McCarren Park, Brooklyn

I went to McCarren Park in Brooklyn today to follow up a report sent to Rob Jett from a friend who plays baseball in the park. 

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Within minutes of arriving, I found this hawk on lights for the baseball field.  It made a hunting attempt across the street.  (The 36 acre park is divided up into strips with north/south streets going through the park.)

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It ended on a low branch perfect for taking portraits.

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It then flew off and I lost track of it.


Prospect Park, Brooklyn

I asked Rob Jett, who has one of the best birding blogs on the Internet, City Birder, if he would give directions to the Prospect Park nest.  He said sure, but that he would need to take me in person.

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Once he took me, I understood why.  There are only two small windows, from two locations to see the nest.  The nest is in the center of this photograph.

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One eyas was partially visible when we arrived.

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We went to the alternate viewing location and couldn't see any activity, so we returned to the original spot.

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There are two eyasses on the nest.  One on the far left partially obscured by the large branch and a second eyas on the right.

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Here the eyas on the left has moved slightly, and the one on the right has its eye closed.

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City nests on buildings are looking more and more wonderful everyday.  These tree nests are too hard to photograph!

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Another shot of the duo.

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A solo shot of the one that had been on the right.

These two eyasses bring the eyasses I've seen in person and photographed to 14 for the season!  All on one Metrocard.

                               
Location        No.
Inwood Hill2
Highbridge Park3
St. John the Divine3
Astoria Park, Queens2
Green-Wood, Brooklyn2
Prospect Park, Brooklyn2
14 Total

Green-Wood on Memorial Day

Green-Wood commemorated their fallen Civil War soldiers on Memorial Day.  They are in the midst of a research and restoration project to provide new tombstones for their Civil War soldiers buried in the Cemetery.

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Canons and gun fire would startle the Red-tails later in the morning.  Both parents took up positions to keep an eye on the crowd.  The military section of the cemetery is very close to the nest.

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I forgot to take a wide shot of the nest yesterday.  It is in the tree in the middle of the photograph.  The cemetery welcomes birders, but I was reminded that one should respect the primary purpose of the cemetery.  This includes leaving an area, if anyone seems uncomfortable.

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A tighter shot of the nest.  If you look closely, you'll see an eyas standing.

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The nest has a great view being on a high hill, but it looks to be a bit sunny.

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The mother in a tree about 100 feet away from the nest.

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A photograph to show wing development.

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The first canon shot startles the mother and she returns to a perch at the top of the nest tree.

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What are you doing up there Mom?

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A Northern Mockingbird.

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The hawks get used to the noise and visitors.  This must be a big change from what must be a very quite location.

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Green-Wood

I went to Green-Wood Cemetery for the first time on Sunday.  It looks like a great place for a Red-tailed Hawk family.

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Big Mama on her nest.

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Junior trying to raid a nest while being harassed by a Mockingbird.

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The Mockingbird was relentless and Junior moved on.

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Junior is Big Mama's new mate, not one of the young ones, by the way.

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A close up of Big Mama's very light eyelids.  I thought they were lighter than I had remembered other Red-tails having, but I reviewed some old photographs and they're the same as other Red-tails.

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Her kids have them too.

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The nest has two chicks.

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While we were there a Turkey Vulture passed through.  Both parents were quick to fly off and escort the Vulture out of the area.

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The Turkey Vulture leaving the area!

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They eyasses finally wake up and become active.

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Big Mama returns to a nearby tree.

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Before returning to the nest.


Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Red-tailed Hawk nests are the order of the day in New York City this year.  I think we have at least ten confirmed nests.  In the next few weeks, we should have lots of babies all through the city.  I'm going on vacation but will be back in time for some Red-tail babies.

Beyond my reporting there are lots of excellent websites in New York with news of Red-tail nests.

Rob Jett's City Birder blog has news of two nests in Brooklyn and news via Chris Lyons of hawks in the Bronx.

Robert B. Schmunk's Bloomingdale Village blog has been keeping tabs on the Cathedral Church of St. John hawks and other hawks in Central Park.

Jeffrey Kollbrunner's website has news of a pair of hawks in Queens.

And if you're into Peregrine Falcons Ben Cacace blog, NYC Nova Hunter has been keeping track of a pair on Park Avenue and the 55 Water Street webcam is back online.

Plus, James O'Brien's The Origin of Species blog has news of American Kestrel, Peregrine and Hawk in midtown and Harlem.

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Pale Male on Sunday