An A.P. wire-story about Pale Male and Lola, picked up nationwide, stated that the Red-tail pair have abandoned their Fifth Avenue nest and have switched to the Beresford building at 81st and Central Park West. I'm sure a naive reporter after seeing reports of the nest/egg abandonment at 5th Avenue, pictures of Pale Male carrying twigs on Lincoln Karim's website and reports of the hawks spending their time on the Beresford, jumped to an improper conclusion in order to have an excuse to write a story about the rich and famous.
It's important not to mix these three concepts, perches, roosts and nest, when discussing Red-tailed Hawks. The dictionary defines them as:
perch, noun, a thing on which a bird alights or roosts, typically a branch or a horizontal rod or bar in a birdcage.
roost, noun, a place where birds regularly settle or congregate to rest at night, or where bats congregate to rest in the day.
nest, noun, a structure or place made or chosen by a bird for laying eggs and sheltering its young.
For Red-tailed Hawks, these are three very distinct things.
Pale Male and Lola have a number of perches, including two favorite places on the towers of the Beresford. For years, they've spent many an afternoon at the Beresford, especially during the winter months.
Pale Male and Lola usually roost overnight in trees. The exception is during nesting season, when Lola will sleep on the nest from about a week before she lays her eggs until a day or two after her children fledge.
For Red-tails a nest is a place to raise their young. Outside of nesting season, they will check up on it daily, but it is not a place they will usually perch or sleep in.
Pale Male and Lola's increased use of the Beresford is just business as usual. We'll only know if they're going to switch nest sites in February. Until then, don't write off 5th Avenue.