Inwood Hill Park

I took advantage of the warm weather to visit Inwood Hill Park at the northern tip of Manhattan.  Both Red-tailed Hawks visited the nest, but they don't appear to have started nesting just yet.  They copulated while I was there.

A Great Horned Owl was roosting near the Red-tailed Hawk nest.  It will be interesting to see how these birds manage to coexist.












Inwood Hill Park

Inwood Hill Park, at the upper tip of Manhattan has a great nest which is high up a Tulip Tree just south of the soccer fields.  It must be the most hidden of all the known nests in the city.  Three hours of watching yielded two small glimpses of an eyass.  There are probably more than one little one on the nest, but I'll have to wait until they're bigger to count them.







Nest Updates

A lot happened in Manhattan this past week:

Broadway Bridge Peregrines: Bonnie Talluto confirms the two eyasses are now fledglings.

Inwood Hill Park: Diane Schenker reports the nest has hatched.  She can see at least one eyass, but can't get a good count yet.

Highbridge Park: Mitchell Nusbaum reports the nest has fledged.

St. John the Divine: The surviving nestling fledged on Friday.

Riverside Park: The pair is sitting on their second clutch.

55 Water Street Peregrines: They've all fledged.

Highbridge Park and Inwood Hill Park Nests

I visited the Inwood Hill and Highbridge Park nests on Saturday.

Although I saw the male briefly at Inwood Hill, I had no luck seeing how the nest was doing. The tree leaves are so filled in now, it was impossible to see the nest. The Inwood Hill hawk nest was damaged earlier this year, and hawk watchers in the park believe the female laid a second set of eggs.  The behavior of the parents lead everyone to believe there are eyasses, but we may not know until they fledge!

The Highbridge nest is doing fine.  When I arrived the male was in a tree about 100 yards from the nest.  The nest itself has at least two eyasses, both of whom look healthy.  All of the pictures are from the Highbridge nest.  Just like in Inwood, dense foliage makes looking into the nest difficult.




Manhattan Nests

From north to south, we have the following confirmed nesting sites in Manhattan this year:  Inwood Hill Park, Highbridge Park (back to the old location, which should be safer than last year's location), Lower Riverside Park (also in a new and safer location), Fifth Avenue and 888 Seventh Avenue.  I visited all of them this weekend.  They all seem to be in good shape, with chicks expected within the next few weeks.

Some nests have changed from last year. 

There is no sign of a nest below 14th Street, although there have been reports of hawks downtown all winter, including Tompkins Square Park, the World Trade Center construction site, the Court Houses around Center Street, Seward Park, Washington Square Park and the Greenway.

Last year's nest on Houston Street is not being used again this year.  The male from last year's nest died of Fronce and while hawks have been seen on the Lower East Side all winter, no signs of a new nest has been found.

The St. John the Divine's pair have both been seen recently but further uptown.  Construction continues on the church and they may have moved but no one has found a new nest location.  This one is a real mystery.

The Shepard Hall, City College nest looks bigger according to reports, but nest looks unoccupied.  The hawks may be nesting somewhere nearby.

Here are pictures of four nests from this weekend:

Inwood Hill Park


Continue reading "Manhattan Nests" »

Riverside and Broadway

I spent the early afternoon looking at the Riverside Red-tailed Hawk pair on Saturday.  There nest is just off the Hudson River near 8st Street and looks great.  Last year they laid eggs around mid-March, so the female should start sitting on the nest soon.

Other nests in Manhattan are doing well.  Inwood Hill Park, Highbridge Park, St. John the Divine and 5th Avenue nests are doing fine.  The Highbridge nest is back to its old spot.

The Central Park South pair is still there but I don't have any details about their nest.  The Houston female lost her mate last year, and may be nesting on the ConEd plant around 14th Street.  The pair that was around the City College campus remains a mystery.

Sightings of hawks this winter around the north end of Riverside Park and around the Court House buildings on Center Street make these locations possibilities for new nests this year.













When leaving Riverside Park, check out the American Kestrels that have a scrape at 80th and Broadway.  One of them is usually on the building south of Zabar's or on the church at 79th and Broadway.



Inwood Hill Fledgling

Inwood Hill Park has been a frustrating location for me this year. The new nest location made it difficult to see into the nest, so the few times I went, I didn't see any eyasses.  After they fledged, I also had trouble finding them.

On Saturday, I finally was able to find one of the fledglings with the help of Ranger Rob Mastrianni.  The fledgling was spending a quite afternoon relaxing below the old eagle hack site.









Inwood Hill and Broadway Bridge

I went up to Inwood Hill looking for the two fledglings, but could only find one of the parents.  Reports are that both fledglings have been exploring the park, and spent most of the week getting mobbed by smaller birds.  I hope to have better luck next weekend.

On the way back, I passed by Broadway Bridge.  I saw both parents, and one of the fledglings.  This is a fun site, since you can see the birds from the Number 1 train platform.  Only in New York City.












Inwood Hill Park

The nest is now very difficult to view due to leaf cover.  I tried to get pictures from at least six angles and just got lots of green!  I saw at least four visits from the adults, so I suspect all is well.  The Inwood Hill Urban Rangers report seeing two chicks.

I did get to take a series of pictures of one of the adults over a soccer field.





New Nest At Inwood Hill

James and I went up to the old nest at Inwood Hill and it looked like it hadn't been touched since last year.  We'd find out later in the afternoon, why!

Failing to find any Red-tailed Hawks, we went to the outlook that has a view up and down the Hudson River. There we found a Red-tailed Hawk hovering and behaving like an Osprey.



The wind was bitterly cold, so we started to walk down to exit the park.  The path we had come up was icy, so we took the alternate path back down.  Halfway down, we discovered the female hawk about 50 feet from a new nest.

The female

Another angle of the female.

The male came with food and cried for his mate to join him.

He kept calling but she wasn't interested.

He flew with the prey around her and then landed on a tree on the other side of the ravine.

She still wasn't interested so he went to the new nest.  It's in Tulip Tree again.



She still didn't join him.  The sun was setting, so we exited the park.  It should be a fun spring up at Inwood.  The new nest doesn't require walking up any hills to watch!

Fledging Updates

Reports are coming from Donna Browne and Richard Schmunk about fledgings. 

Donna reports that the first fledge has occurred at Fordham University in the Bronx via her blog.

Robert also has a report of a first fledge at St. John the Divine on his blog.

These early days watching new fledglings can be lots of fun.  If you have a chance, visit either location and enjoy the experience.

The eyas on 888 Seventh Avenue should be fledging soon too.  Watch for it to fly to a nearby roof sometime over the next few days.   Keep an eye on Carnegie Hall.  This may be the first stop.

Inwood Hill Park, Week 6

It was a hot day, and only one little window through the leaves is still open to take photographs of part of the Inwood Hill Red-tailed Hawk nest.   I only saw one eyas today, but I'm not worried.  About two thirds of the nest is now obscured from view.  It was a hot afternoon and I suspect the second eyas was keeping cool in the shade.

A head appears.  After no activity for over 30 minutes, I was afraid they had fledged.

A parent arrives.  Note the eyas in the background.


The parent rearranged some food and takes a few small bites.

An eyas finally appears from behind the foliage.







This may be their last week on the nest.

Fledge Date Guesses for Manhattan

If you've been looking at the Queen's Hawkcam, you'll notice that the young are close to fledging.  General wisdom is that it take between 42 and 46 days for a hawk to fledge.  I've tried to take a guess at what I think the Manhattan hatch dates were and calculated the approximate fledge dates.  Of course, the normal "Your mileage may vary" disclaimer applies here.

EyassesHatch (Best Guess)+42+46
Queens Nestcam24/135/255/29
Inwood Hill24/206/16/5
St. John34/276/86/12
888 7th Avenue14/296/106/14

One thing I'm sure of however, is that I need to spend this Memorial Day weekend visiting Highbridge and Inwood Hill Park before it's too late!

Inwood Hill Park, Week 4

The adult female and two eyasses were visible on the nest when I arrived but one eyas was almost fully hidden by a branch.  The Red-tailed Hawks seemed very relaxed, and enjoying the warm sunlight on a cool afternoon.

