« April 2019 | Main

St. John Eyass

Robert's Morningside Hawks blog reported seeing an eyass on the St. John the Divine nest earlier in the week, so I made a stop there on Sunday.  I also saw a single eyass.  The nest is hard to view, so it might have a sibling we might get to see later in the season.

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Riverside Church Peregrine Falcons

I made a detour on my way back from Randalls Island to Riverside Church to see how the Peregrine Falcons were doing.  It was a bit too early to see the youngsters, but I did get to see the mother outside of the nest and saw the father flying around the church.

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Randalls Island

I made a trip to Randalls Island on Sunday afternoon.  The nest is in the field lights of Field 10, just north of Icahn Stadium.  I found two eyasses on the nest and the mother on a light tower of Icahn Stadium.

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2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 9

Eyasses are being seen all over Manhattan:

  • Jessica Ancker reports that "one fuzzy-headed eyass in the IHP [Inwood Hill Park] nest".
  • Robert's Morningside Hawks blog has photographs of one eyass at St. John the Divine.
  • Pam Langford saw an eyass in the Fort Washington nest.
  • I found two eyasses on the Randalls Island nest this afternoon.

That brings Manhattan up to 11 surviving eyasses for the year.

Hawks 2019


2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 8

News since the last update:

  • Pam Langford reports seeing a feeding at the Fort Washington nest.
  • The 350 Central Park West nest seems to have been abandoned.  The cold, wet weather may have been the cause.  In my two visits, I saw neither parent but Stella Hamilton saw one of them in a tree a block from the nest on Wednesday. It would be nice if we could confirm that both parents are still alive.
  • St. John and 310 West 72nd Street both look to have hatched based on parental behavior, but feedings haven't been seen yet.  Both nests are difficult to observe.
  • Pale Male and Octavia's nest is too long overdue for a hatch. 

Hawks 2019


Math Problem For Pale Male and Octavia

Although I hope I'm wrong, I can't get the math to work out for Pale Male and Octavia. 

Octavia started sitting on the nest on March 17th.  When you calculate a hatch date, you start with 28-35 days for incubation, add a few days just in case the female starts sitting before laying eggs, and add a week more since the eggs can take a week to lay, and if only the last one hatches it will be later.  That's at worst case, 35 plus 14 days, or May 5th.  Today is May 15th.

The "regulars" who follow Pale Male and Octavia year round didn't see them copulate this season. 

So, the nest most likely won't hatch. 

When Lola was infertile, she would sit for a long time on the nest before giving up each year.  I think we're seeing the same thing with Octavia this year.

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Troubling Signs At 350 Central Park West

When I visited the 350 Central Park West nest on May 9th, everything seemed fine.  The mother was feeding, the father nearby and three healthy eyasses were popping up.

On Tuesday, I saw no signs of life in the nest and no sign of the parents.  I stayed for over an hour in a light rain.  While it is possible that the eyasses have grown enough for the parents to leave them alone for an extended period of time, it seems odd this early in the season.

I will revisit the nest soon, but we should prepare ourselves for bad news about this nest.

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310 West 72nd Street

The female was high on the 310 West 72nd Street nest when I arrived.  But I couldn't tell for sure if the nest had hatched.  This is one of the most difficult nests in Manhattan to observe.  It might be June before we figure out how the nest is doing.

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Two It Is For Tompkins Square Park

It seems fairly certain that Tompkins Square Park has two eyasses this year.  They're now big enough that it is unlikely a third could be hiding on the nest.  The mother fed them while I visited them on Saturday afternoon.  This will most likely be the first nest to fledge in Manhattan.

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Washington Square Misses Bobby

Bobby, the male of the Washington Square Park nest hasn't been seen for six days.  It is likely that he died.  I first saw him in 2010, when he tried to build a nest on 1 Fifth Avenue.  At the time I worked on the 20th floor of the Flatiron Building and had a view of 1 Fifth.

The next year in 2011, he built a nest with his mate on NYU's Bobst library. He and his first mate got NYU inspired nicknames, Bobby and Violet.  Bobby for Bobst and Violet for the color of the NYU flag. That year, the New York Times was incubating digital media ideas and as an experiment installed a camera in Dr. Sexton, the president of NYU's, office.  There were three eggs and only one hatched.  The eyass was nicknamed Pip.  Because of the media exposure, these three hawks became a viral sensation, long before we used the phrase, "gone viral" in everyday speech.

