Thursday, December 04, 2008

Looking for a Red-tailed Hawk Nest, and Odom Sights a Red-tailed Hawk in Chelsea

A tough nest to find and to watch--June, 2005--
Charlotte, the eyasses, and the foam noodle, on the Trump Parc Nest

Here are today's emails from Lower Eastside Hawkwatchers Jose, and Francois Portmann concerning the usability of the Houston & Avenue D nest.

Hey Donna,

In addition to the scaffolding, ps 188 is wrapped in a sort of netting, it looks like it could be there for a few months! There is no access for the birds!

No way that the nest would be used this coming season....

Best look around for the new location!!


Which completely agrees with Jose's take--

Hello Donna,

The scaffolding that was placed on PS 188 covers the whole outside of the school building and does cover the entire nest on the air conditioning unit. So I seriously doubt that the RT hawks will be able to use that nest again.

I am still looking for them and their nest site and will let you know if I find it. Take Care.


Hi Jose,

Though a bit of a set back, at least this site didn’t have a nest that had been worked on and improved over many years. As it’s only December they’ll still have plenty of time to build. Hawks do loose nests and sites in the wild as well and this one was difficult for the fledglings to branch up to safety after their first flight, so since this one is no longer and option, let’s hope they choose something a little easier on the kids this time.

If Houston Mom finds a mate and keeps the territory, they’re going to be starting a nest or two from scratch and building like crazy. Females like to have a choice, though usually only one sites really has much work done on it.

By the way, as you’ve no doubt seen, urban Red-tails can be very crafty in their choices. See the photo of the Trump Parc above. Look on the sunlit side of the building. See the tiny corbels that run across that wall? In 2005 and 2006 Charlotte and Pale Male Jr. built their nest way up there. So look higher than you’d think would be possible. You never know, what they might be up to.
Beyond scanning the buildings, the trees in the park for nest building activity, and places you've seen the hawks perch before also keep your eye on the upper branches of the trees. The hawks will be clipping lots and lots of twigs for the new nest. If you happen to spot them doing it, or flying with a twig, do your best to follow them. It may take several tries but eventually they'll lead you to at least the general area of the nest if not the exact spot.

If you have access to any roofs or high floor apartments, you can watch from those now and again in hopes of seeing the hawks flying, that will also increase your chances

If you haven't been doing it already, listen for the scolding of squirrels, Robins, Catbirds, and Jays. They too can lead you to a hawk foraging for twigs or sitting somewhere hunting.

You can also increase the area in which your searching, just in case they’ve branched out quite a ways.

I know it's frustrating when you don't see them after searching day after day. But it is all the more exciting when you finally do find them. And while you're at it, you'll discover all kinds of other wonderful things you never knew were there before in the process.

Let people know that you're looking and then they'll let you know if they see something.

And I wouldn't be the least surprised if other hawkwatchers are on the prowl as well in hopes of finding a new nest.

Good luck, Jose!

Remember Brett Odom, who's office looks onto Charlotte and Pale Male Junior's 2007-2008 nest site? He had a treat on his way to the subway in Chelsea.


Now wouldn't it be nice to have a nest in Chelsea. Red-tails do come into the city for winter hunting but one just never knows, she or he might just find a mate and stick around.

As to a green space, the nest down at Houston and D overlooked a yard in front of apartment buildings. Of course that didn't work out very well for the fledglings and as you know the best of all of us, there was Charlotte and Junior's latest nest that didn’t' overlook any green.

Never underestimate a Red-tail.


So folks you heard his request, send in those sightings! In fact, send in any sightings in NYC and we'll see if we've got some resident hawks that have been keeping themselves under the hawkwatcher's radar.



Elisabeth said...

Hi there,
Just spotted a Red-tail arguing with a local Blue Jay family! We stepped out onto our balcony for a moment and heard the Jays bickering then were treated to a hawk swooping just in front of us in the space between our building and the buildings across from us! We are located in Chelsea between 7th and 8th Avenue and 20th and 21st St. So perhaps there is a nest in Chelsea?
Happy Birding!
Elisabeth and James

Donegal Browne said...

Thank you Elisabeth and James!

See the posting of December 6th for the response.