5th Avenue Nest
Belted Kingfisher

Expecting Parents

The Fifth Avenue nest had hundreds of observers on Saturday.  Many first time watchers stumbled onto the "hawk bench" while taking part in Easter activities in the park.  (The "hawk  bench" has great view of the nest, which during this season has lots of telescopes, including a power Meade telescope connected to a video camera/monitor generously provided by Lincoln Karim, www.palemale.com.)

Old timers were there looking to see if the chicks had hatched yet.  The old timers have reasonable concerns since last year's eggs failed to hatch. 

Pale Male (the male Red-tailed Hawk) has a history of his first year nests failing, so after the nest was removed in the early winter of 2004/5, it was not surprising that the 2005 nest failed.  Whether the nest was too small to keep the eggs insulated, the stress of building a new nest or possible punctures by the pigeon spikes in the nest are all possible reasons for first year failures.

The new nest cradle, added as a compromise over safety, might also be a problem.  So, all eyes are on the nest.  The hatching window is anytime in the next week or so.  Hopefully, good news will be reported soon.

When I arrived in the late afternoon, Lola (the female, nesting Red-tailed Hawk), was very active.

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Lola is very alert as a Kestrel circles above the nest.

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Pale Male escorts the pesky Kestrel away.  During the afternoon, other interlopers include two Turkey Vultures, a Peregrine Falcon and possibly a Northern Harrier.

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Pale Male settles on a building four blocks north.

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I hadn't seen it while I was photographing, but there is a Gray Squirell on the corner of the ledge.

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The squirell gets picked up and taken to the nest.

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Pale Male delivers the meal to Lola.   He's on the left.  Red-tailed males are usually a third smaller than females and this is clearly shown here.

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Lola takes it...

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...flies off...

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...lands on the same building Pale Male was on...

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...earlier...

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...and eats dinner.

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After eating, she does some flying...

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...up and down 5th Avenue...

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...while Pale Male sits on her eggs.

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She then lands on a building five blocks north of the nest.