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Friday, May 21, 2010

Red-tailed Hawk Update

This week I surveyed the three known Brooklyn Red-tailed Hawk nests to see how the hatchlings were progressing.

The easiest nest for viewing is the pine tree at the edge of Nelly's Lawn. For a second year in a row, the parents are raising three offspring. When I visited the nest yesterday afternoon, Nelly was busy feeding her brood. They all seem healthy and have started to grow adult body feathers. Their wing feathers are also growing in rapidly. Notice in this video how one youngster is already attempting to flap-hop to the opposite side of the nest.

I found a new and fairly decent viewing spot for Alice and Ralph's Ravine nest. Over two days I monitored their nest for an hour each time and was only able to confirm a single hatchling. Although, the nest is very deep and the viewing angle quite steep, so there could be another chick. The chick that I watched is well behind the ones at Nelly's Lawn and likely most of the city's Red-tailed Hawk chicks. It is still mostly covered with down with maybe an inch of adult feathers seen emerging from its tail and wings.

At approximately 75 feet up in a Linden tree, the Green-Wood Cemetery nest is the highest and most difficult to get a chick count. My friend Marge and I watched the nest for a long time this week and only got fleeting glimpses of an erratic, white wing flipping up above the edge of the nest. Big Mama was sitting at the nest watching her offspring the entire time we were present. Perhaps in another week the chick(s) will be large enough to view clearly. I will keep you posted.

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