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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Red-tailed Hawk

I just received an e-mail from Bob Gochfeld, who was birding at the botanic gardens today. He confirmed that the Red-tailed Hawk Janet photographed is a juvenile bird. There is a very good likelihood that he is one of Ralph and Alice's offspring.

"Date: 11/21/06 11:19 AM

I spent about an hour this morning in the Botanic Garden from 9:15 - 10:15 [...] There is an extraordinarily tame immature Red-tailed Hawk hanging around the southern end of the Cherry Esplanade and the Rose Garden. It sits in the open; flies very low over the ground and allowed me to get within 15 feet.


Ravine looking north towards gardens (click to enlarge)

(Photo credit - Google Earth)


Pamela said...

A Rufous in November... What?

I've heard they are seen along the gulf coast during the winter ... but near you?
I'm amazed.
(Well, all the stuff you do amazes me.)

My bird watching recently has mostly been just keeping track of my feeders, the crows and magpies in the neighbors walnut tree, and the merlin and a few hawks that also hang around watching the feeder.

bigmissfrenchie said...

Last week I was surprised to see a hawk holding down a pigeon in the middle of the sidewalk near the corner of Nevins Street and Bergen. I and my dog seemed to have surprised the hawk as well as he let go of the pigeon (who flew away, seemingly unharmed) and flew to the top of the community garden fence to look at me with distaste. I fumbled for my phone camera, but was wearing gloves and couldn't get it out in time before he (or she) flew up into the trees too far away for my phone camera to capture. I know nothing about birds, but having looked at your posts, I surmised that it was in fact a juvenile red tail. Would you see such a thing in a residential area like this?

Rob J. said...


Red-tailed Hawks are considered the most widespread and urbanized hawks in the country. There are probably several dozen that regularly breed within the 5 boroughs. The hawk you observed could be hanging out at Fort Greene Park, although, Prospect Park is a very short flight for a hawk. Starting in January I plan on searching the city green spaces for all the resident Red-tailed Hawks and will keep you updated on this blog. Now that you've seen your first city hawk, I suspect that you'll notice them more often.

Thanks for writing.

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