Fifth Avenue

I didn't get much of a chance to watch Pale Male and Octavia that much this weekend.  On Saturday, I caught both of them on the Carlyle Hotel.  On Sunday, I found Pale Male in a tree by the Boathouse parking lot.

What I found strange this weekend was listening to multiple tour guides and folks claiming to be "locals" who seemed stuck in the 2004/2005 period.  They gave lectures to tourists about Pale Male and Lola, talked about celebrities who haven't lived on Fifth Avenue for years, asked if the nest was "new" because they knew the old one had been taken down, and other nonsense. 

The entire time frame of the nest being taken down, including the protests, and the installation of the nest cradle lasted only a few weeks.  That was over fourteen years ago.  Folks, it's time to put away your old copies of Marie Winn's books and Frederic Lilien's DVDs and catch up to the present!  A lot has happened in fourteen years!

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Washington Square

I visited the Washington Square Park nest in January and February, but my timing was bad each time and I only saw a few glimpses of the hawks.  I had much better luck today with the female on One Fifth Avenue, with a fly-by by the male who had a rat.  He shared it on the Student Center building and they both made a few visits to the nest.  Then they both went east and I lost track of them over the Law School.  Both they and the nest look great and I expect we'll see eggs in a few weeks.

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Young Red-tailed Hawk

On Thursday afternoon a young Red-tailed Hawk was eating a squirrel on a rock south of the Azalea Pond in Central Park's Ramble.  It is an interesting bird with one red tail feather.  We usually see the brown tail feathers of a juvenile change one by one over the summer to adult red feathers, so this one red feather is unusual.

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Fifth Avenue

Nest visits by Pale Male and Octavia have been difficult to witness these last few days.  These images are from the last few days.  With the exception of two Peregrine Falcons, who harrased Pale Male one afternoon, it has been a quiet few days.

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350 Central Park West

Third times a charm.  On my third visit to the 350 Central Park West nest this year, I was finally able to watch the new male on the nest and watch the pair together.  The new male, with his light eye color looks to be a young bird.  It looks like they're all set for 2019.

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Fifth Avenue, No Changes

The hawk watchers on Fifth Avenue have been expecting to see Pale Male and Octavia begin to copulate as it's after Valentine's Day, but there have been no reports yet.  I been seeing a nest visit around 2 p.m. and then various random sightings over the past week or so, which is what I saw today.

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Fifth Avenue

This afternoon was relatively quiet on Fifth Avenue.  The pair flew together and chased off a Coopers Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk.  But there wasn't a late day visit to the nest.  We did get to see some nice views of Octavia, who at first glance like Pale Male in the golden light of dusk.

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Limited Views

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.

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350 Central Park West

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.

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Nest Visits And Intruders

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.

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Enjoying Pale Male

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.

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El Dorado Peregrines

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!

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The air conditioner is marked by the light circle on the right hand tower.

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Pale Male and Octavia on The Carlyle Hotel

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.

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Con Ed Tower

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!

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More Nest Refurbishment on Fifth Avenue

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.

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Nest Refurbishment on Fifth Avenue

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.

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