The hawk watchers on Fifth Avenue have been expecting to see Pale Male and Octavia begin to copulate as it's after Valentine's Day, but there have been no reports yet. I been seeing a nest visit around 2 p.m. and then various random sightings over the past week or so, which is what I saw today.p>
This afternoon was relatively quiet on Fifth Avenue. The pair flew together and chased off a Coopers Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk. But there wasn't a late day visit to the nest. We did get to see some nice views of Octavia, who at first glance like Pale Male in the golden light of dusk.
I only got to see one visit to the nest by Octavia and then got to see Pale Male on a balcony a few blocks north of the nest building tonight. But it was nice to see both of them even though there wasn't much action.
I went up to look at the 350 Central Park West nest again and finally found one of the adults for the first time in 2019. The hawk was sitting in a tree 100 feet inside the park at 96th and Central Park West, and after a long period flew over to the empty church on the corner.
While I haven't seen Pale Male and Octavia copulate this season, they've been spending time together, both have been working on the nest, and chasing out intruders into their territory. It's so nice for another year of hawk nesting to begin once again.
The week of Valentine's Day is the unofficial start of hawk watching season in New York City. Hawks who have been doing minor nest refurbishment since January, now start to copulate and getting ready for egg laying in mid to late late March. I gave a talk on Pale Male last year and thought it might be helpful to share some of the slides as a primer on what is going to happen over the next six months.
I encourage anyone who hasn't watched a Red-tailed Hawk nest to do so this year. It's incredibly enjoyable. The "hawk bench", were the best viewing is from, is just next to the Hans Christian Andersen statue on the west side of the Model Boat Pond. And if you aren't near the Fifth Avenue nest, there are many alternative nests to choose from in New York, as well as may other locations throughout the country.