A Swainson's Warbler was in Central Park today, near Strawberry Field. It's a bird that usually stays further south, so it created a great deal of excitement.
While it's still possible we'll discover that there is a third eyass in the Fifth Avenue nest, for now it looks like we have two. Pale Male was on the nest when I arrived and left to return for a brief visit an hour later. The youngsters are being very well looked after.
The eyasses are still a little too small to see at Washington Square Park now, but the nest is still fun to watch. Both parents are more active and Bobby is bringing lots of food.
I was thrilled to see the little head of an eyass feeding at Tompkins Square Park this evening. It's best seen by very carefully watching the parents feeding the eyass on the video. This is going to be one tough nest to watch, but I'm happy they aren't on an air conditioner this year!
Please email with any corrections or additions.
- Washington Square Park nest has hatched. One hatch confirmed, but I suspect all three have hatched by now.
- Feeding observed at Tompkins Square Park.
- Two eyasses confirmed at 116th and Riverside.
- Conflicting reports, but the 96th and Fifth nest appears to have failed.
- At least two eyasses have been been in Pale Male/Octavia's Fifth Avenue nest.
(I suspect that Inwood Hill has hatched, but I just haven't received a report yet.)
I visited the Fifth Avenue nest on Sunday evening and got to see two eyasses being fed by Octavia. There's always a chance that there is a third, younger eyass still too small to be seen.
Thanks to a contact at NYU, news spread that the first of three eggs had hatched at Washington Square Park today. I went down after work to find fascinated parents, feeding the newly hatched bird, but mostly looking at the youngster. Great news on Earth Day.
I finally got to see a Fifth Avenue eyass twice tonight for a few seconds each time. They should be easier to see as the days progress. Now we just need to figure out how many there are.
Please email with any corrections or additions.
- Highbridge nest may have moved, so I've put it in the possible nest category.
- J. Hood Wright Park, CCNY, St. John, Fifth Avenue, and 72 Street have all hatched.
- There is a delightful photograph of the 72nd Street eyasses and their mother in the West Side Rag.
- Inwood Hill Park has most likely hatched, but I haven't received confirmation yet.
Updates after posting: The 8 East 96th Street nest appears to have failed after the nest fell apart, two eyasses confirmed at 116th and Riverside, and one egg has hatched as Washington Square Park.
It happens every year. I know it takes a few days before the eyasses are big enough to see, but I always try too soon to see them. I check every angle but it doesn't help. I just need to be patient.
The last thing I needed to see to be sure the Fifth Avenue nest had hatched I saw on Monday evening, the classic feeding of an eyass. The mother pulls a piece of food off the prey and gently twists her head by 45-90 degrees to hand the food off to the eyass. Seeing this behavior removed all doubts about the nest hatching for me. Now the questions is how many eyasses is she feeding, two or three?
There is a good chance the Fifth Avenue nest has hatched. Food was visible, both hawk let the nest be exposed for long periods of time, and there were lots of flies. Plus, Octavia may or may not have done a feeding based on who you asked.
When some other hawk observers asked me what I thought, I said I'd like to wait at least one more day before calling it for certain. Things all looked right but why not wait a day to be sure.
I was hoping to see signs of Pale Male and Octavia's nest hatching today. But it looks like we're still a few days away. Octavia spent a great deal of time standing up off the eggs, but it was a warm sunny day, so this could just have been due to the weather.
Although we can't see the eyasses yet, frequent trips off the nest by the female, flies, what look like feedings and the male bringing in food, make it clear the nest has hatched. Nice to see a young couple with a new nest be successful. Between this nest, the Grant's Tomb nest and the Peregrine Falcons on Riverside Church this should be a fun area to watch. And St. John the Divine is also a short walk away!
Welcome little one! My first glimpse of an eyass (hawk hatchling) this year. The eyass looked like it could be a week old. (Red-tailed Hawk eggs don't hatch all at the same time, so it common for us to see one, then two then three eyasses. We may not know for a few weeks how many eyasses are in this nest.)
While I was at the Fifth Avenue nest, which I thought would be the first nest to hatch in Manhattan, I got two emails saying it looked like a feeding was taking place at 116th and Riverside Drive. So, it looks like we are starting to have eggs in the city hatch!