That winter, Violet, who had a leg injury died after surgery.  Bobby would go on to have two other mates.  The nest continued to be successful, although the number of eyasses varied year to year.

Bobby brought great joy to many people.   He will be missed.

I visited the nest on Saturday.  When I arrived the adult female was feeding the three eyasses. After she was done, she went to the rooftop of Pless and then the flagpole of the Education Building. There she got bombarded by a pair of Blue Jays.

It will be interesting to see how things turn out.  The female seems to be able to feed herself and the three eyasses.  They will need more food as they grow older. so hunting will get harder.  Females usually leave the care and feeding of the fledglings to the males.  So, she will need to do this as well.  Let's hope she can be a good single mother. The good news is that there are many examples of single mothers being able to see things through, so we will just have to watch and see what happens.

Some hawks quickly find another mate in situations like this.  Hawk watcher have seen suitors testing the waters.  But at this point the female doesn't seem interested.

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Yet Another 350 CPW Feeding

My timing seems to be great at 350 Central Park West.  I arrived yet again to see a feeding in progress.  Three eager babies were getting fed.  The father was nearby and perched on the building to the north of 350 Central Park West for about fifteen minutes.

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St. John the Divine

I made another trip to St. John the Divine to see if my guess that the nest had hatched was correct.  I didn't see a feeding, but the female was up off the nest for about eight minutes.  So, while I still think the nest has hatched, I still don't have clear evidence.

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Washington Square

Bobby, the adult male, hasn't been seen at the nest since Monday, raising concern that he may be injured or dead.  I visited the nest this afternoon to find the female feeding the eyasses, and then saw her make a loop around the park and then down LaGuardia Place. 

It will be interesting to see how well the female does being a single mom.

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2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 7

News of hatches is coming in, as well as initial eyass counts. 

  • Inwood Hill has hatched.
  • 100th and Third Avenue has hatched.  One eyass was seen but there are most likely more.
  • 350 Central Park West has three eyasses.
  • St. John appears to have hatched.

I'll check up on the Fort Washington, Randalls Island and 72nd Street nests during the two week. 

The 927 Fifth Avenue nest is running very late this year.  There is a possibility that there might not be eyasses this year for Pale Male and Octavia.

Sadly, the hawk watchers of Washington Square Park have not seen the male nicknamed "Bobby" since Monday morning.  The mother has been hunting on her own and bringing food to the nest.

Hawks 2019


Three Eyasses at 350 CPW

In the early stages of watching a nest, the eyasses are too small to see, so you have to wait until they get a bit bigger to count them.  Today, I was excited to see that the nest had three eyasses.  During the feeding, for the most part it looked like two eyasses, but at one point all three heads were visible.  Congratulations to the new parents.

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St. John the Divine

The St. John the Divine nest has most likely hatched given the behavior of the adults this evening.  The female was frequently up off the nest, was higher off the nest then she had been when I've seen her brooding earlier this season, and there was lots of fresh greenery on the nest. However, I'd like to see a feeding to be 100% sure.  We'll know more in a few days.

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350 CPW Baby Pictures

During a feeding this afternoon, I got to see the first glimpse of an eyass (baby hawk) on the 350 Central Park West nest.  It was only for about a second, but it was great to see.  Red-tailed Hawks usually have clutches of two or three, so I suspect more heads will be seen in the days to come.

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350 CPW Calm

I spent less than an hour watching the 350 Central Park West nest on Friday. 

It was a great birding day for the park, so hawks took a backseat.  I saw 53 species.  It helped that ended the day birding with Nadir Souirgi's  New York City Audubon Birding Tour of the North Woods, which leaves from 103rd and Central Park West, at 5:30 p.m. Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays during migration.  It's free and Nadir is an excellent birder and walk leader. Details are on the New York City Audubon, www.nycaudubon.org website.

While I was at the nest not much happened.  The female stood up with her lower chest near the eyasses for most of the time.  This is another sign that all of the eggs have hatched and brooding is over.

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