Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Prospect Park Red-tailed Hawks

I just received the following e-mail from Alex Wilson. Apparently my pessimism regarding the resident hawks was a bit premature. I'll keep you posted.

"Subject: red-tails
From: Alex Wilson
Date: 3/6/06 8:50 PM

Hi Rob. Thought you might be interested in Red-tail doings last Friday, 3/3. I twice saw hawks flying into the top of the tallest pine on the hill immediately south of the Ambergill, I’m guessing this is the site of the Ravine nest I’ve heard of, though I never knew exactly where it was. On the second occasion the bird was carrying nesting material, including a ribbon or caution tape or some such that trailed behind it. It stayed in the treetop for several minutes, though I couldn’t see what it was doing; only the top of it’s head could be seen, and I suppose the spot is all but invisible come leaf-out. Shortly thereafter a Red-tail came down to the old nest in the Tulip Tree on Payne Hill. It only stopped briefly, but definitely sat down in the nest for maybe a minute before flying off. It didn’t bring or remove any material. I initially thought I was seeing a particular pair of adult birds, but eventually I had three in sight at one time, low over the general vicinity. Not sure exactly what to make of it all, but I wouldn’t write off park breeding yet. I watched a Red-tail nest in the north end of Central Park in ’04 that ran weeks behind the 5th Avenue birds. I guessed it was a second attempt after an early failure; perhaps the window of opportunity is still open…

Best,
Alex

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