The Central Park South pair copulated on the Plaza Hotel late this afternoon. The female was about twenty feet from the nest, and the male flew in and copulated with her. He quickly left and flew due west. She followed at dusk about twenty minutes later. I walked over in the general direction they flew, but didn't find either of the hawk's roosts for the evening.
I got an email yesterday from Emily, a resident of 350 Central Park West, that a pair of hawks were building a nest on the 15th Floor of her building.
I got to see the pair this evening. The hawks are building on an air conditioner, on the right most faux balcony. I watched them copulating on the north tower of The Eldorado and bringing twigs to 350 Central Park West. (94 and 95th Street are the cross streets.) The nest building is in the very early stages, so there is still a good chance the hawks could decide to nest elsewhere.
But if the hawks do nest on Central Park West, we might have a bumper copy of young hawks in the park this summer. Between this new nest, the new nest on the Plaza Hotel, Pale Male's nest on 5th Avenue, and the St. John the Divine nest, whose kids always end up in the north end of Central Park, we could have lots of fledglings in the park.
Of course a lot could happen between now and summer, but a hawk watcher can always dream!
A first-year Red-tailed Hawk was eating a squirrel in the rain on Saturday in the Locust Grove of Central Park. We've got lots of young hawks in the park this winter.
I was keeping an eye out for American Woodcock in Central Park, but was shocked to find one on Randalls Island out in the open next to the Golf Driving Range. It was a fun discovery.
On Sunday, I spent most of the day in the park trying to see a Common Redpoll without success. However, I did have a good time seeing a group of Red-winged Hawks for the first time this year, a very beautiful European Goldfinch (possibly an escapee rather than a wild bird), Owls and the Common Merganser on the Harlem Meer. While I wasn't trying for a long species list, I did end up with a respectable 37.
|1||Great Black-backed Gull|
|2||Northern Saw-whet Owl|
I've been packing a simple camera and a spotting scope rather than my regular setup these last two weeks. I bothered an old knee injury in the snow and need to lighten the weight of my pack. So, I've been continuing my goal to stay in the top 10 of the Top 100 New York County 2013 list on eBird.org, rather than just follow hawks this year.
Over the last week, this has meant adding a first winter Iceland Gull to my list for the year. In addition, to the gull this week's fun birds included a Northern Saw-whet Owl.
For 2013, I've wanted to spend time doing general bird watching rather than just hawk watching and have been birding Central Park, Inwood Hill, Fort Tryon, Battery Park and Randalls Island the last few weeks. My total for New York County is now 65 species, so I'm off to a good start for the year.
Despite my refocusing, I have spent some time at hawk nests. On Saturday, it was Pale Male and his new mate's nest.
I saw them copulate, visit the nest together and saw Pale Male bring her a gift of a pigeon. The cold weather caused me to miss some of the action with my camera, but I was too busy trying to keep warm.