After I had packed up, the adult male arrived and circled the nest.  The adult female, then took off and joined him.  I lost both adults as they flew north.

Like the Highbridge nest, more and more leaves are in the way of the nest.  Future photographs have to be from the path below the nest.







Inwood Hill Park, Week 3

The Inwood Red-tailed Hawk eyasses continue to grow up.  Both looked healthy.  The adult male left the nest as we arrived and he flew by a few times.

It was a relaxed afternoon, until a feeding when both chicks perked up and became active.  The pictures below are of the female and her two offspring.







Old School 2 - New School 2

I've received confirmation that a chick has hatched at 888 Seventh Avenue, so that makes the second building nest to hatch in Manhattan.  So the Old School/New School score is tied 2-2.

The report came in from Brett Odom, who reports "This morning Jr. brought a pigeon to the nest and dropped it off.  When Charlotte got up to prepare it I got a really good look at most of the empty nest.  It looks to me that there is only one chick and no other eggs, but I could be wrong as part of the nest is obscured by a metal strip that connects the two pieces of decorative glass that the nest is behind.  The eyas is currently no bigger than a softball, but is very active when not being sit upon."

It looks like the Pale Male and Lola, 5th Avenue nest is yet again unsuccessful this year.  Although this is sad news, it shouldn't keep you from watching baby Red-tails.  They're all over Manhattan and greater New York.  So, make a visit to the other nests.  Red-tails nests are all over New York City for your enjoyment!

And if the locations are too remote for you to get to, remember that the NYC Audubon sponsored Queens Red-tailed Hawk camera operates 24/7.  It can be accessed from either Jeffrey Kollbrunner's website or from the NYC Audubon website.

Inwood Hill Park, Week 2

The eyasses are getting bigger up at Inwood.  Unlike my last visit, it's clear that there are two eyasses.

The leaves are coming out and it will soon be hard to see the nest.

Mother and her two eyasses.

Feeding time.

The mother pulls off pieces of meat and feeds her young.

It's done every so gently.



A post feeding poop.

The mother settles in and surrounds the chicks.  If I had missed the feeding, I wouldn't have known there were any chicks!

Old School 2 - New School ?

I went up to Inwood Hill Park, in addition to Highbridge yesterday.  Although the female was sitting much higher on the nest, I didn't see any baby hawks.  Neither did Robert B. Schmunk who was up there at the same time.

On Saturday evening, I saw that Alice Danna had also been up to Inwood Hill Park (but earlier in the day), and had seen two eyasses with one of the rangers (via Donna Browne's Palemaleirregulars blog.)

So, I gave it a second try on Sunday and was able to confirm Alice's report.  I didn't see two eyasses, but the mother's behavior would make me believe that there was more than the one eyas.

This makes the two "old school" tree nests in Manhattan a success, while we don't yet know the fate of the three "new school" building nests, 5th Avenue, St. John the Divine and 888 7th Avenue.  So the current score is Old School 2 - New School ?.

Below are pictures of the Inwood Hill Park female and her eyas(ses?)  There would be no sign of an eyas and then a head would pop up for a few seconds.  It was impossible to tell if it was the same eyas or multiple eyasses.






Inwood Hill, 103rd Street and Central Park

I started the afternoon in Inwood Hill Park on Saturday.  The Urban Rangers hosted an Owl walk.  No owls were seen, but owl pellets were found and dissected.  Both kids and adults had a good time.

We didn't see either of the Inwood Red-tails, but I did get a chance to see their nest.  I learned from a ranger that the female Inwood Red-tailed hawk had to be rescued in the fall.  She tested positive for West Nile virus, but has made a complete recovery and has been released back into the park.

This was the only raptor I saw up at Inwood was a Cooper's Hawk.

The 103rd Street Monk Parakeets were on my way home, so I stopped by to take a look. One was on the balcony when I arrived.

The other was already inside the roost.

I then walked down to see how our 86th Street, Red-tailed Hawk was doing.  Like clockwork, after moving about for a fifteen minutes the hawk settled down for the evening.