On the Northeast light post of the soccer field north of Icahn Stadium is the 2013 Randalls Island Red-tailed Hawk nest. The female of the nest was sitting on the eggs. She sat low on the nest and when she settled in after getting in did the back and forth wiggle a brooding mother does.
So, I don't thing we've had a hatch yet out on Randalls Island.
Last year, the location of the Riverside nest ended up being uncertain. This year, it's clear where it is located, on the west side of a West End Avenue building on a top floor fire escape. (The neighborhood is a little worried that someone will disturb the nest given it's location, so forgive me if I don't give complete directions.)
The male visited twice and an eyass was seen very briefly (after 6:40 on the video). Neighborhood hawk watchers have seen two heads pop up. The eyass count is just a guess at this point. We'll have to wait a few more weeks to have an accurate count.
These hawks are the pair that replaced the poisoned pair from the boat basin.
Today while watching a feeding, a nice gentleman came up to me to watch and said "those hawks are why we have rats in Washington Square Park". I was taken aback at first but realized it was a chance to educate him about rats in the park.
I told him that the rodent population issues in the park were more complicated than simply a ban on poisons. It's too simplistic to say the rats are there because the use of poisons have been restricted. I informed him that snare traps can be just as effective as poisons when used properly and managed.
I went on to say that I thought the real cause of the rat problem in the park was the failure of the parks department to take preventative measures to control the rodent population. The park simply encourages them due to:
It's important for the hawk watching community to prevent a backlash against the restrictions on poisons in the park. We'll need to work with the new Washington Square Park Conservancy to educate them about the complexity of this issue.
It will also mean a reduction of animal feeding in the park which would be very unpopular with the pigeon and squirrel constituencies. This may be the hardest battle.
(...and before anyone says it. A family of hawks will never control the rodent population of Greenwich Village.)
Sometimes a visit to Washington Square has lots of dull moments, but this evening there were visits by Bobby to the park, Rosie going off to eat, and lots of feedings. Plus it was a very nice day, sunny and in the sixties.
The Kestrel was back giving Bobby a hard time. I suspect both pairs of raptors have nestlings.
The pair that has been trying to build a safely located nest on Central Park West has found a new nest location on top of an air conditioner on between 87th and 88th Street.
A second clutch is unusual for Red-tailed Hawks, although we have seen it in the city before. It will be interesting to see if this pair attempts one this year.
Every breeding season in New York City, we have lots of nests that work like clockwork. This year, this seems to be Washington Square Park, Fort Washington Avenue, Inwood Hill Park, Fifth Avenue, CUNY Uptown and St. John seem to be in this category this year. (I haven't had a chance to see what's up on Randall's Island, but that I suspect is fine.)
Then we have mysteries or mishaps. The Highbridge Park nest had problems, and a new one was built recently. In Central Park three pairs of hawks, one at the south, one in the northwest and one in the northeast, are all trying to get established.
The most confusing though is Riverside Park. After a few seasons of tragedies, last year two new hawks failed to make a nest although they tried on a number of fire escapes. This season, two hawks have been reported in the 90's of Riverside Park. I went to see them today, but came away with more questions than answers.
I made yet another visit to Washington Square Park this evening. (It's close to my office and my workday ran long.) Things continue to look great and it looks like the adults are getting used to having kids.
Rosie only took a quick break and Bobby was around the park but didn't spend much time in view.
The Washington Square nest has two hatched eyasses and an unhatched egg as of this morning. I was able to capture a few minutes of the NYU webcam video of a feeding.
The chat room as named them Kiku and Archie. Kiku after a member of the chat room who passed away, and Archie for the Washington Square Arch.
The third egg hatched at 12:45 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 15th. It has been named Judson.
Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center is at 106th and Fifth Avenue. This winter I've frequently seen a hawk on top of the building. I didn't think much of it, since we usually have a few wintering hawks in the north part of the park.
Today, I was surprised to see not one but two hawks on the building. Before I could get my camera out, the male flew off, circled the hill with the compost heap, and returned to the building and copulated with the female.
My first thought was these could be the Central Park West hawks? But both seem lighter both in eye color and in chest banding. The couple looks young. Anyone seen nest building on upper Fifth Avenue?
An eleven minute clip from the Washington Square web camera of Rosie taking a little break Sunday morning.
The second egg hatched on the Washington Square nest today. While the web camera watchers got a show, there wasn't much to see from the ground in the afternoon. Bobby visited the nest and there were two feedings.
On the day that the Washington Square Hawks had their first egg hatch, the Central Park West hawks gave up on their 322 Central Park West nest.
Tonight, I first found one of the hawks on the back of 350 CPW, on a ledge on 94th Street. The hawk left the perch and when I got back to CPW, the two hawks were copulating on a building on 93rd Street. Then the female went off to a tree in the park.
We'll see what happens. The hawks look to be building a new nest on a different location on 350 CPW.
After receiving reports that the Central Park West had been taken down, I went to the park today to look for the hawks. You can imagine my surprise when I found a hawks sitting on a slightly smaller nest than I had seen on the weekend. (It's not clear if the female has laid eggs just yet, or will be in the next few days.)
When I got home, folks on the WSP chat room directed me to the Pale Male Irregulars website. It had news of destruction of the nest by the construction company working on the façade. There was also a story in the New York Post.
Lets hope the hawks can rebuild the nest in time to make a good go of it this year.
Update: 4/11/13. I was sent a photograph today that showed the female sitting on the ledge with one egg having rolled away from her. Without a proper nest bowl, she may have had to choose to incubate only one egg.
Rosie and Bobby in Washington Square are close to their hatch date, so I decided to make a trip and see how things are doing. It was quiet at first. Then Bobby appeared on top of 2 Fifth. A nest exchange took place and Rosie did some high flying. She settled down on the west side of the park, before dropping down to some low tree branches to look for rodents.
Eventually, see went to the north side of the park where it looks like she caught a pigeon. (It was out of view, so there is a possibility she just picked up a pigeon Bobby cached for her.) She eat a good deal of it, then flew of towards the nest. Even before she got back to the eggs, Bobby had left the nest to eat the leftovers!