The Warbling Vireo nest in The Ramble of Central Park is in use now. I captured video and audio this afternoon of what is most likely the male on the nest. Lovely singing!
With the death of the male, the Washington Square Park nest has a single adult female and three eyasses. The mother is keeping up with the extra duties and the eyasses are growing at a normal pace. Today, I caught up with the family. I saw the mother preening and then just perching most of the time on the southwest corner of the Silver Building a block from the nest. In the early afternoon, the mother fed they eyasses.
Governors Island is now open after dark on Fridays and Saturdays, so I went in search of bats on Saturday. I saw and recorded echolocations from two Eastern Red Bats at Nolan Park around 8:15-8:45 p.m.
Earlier in the daylight, I enjoyed views of the Yellow Crowned Night Heron nest, Killdeer and Common Terns. I was also able to see the three young Peregrine Falcons and their mother at 55 Water Street.
The Common Terns nest on two of the piers, Lima and Tango. NYC Audubon is encouraging Common Terns to nest on the Lima Pier this year and has put up three decoys. It took me awhile to realize there were decoys and I had to subtract three Terns from my eBirds checklist.
They piers are named after their shapes, L, T and Y, which in the NATO alphabet become, Lima, Tango and Yankee. The Yankee pier, which now only is half a Y, is in active use by the Brooklyn bound ferry.
In addition to the birds on Memorial Day weekend, there was a military ship being guarded by the Coast Guard across Buttermilk Channel and a few military plane and helicopter flyovers.
The spring migration is winding down but there are still some fun birds to be found in the park, including this Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the northern end of Central Park.
After a few weeks, eyasses grow up enough to be fully seen on a nest. So, at 100th Street and 3rd Avenue, what started out as one eyass being seen has become three. They look great and were fun to watch.
On my last Linnaean Society of New York Central Park walk of the spring 2019 season, one of the stops was Warbling Vireo nest. It is in a tree about 100 feet east of the Maintenance Building in the Ramble. It looks like it was getting finishing before being used this year.
Updates to the number of eyasses seen:
- St. John has two eyasses visible now
- 310 West 72nd Street has one eyass
- 164th Street has two eyasses visible now
- 100th Street and 3rd Avenue has three eyasses on the nest
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This afternoon I was lucky to film a food delivery to The Century Apartments by the Peregrine Falcon male. (Because the scrape is in a gutter, it is impossible to see it from the street.)
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.
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.