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2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 13

Two quick updates:

  • A second eyass fledged at the Washington Square Park nest
  • The second eyass at Tompkins Square Park fell from the tree early on Saturday morning, was taken to AMC and is now with a rehabber. 

Hawks 2019


2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 12

Updates on a few nests:

  • One hawk has fledged from the Washington Square Park nest safely to the roof of an NYU dorm.
  • Hawk watchers report a male with a brown striped tail (second year bird) helping hunt at the 100th and Third Avenue nest.  A male was not seen by many observers for a few weeks, and it is suspected that it might be a new mate.
  • The Fort Washington nest has three eyasses.
  • There are concerns about the health of the remaining eyass at Tompkins Square Park.  It seems lethargic at a time it should be very active and getting ready to fledge.

Hawks 2019

 


Fledge Day!

I love fledge days.  Washington Square Park had an eyass become a fledgling sometime early in on Friday morning.  I slept in, so I don't know exactly when!  I got down to the nest in the early afternoon.  Thanks to a report from a building engineer, the fledgling was discovered on the roof of the Goddard Building.  It was on set of stairs to an equipment room which has been a favorite spot for fledglings in past years.  It looked great and seems to have made its first trip without any issue.

The two remaining eyasses stayed on the nest but certainly were interested in looking at what was going on "down below".

What was really interesting is that the new adult male who has been in territory this week, and whom the female has becoming more tolerant of, charged the fledgling in the late afternoon.  Could it be possible that the new male is responding to the fledgling as a competitor rather than a child to help raise? 

(The fledgling was no worse for wear by the way.  The adult male's behavior reminded me of fledglings who fight over food or sticks.)

I thought we'd be in for some surprises but this isn't what I was expecting.  I thought we might see the new male bring food to the fledgling, as a way of bonding with the female on on fledge day.  But instead we saw some aggressive behavior.

I will be interesting to see what happens when the fledgling starts crying for food.  Will this trigger some switch in behavior by the male?

I'm so excited to see how this turns out.  I'm enjoying the front row seat Washington Square Park and the NYU Webcam is giving us to watch hawk behavior.

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Washington Square Park, Day 3 Of Watching The New Male

I spent a few hours in Washington Square Park this afternoon.  The new male was still hanging around and the female was still annoyed by him. He flew around her when she was on the Education Building flag pole and she fluffed up when he came near.  She was near him on One Fifth, but never let him be too close.

(In the pictures, he's the lighter and smaller adult.)

I would caution anyone not to rush to any judgements about this new male hawk.  It isn't at all clear he is going to be accepted by the female.  I'm surprised that self-appointed experts have already declared the pair bonded and calculated the age of the hawk based on no first hand observations.  It reminds me of the first year for this nest, when "experts" predicted how the fledge was going to occur and got almost everything wrong.

This year, the NYU nest grants us an extraordinary opportunity to watch the behavior of an adult female who has lost her mate while her eyasses were still on the nest.  We have a camera feed to watch and a territory that is fairly easy to monitor.  Let's do our best to observe something that isn't in any book.  Let's stop spending energy waiting to ask questions of an "expert" or rush to conclusions based on our own romantic ideas of love.  And let's stop generalizing from the limited examples we have with how hawks replace lost mates and applying them to this nest.  If we insist on having answers to our questions prematurely, we then stop observing.  How sad is that!

Each year, nature shows me something about Red-tailed Hawk behavior I had never noticed before or had a chance to watch.  For me this is what is so exciting about watching Red-tailed Hawks.  They keep revealing more and more about themselves to me as I keep watching them.  That's one of the joys of behavioral science.

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Tolerated Male Hawk at Washington Square Park

The new adult male in Washington Square Park made visits to a number of buildings on all four sides of the park, including the Education Building, Silver Building, 1 Fifth Avenue (while the adult female was there, he's on the left), 2 Fifth Avenue, Lipton Hall, Kimmel Center and at dusk the nest briefly.

So, he may end up being Bobby's replacement. The female didn't exactly welcome him, but she tolerated him today.

The eyasses look close to fledging.  The first could leave the nest any day now.  One slipped and had to work to to stay on the ledge this afternoon.

It would be great if the male settles in and helps with post-fledging feedings and hunting lessons later in the summer.

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Mystery Hawk at Washington Square Park

I went to see the three eyasses on the nest at Washington Square Park and got a surprise.  Two adult hawks were in the park.  One I hadn't seen before on the Education Building (rusted beam next to the hawk) and the Adult Female on One Fifth Avenue.   They both flew around and the Adult female didn't seem happy with the intruder.

The three eyasses could start fledging later this week.  The photographs always show two, but there was often one hiding in either corner of the nest.

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Sole Survivor

It looks like Tompkins Square Park lost an eyass sometime in the last few days.  Laura Goggin broke the news on her blog on Friday. I was out of town over the weekend, but made it down to the park to confirm the bad news.

Sadly, it looks like Laura made the right call.  Searches of nearby branches and trees yielded no early fledgling.  I heard an American Robin making alarm calls, but the robin had found one of the parents on a western branch of the nest tree about 15 feet from the nest.

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2019 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 11

Updates on two nests:

  • Laura Goggin reports on her blog that it looks like the Tompkins Square Park nest appears to have lost one eyass.
  • Jessica Ancker reports that a second eyass has been observed in the Inwood Hill nest.

We should see our first fledges later this week. They always seem to be around the Puerto Rican Day Parade which is on Sunday.

Hawks 2019