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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Breeding Raptors

Nesting season for our local Red-tailed Hawks is upon us and they have stepped up their activities in Green-Wood Cemetery and Prospect Park.

These large raptors spend much of their time apart during the winter, but lately they seem to have become inseparable. They can frequently be seen soaring together or talon grappling. More often one will just dangle its feet above the other while the two kite in an updraft. They have been vocalizing quite a bit, too, as I've suddenly been hearing their familiar "keeer" more often. "Alice" and "Ralph" have stepped up construction on their annual pine tree nest in the Ravine. This will be their tenth year in Prospect Park. I just received a note from Marge that she witnessed "Big Mama" and "Junior" copulating in Green-Wood Cemetery (this seems so wrong on several levels). This will be their third year in the linden tree nest, which is now so large that it looks more like an eagle's nest.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our Brooklyn owls, after two failed attempts, will finally succeed this year. I should know by next week if they have hatchlings in the nest.

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