting care, one was found dead on a park drive and one is still in the park.
The one still in the park has been visibly sick but not sick enough to be caught despite the best efforts of the Central Park Conservancy and the Urban Park Rangers, whose actions last week included the use of a Cherry Picker. (It would be good to keep this in mind when folks tell you the Conservancy or the Rangers are evil. They actually have great staff and go the extra mile to support the hawks in the park.)
So, those of us who where concerned about this fledgling, tried without success to find it on Saturday. Lucky, I was able to find it on Sunday afternoon, southeast of Turtle Pond. Much to everyone's surprise it looked normal, without any of the droopy eyes or lethargy we saw on Friday. Hopefully it is recovering, but only time will tell. Unfortunately, some birds appear to recover, but relapse once they resume hunting and eating. Let's hope for the best.
Pale Male and Octavia's children all became sick over the last ten days, with one being captured and send to the Horvaths, one being found dead on one of the park drives, and one looking sick but not sick enough to be captured.
The photographs below are of the fledgling who is sick and thus far has avoided capture, who sat all afternoon in a tree to the west of the Maintenance Shed around 79th Street in Central Park.