Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nest Number 6!

A fellow birder Rob, who blogs at Citybirder, passed along a tip from an area resident of a new nesting pair of Red-tailed Hawks in Riverside Park. I took a quick trip to the location during my lunch hour to confirm. After scanning the sky and park for a few minutes, both the male and female crested over a large apartment building. The female alit on a water tower and was soon joined by the male. Luckily I had my camera ready!

From the pix, you can clearly see that the male is missing one of his secondaries on his right wing. Definitely these are two different hawks than all of the previously known nesting adults, which are: Charlotte and PM Jr., PM and Lola, The Cathedral Pair, The Highbridge Pair and the Inwood Pair. In addition to these six confirmed nests, I anticipate there are at least 2 other nests on the island of Manhattan. I had long suspected another resident pair in this part of the Park, but after searching all winter I was unable to locate the nest. After today, I now know the reason...the nest is situated across the park, right next to the West Side Highway!

It definitely looks like a 1st year nest, but I suspect that there have been previous nests in other locations due to the fact that I've seen juvenile and adult hawks in that area for years. In addition, they are copulating early in the mating season, indicating an established pair. Like other Manhattan red-tailed hawks, the male is a lighter shade, while the female is more rufous with a dark belly band. This is some welcome great news in what has been an anxious beginning to NYC nesting season 2008. I look forward to watching this pair and learning even more about this impressive species.

In other news, I have also been spotting a lot of birds in mid-town too! Here's a male kestrel hunting on 56th St.

I thought he might be after some sparrows, but upon looking down I realized it was probably the extended family of this poor mous-icle!

While on the M2, I spied a huge feather storm emanating from the New York Public Library.

A peregrine had come low and killed a pigeon on the ledge of the library!

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