I only got to see one visit to the nest by Octavia and then got to see Pale Male on a balcony a few blocks north of the nest building tonight. But it was nice to see both of them even though there wasn't much action.
I went up to look at the 350 Central Park West nest again and finally found one of the adults for the first time in 2019. The hawk was sitting in a tree 100 feet inside the park at 96th and Central Park West, and after a long period flew over to the empty church on the corner.
While I haven't seen Pale Male and Octavia copulate this season, they've been spending time together, both have been working on the nest, and chasing out intruders into their territory. It's so nice for another year of hawk nesting to begin once again.
The week of Valentine's Day is the unofficial start of hawk watching season in New York City. Hawks who have been doing minor nest refurbishment since January, now start to copulate and getting ready for egg laying in mid to late late March. I gave a talk on Pale Male last year and thought it might be helpful to share some of the slides as a primer on what is going to happen over the next six months.
I encourage anyone who hasn't watched a Red-tailed Hawk nest to do so this year. It's incredibly enjoyable. The "hawk bench", were the best viewing is from, is just next to the Hans Christian Andersen statue on the west side of the Model Boat Pond. And if you aren't near the Fifth Avenue nest, there are many alternative nests to choose from in New York, as well as may other locations throughout the country.
Monday's hawk watching wasn't that successful. I only had a brief glimpse of Octavia, Pale Male's mate on the Carlyle Hotel in the afternoon.
I had a brief view of Octavia on the nest before she flew off at dusk. I'm looking forward to watching them for another year!
I went up to see how the Red-tailed Hawks were doing up at 95th and Central Park West. I've heard the female found a new mate over the winter and I went up to see if they were rebuilding the old nest. I didn't see any sign of them, but I have seen two adult Red-tailed Hawks a bit further north this winter around The Pool. I know the Fifth Avenue, Tompkins Square and Washington Square Park hawks are doing fine. I'd be happy to get feedback on other nests, especially any nests north of Central Park.
Having come up empty, I went over to the No. 28 Bridge and saw the Peregrine Falcon female sitting in her usual roost. She left before I could get my camera out. I then found a falcon on a terrace railing of the north tower of the El Dorado. I thought it was the female, but discovered it was the male after he made a pass at the highest air conditioner on the tower, where the female was eating a pigeon. She made a cry as if to say, "I'm not sharing." This was the first time I've seen them on the El Dorado, and it was nice to find a spot where they eat. From the looks of the air conditioner, it looks to be the site of many meals.
Update 2/11/19: I received a report from a resident of 350 Central Park West that visits were made to the Red-tailed Hawk nest Monday morning. Great News!
The air conditioner is marked by the light circle on the right hand tower.
Pale Male and Octavia continue to work on the nest. Pale Male brought two twigs to the nest while I was watching early this afternoon.
Another good sign Pale Male and Octavia are getting ready for spring, was spotting them both sitting together on the The Carlyle Hotel. Pale Male joined Octavia on a floodlight, before moving over to the floodlight on the right. He then went to the "Linda" building which is a block south of the nest before heading north. Octavia continued to perch on the same floodlight.
The Washington Square Hawks also claim Union Square as part of their territory and today one of them was on the Con Ed tower at 14th and Third Avenue. It was nice to catch up with one of them. The pair has been seen refurbishing their nest in the mornings and there are reports they have already begun copulating. Fantastic!
The Fifth Avenue nest had both hawks in it late in the afternoon. Sadly you could see the shadows being cast by the buildings on Billionaires Row every so often. When I arrived both hawks were on the nest. Pale Male left leaving Octavia on the nest, and she left after about half an hour. Pale Male returned with a twig, stopping first on a nearby building. After about fifteen minutes he glided down to a tree just inside the park, before taking off. Although, we're having a warm streak, nest refurbishment is the surest sign I know that spring is right around the corner.
While it's still winter, Red-tailed Hawks across the region are starting to tidy up their nests and get ready for spring. Around Valentine's Day pairs of hawks will begin to copulate followed by brooding in mid to late March.
Today, I caught Pale Male and Octavia working on their Fifth Avenue nest. It always seems like each wants to undo what the other has done, but it always works out. Octavia left the nest first, followed by Pale Male about fifteen minutes later. I was able to catch up to Pale Male in one of his favorite roosting trees at dusk.
Pale Male is on the left and Octavia is on the right. Note his smaller size, lighter color and thinner head. Notice her rounder, wider head, darker color, and rounder eyes with a light lower eye ring.