Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Urban Renewal for Red-tail Nests Symposium is Now in Session

Photograph and update,
from Charlotte and Pale Male Jr. nest watcher, Brett Odom--
Both Junior and Charlotte have been making more frequent trips to the nest in the last few weeks. I even witnessed copulation on the top of 888 7th Ave. on Monday and yesterday I took the attached photo from my office. I think it is Charlotte leaving the nest with a branch, but all she did was circle a few times and then returned the branch to the nest (this was only a 135mm camera with no tripod so it's blurry, I plan on coming in over this weekend or next with my 400mm lens and tripod to take better photos). They both visit the actual nest, not just the building, several times a day so it does look like they will be returning to this nesting site this year. One of them is even sitting on the nest as I write this.

Brett Odom

There are now eight known Red-tail nests in Manhattan, some like the 888 nest and the Riverside Nest over the highway, are terrible spots for eyasses to fledge from.

Blog contributor and Hawk follower Robin of Illinois, was reading some old news items and sent in this reminder--

I was re-reading the articles from back when Pale Male's nest was taken down and spotted the paragraph below. I am wondering if anyone HAS provided platforms on their buildings to provide RTH nesting sites? (to hopefully include branching areas)

NY Times:Newly Homeless Above 5th Ave., Hawks Have Little to Build On

Published: December 9, 2004
"Mr. Benepe said he would be happy to see Pale Male pick a tree in Central Park for his new nest, but added that the prospect was not good because red-tailed hawks prefer the stability of building facades to tree limbs, which sway in the wind. He said he would encourage building owners in Manhattan to provide platforms that might be claimed by Pale Male or other red-tailed hawks in search of a safe place."

John Blakeman designed platforms for nesting Red-tails both for buildings and also for trees which didn't have suitable branches. But as far as I know, no building owners have as yet taken the initiative to give Red-tails more options in the nesting site area.

Well, folks perhaps we should put on our thinking caps, get our creativity out of our pockets, and take on a little initiative ourselves. Can anyone think of buildings that would make grand sites for Red-tail nests if only they had a platform installed? Start brainstorming and looking around. That is step number one.

According to Brett Odom, 888 Seventh Avenue have been very cordial Red-tail hosts, by doing such things as postponing window washing and the like. Unfortunately 888 is a tough neighborhood for fledgling eyasses, being it is some blocks removed from a green space. Though now that I think of it, perhaps if something were created on which the eyasses could branch near the nest for a few days, perhaps their flight skills would be more up to the challenge of getting to Central Park unscathed.

It's time to brainstorm folks. Send in your thoughts on possible sites and what could be done to make temporary branching areas. One never knows where it could lead!

Donegal Browne
P.S. Be sure and go over to the links section, click on The City Birder, and check out the post for March 5th. Rob Jett saw some very interesting behavior which may bear on one of my theories.

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