As many of you know, a female hawk died in the Chinatown/City Hall area earlier this season. The necropsy results for the bird has come back, with a verdict of "Poisoning - Anticoagulant rodenticide". Laura Goggin reports on her blog that the male has found a new mate but poisoning continues near where the pair have decided to nest. This means we could easily have another hawk death, just like the first if no action is taken.
Please take a few minutes to read Laura's latest report and if you have time write a polite letter to the City Council member for the area. Details are on Laura's blog.
It looks like we still have a few more days before the nest hatches at Fifth Avenue. I looked for signs of a hatch but found none tonight. Pale Male was on the Carlyle Hotel and Octavia was on the nest.
NYC hawk watchers will be looking at nests for signs of hatching over the next few weeks. Calculating hatches can be complicated. While egg take 28-25 days to incubate
- females may begin to sit on nests a few days before they lay their eggs
- egg are laid 36-48 hours apart and incubation may not fully begin until the last egg is laid
- an egg takes about a day to hatch as the chick pips out of the egg and feeding usually doesn't begin right after hatching
Since we can rarely look into a nest, we'll be looking for signs of a hatch such as a hawk slice from an eyass (pooping chick), a victory flight lap by the parents or lots of food being brought to the nest by the male and a first feeding. It takes a few extra days from when we see a feeding until we can see fuzzy heads too.
We might see a hatch by next weekend and certainly within two weeks. It's a great time watch a nest and a sure sign that spring has arrived.
With better weather, I got to see a nest exchange and both hawks of the 96th Street pair today. Both hawks look great. It was the first time I got a good look at the male.
I look forward to learning about this pair over the next few months. It should be a fun summer in Central Park.
Please email with any corrections or additions.
Updates this week:
- New nest inside the block bounded by 72nd Street, 71st Street, West End Avenue, Broadway
- New nest at 8 East 96th Street
- CCNY/Shepard Hall confirmed to be active
- Death of female near Canal Street, and location for nest
- Update on San Remo Pair
Late update: The Gorman Park Nest, which had been on a fire escape has been removed. Hawks are still being seen in Gorman/Ft. Tryon. Any news about the new nest location would be appreciated.
Central Park has a new nest at 8 East 96th Street, on the 11th Floor, on an air conditioner in the second window from Fifth Avenue. It's technically not in the park but outside it by about 100 yards. This pair had laid an egg on 98th Street earlier in the season, and I had given up on them, assuming they were too inexperienced to get their act together this year. So, news of the new location via the NYU nest chat room community was a great surprise.
While the egg dropping was a shock to me, a day later the San Remo pair was back to business as usual. The male was seen eating a rodent in Strawberry Field, both hawks visited the nest briefly, and the pair copulated north of Bow Bridge.
One of the few nests I hadn't seen a report about was the nest at the CCNY uptown campus on the Shepard Hall building. The female was sitting on the nest when I arrived and the male gave her a brief break. Manhattan is going to have lots of hatching nests by mid to late April!
Tonight, I watched an egg roll out of a nest still under construction at the San Remo's north tower at 75th and Central Park West. This pair was seen all winter on both the San Remo and the Beresford, and seemed to be having troubles choosing which ledge to use for their nest. For awhile they seemed to be bringing twigs to every ledge!
(The video may make it look like the female pushed the egg out of the nest. However, I think it rolled out on its own after she first saved it from rolling out. I suspect the ledge isn't level to ensure that rain water runs away from the building.)
I'll post a longer video later tonight, but wanted to share this quickly. A pair of hawks establishing a nest on the north tower of the San Remo had a mishap tonight. While trying to position an egg, the female accidentally let it roll off the ledge.
Tonight, it was a quiet night at Fifth Avenue, with Pale Male and Octavia not doing much of anything!
While hawks are incubating eggs, visits to a nest can be dull or exciting. At Washington Square Park, it was exciting tonight with a nice rodent kill and some visits to the nest. News from NYU is that there are three eggs this year.
When I arrived at the Fifth Avenue nest, Pale Male was on the Carlyle Hotel and Octavia was on the nest. Pale Male soon flew over the Met and wasn't seen for the rest of the evening. Octavia stayed on the nest occasionally getting up to roll the eggs or preen. All in all a quiet evening by the boat pond.