I spent the weekend visiting all the nests I could to see my first hawk eyas of the season. I came up empty. So, I was thrilled to see three little fluff balls tonight at the Riverside nest. I had heard reports of two chicks, but there were three being fed. Hooray!
Of the eight known nests in Manhattan, here's their status this week...
5th Avenue, nest failure.
888 Seventh Avenue, dirty windows are making observations difficult.
4/29/08 Update from Brett. He doesn't believe they are using 888 Seventh Avenue to nest this year, or at least not yet. (1)
St. John the Divine, feeding behavior has not started, so guesses are the female is still brooding.
Highbridge Park, eggs hatched based on feeding behavior. Number of eyasses, at least two. (2)
Inwood Hill Park, eggs hatched and chick sighted. Number of eyasses unknown. (2)
South Riverside Park, eggs hatched and two chick sighted. (3)
Houston Street, at least one egg has hatched out of three eggs. (4)
Shepard Hall, City College, female appears to still be brooding, but nest is difficult to observe.
On Saturday morning in the Loch of Central Park, two turtles were engaged in some pre-copulation behavior. It was an amazing water ballet.
I didn't see any eyasses while up at Highbridge Park today, but the female and male spent over twenty minutes looking into the nest. There were two carcasses on the nest, and the mother never got fully down into the nest. So, I would suspect that either hatching was in progress or had just occurred. I think I'll go back on Sunday to see what's up.
The hatching window for the 5th Avenue nest is closing. If this year's nest is another failure, I would suggest that the members of the hawk watching community begin to take responsibility for what to do next rather than continuing to blame the Co-Op, NYC Audubon and/or city and state wildlife officials.
This year, with the excellent leadership by Glenn Phillips, executive director of NYC Audubon, a repair of the nest cradle was undertaken to rule out design problems as a cause for three years of nest failures with the cooperation of the Co-Op and the government. At this point, I think NYC Audubon has fulfilled its obligations. Any new research and any additional changes to the nest, should be funded by the hawk watching community.
I have to be honest and say that I would not contribute funds to any additional fiddling with the nest. I would rather see funds spent on supporting NYC Rehabitators, electing a President who would reverse the current administration's interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act which allowed the original nest to be destroyed and funding education programs that stress that all areas of this nation are wildlife areas, including our cities and suburban areas.
Enough editorializing, here are some pictures of Pale Male and Lola from Saturday. The pictures on the nest are of Lola and the others are of Pale Male.
While we wait to see if this year's 5th Avenue nest is a success, we all have been amazed by the tolerance Pale Male and Lola is showing towards a young hawk that was born last year.
The hawk flew south just east of Fifth Avenue, then circled near the nest and then went west over the model boat pond. Lola didn't even get up when this happened and Pale Male didn't appear. If the eggs hatch, I wonder if this tolerance will continue.
The pictures that follow are single image of the young hawk, and the rest, which were taken about half an hour later, are of Lola having a stretch.
A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was perched on a branch of a Sweet Gum Tree on the north bank of the Pool, at dusk, Thursday evening. This is a new bird for my Central Park list.
The Highbridge nest hasn't hatched yet. I went up hoping it would be Manhattan's first nest with eyasses, but not yet.
The female was sitting when I arrived. The male arrived on a nearby tree being chased by Blue Jays. He eat HIS meal in sight of the female, but didn't bring her any food or give her a break while I was there!
Pale Male brought take out to Lola and gave her a break early on Wednesday evening.
I arrived at the hawk bench a little too late to see Pale Male give Lola a break. She was out and about and was assumed to be hunting.
After about fifteen minutes a hawk, which I assumed was Lola moved north moving from tree to tree along the west edge of the Model Boat Pond. The hawk went after a pigeon, but it wasn't clear if it got anything. When I got home and looked at my pictures, I discovered the hawk was an immature hawk with a light eye color and brown tail!
Lola had made her way to Cedar Hill and was joined by Pale Male for a moment. I wondered why he left the nest. I guess he was helping guide the young hawk away or maybe he was showing Lola a cached piece of prey.
Lola stayed for quite awhile on Cedar Hill eating a squirrel (graphic pictures of this follow). When I left she still hadn't returned to the nest and was on a 5th Avenue building around 78th Street.
If the repairs worked on Pale Male and Lola's nest, we should have eyasses any day now. After three years without kids however, expectations are tempered. Let's hope for the best.
Some pictures from Sunday of Pale Male on a nearby building, flying and of Lola tending to the nest.
Over last few weeks in the early evening, a young Red-tailed hawk has been hunting rodents at the waterfall near Glen Span Arch. The hawk was there on Saturday, but an older woman feeding raccoons spoiled its rodent hunting.
The new Highbridge Park nest is doing well. On Saturday, when I arrived the female was sitting on the nest. After about an hour the male arrived, and gave the female a twenty minute break.
The female was sitting on her eggs up at Inwood Hill Park on Saturday. They should hatch in the next week or two.