Monday, March 03, 2008

Uptown Raptors (Bonus Spring Edition)

On Sunday I counted 12 Redtail Hawks (8 Adults, 4 juveniles), 4 Peregrine Falcons, 2 kestrels, 1 Sharpie and 1 Cooper's. Oh, and an to ESO!
My coverage area spanned 110th St., to 215th St. River to River.
Here's what I found!

Beginning early, I spied the Cathedral female fly onto the nest from afar.

I hiked up to the Cathedral to get a closer look.

I found them both, flying in tight circles above the still bare trees. The male had a dead baby bird and was calling to the female. She then flew into the nest! The male then followed.

Here it is in flv!

She then exited,

and landed on St. Luke's, where she made her mating call and assumed the position.

The male flew off though, and the female flitted about, then landed in the Park to eat the squab.

The male patiently waited, then flew in!

The new male, heir apparent!

Moving on, I stopped in on the Peregrines at Riverside Church. After a while of searching the scaffolding, I found them on the east side. For an hour not much happened. The female made the territorial "e-chuck" once, probably at a hawk by Morningside. She also made a lap around the top and called to the male, but no copulation was observed.

It was too windy there, so I moved on after listening to the carrillion chime for the hour! Very beautiful. While waiting for the train at 125th, I saw a juvy rth on Amsterdam Ave., pursued by a crow.

Next, I went here

to try to locate a nest that we know is in the area. I found a new pair!

The male is missing a tail feather.

and what could be a nest.

From there I hopped over to Highbridge to check on George and Martha. On my way past those huge towers on 181st., I saw still huge numbers of pigeons!

And kiting on the stiff breeze was this tattered juvy.

I found the nest, but no signs of activity.

Over Auduobon Ave., I discovered the female

she then flew out and joined up with the male. I lost them as the dove past George Washington HS. At that point I got a call from Bruce who wanted to meet up at Inwood Hill. While exiting the train in Marble Hill, I witnessed both hawks fly out and attack a juvy rth! Not the best pix, I was totally out of position when it happened.

I think i know why his feathers are damaged!

The hawk quickly made off to Kingsbridge, and the peregrine returned to the Bridge!

I then got another call from Bruce, who had the hawk on some spotlights over Baker Field.

We then moved on to Inwood Hill, where a ranger told us about a new nest. Winding through the trail, we first visited the old nest, where it seemed in disrepair.

While exiting the park, a huge female suddenly flew in above us.
She then lit off nearby.

This female sports a tag. (Accoring to Bruce, she is probably the one that was released after taking ill two years ago).

The male then flew in with prey, calling to her! He then flew into the new nest!

By now it was getting dark, and we exited the Park, headed, for once, downtown!

All in all it was an amazing and exhausting day. If anyone has info of nesting raptors in NYC, please contact me. I will release a master list in July if anyone is interested. Sorry for the long post.

This is the pic I took of the park on two Friday nights ago. I just like the way the snow looked in the light...

Fly on intrepid hawk, fly on!


Owlman said...

Great pcitures! Have you found any Great Horned Owls on any of these nests? GHO's seem to be hard to find this year.

yojimbot said...

Thanks for the feedback owlman. Some of your brethren were spotted nesting in the same spot in Pelham Bay Park. Not sure of the exact location, but it was blogged a few weeks back by another NY Birder