Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Red-tailed Hawk nests: a bird's-eye view

I thought that it might be interesting to see the 8 Red-tailed Hawk nest sites known to me from a bird's-eye view. The New York City hawks seem to have been able to adapt to relatively limited green space. I am only aware of pairs in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. I assume that there are many more breeding pairs in the other boroughs and hope to locate them by next year.

The following images begin at the northern most nest and moves south, to Green-Wood Cemetery.

Click on the images for larger, closer views.

Looking north from Green-Wood Cemetery

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Van Cortlandt Park

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Fordham Rose Hill Campus

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Inwood Hill Park

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

5th Avenue

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Central Park South

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Prospect Park

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

Green-Wood Cemetery

(Photo credit - Google Earth)

For more information on New York City Red-tailed Hawks check out Marie Winn's website, D. Bruce Yolton's blog and James O'Brien's "The Origin of Species".


Yojimbot said...

You left out the Highbridge Park well as the Pelham Bay Park and Flushing Meadow RTH's! No fear, there appear to be resident RTH populations in almost all of NYC's green spaces. Also, for a comprehensive list of nesting NYC raptors, check out my blog:

Rob J. said...

Thank you, James. I knew that there was somebody out there with more information. I'll try to add the images shortly.

Chris Lyons said...

I've been told about a Red-Tail nest in Crotona Park, a bit south of Fordham--I even talked to somebody who works at the Nature Center there, who confirmed she'd been told about the nest as well, and sees the hawks perched nearby all the time, but didn't know where it was. I haven't had time to get over there and take a look.

One big difference between Red-Tails and Peregrines--Red-Tails want there to be big trees near their nests, if at all possible. Even if they nest on a building, they invariably choose a structure near a park (or in Hawkeye & Rose's case, on a college campus full of stately oaks and beeches). For northeastern Red-Tails, prime breeding habitat means stands of tall trees near large open areas.

Eventually, every green space in the city will be colonized. Then we'll find out if they're willing to compromise further, and build nests in places that have plenty of food, but no trees to roost in and hunt from.

Even Pale Male, celebrated urbanite that he is, spends every night in a tree in Central Park. These are arboreal creatures at heart, no matter how citified they become.

Anonymous said...

FYI: Microsoft offers lovely "bird's eye view" maps at . I have found it very useful for figuring out some of the terrain "owned" by the Divine red-tailed hawks.

I'd gve you the coordinates for a red-tail hawk nest except that the MS website does have one complete failing... it resists giving you coordinates for a shareable URL.

Ben C. said...


Thanks for keeping up with your tales of birding and raptor activity in NYC.

Please note that the Manhattan Red-tailed Hawks have been seen roosting on buildings for the evening.

Just the other night Lincoln and I followed Pale Male as he went to roost in a tree in Central Park. We left the park with Lola roosting on a building on 5th Ave. south of 79th St. well after all the robins had quieted down. Which means it was pretty dark out.

The Trump Parc Red-tailed Hawks have been seen perching on buildings also. I *think* these were the first reliable sightings of a building roosting Red-tailed Hawk.

All the best.

Ben Cacace
Manhattan, NYC

Rob J. said...


Thanks for the information and all your kind words. It's always good to hear from you.

Adorable Girlfriend said...


Sorry to bother your lovely blog her but we are having a fight at my blog ( what kind of hawk I saw yesterday in Boston.

It was quite large with brown stripped feathers and the most beautiful clear, light red eyes.

How can we tell whether it was a red a tailed or sharp shinned? I have no memory of anything red on the bird other than the eyes.

Your help is much appreciated.

Again, sorry to barge in with the question.


Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope