Sunday, March 03, 2013

Stella Hamilton and Katherine Hezog Take Up the Challenge, FLASH-Nest Building on The Crown Building, and Octavia Flies Downtown and Uptown!

Octavia on February 24, 2013, courtesy of

Note the terminal black band of a mature Red-tailed Hawk  from this view is very scant to invisible on OctaviaAccording to hawkwatcher Stella Hamilton she is pretty much without one.  Octavia is often identified by the black spot on her second tail feather from the right, barring the coincidence of another hawk frequenting Central Park with the same spot in which case we'd all have blown it.

Yesterday I'd emailed Stella suggesting that it could be very enlightening if  she and another hawkwatcher, possibly Katherine Herzog split their  hawk watching area for today into  two sections, one each.  One person should take the uptown, 927 Fifth Avenue beat, and the other, the downtown Plaza area. 

All times Eastern

3:19 PStella calls from her downtown view near the Plaza.  FLASHThere are a pair of Red-tail Hawks taking twigs in and out from behind a decorative structure on The Crown Building which is a block from The Plaza.  This is a new location altogether for nest building.

3:45PM Kat reports Pale Male and Octavia are hanging out at the Fifth Avenue nest just like a well bonded pair would at this time of year.  She then reports a single Red-tail flies downtown on Fifth Avenue.

3:48PM Stella reports the appearance of Octavia downtown and the appearance of  a male RTH who seems slightly darker than Pale Male with less of an obvious difference between head and back coloration than Pale Male has.  This male does have the black band on his tail as does Pale Male, while Octavia's tail band is sketchy.

4:23PM Stella has lost sight of Octavia, but another hawk with a visible black band on the red tail, has flown to a perch on The Plaza near the flagpole. 

4:34PM Stella reports a hawk coming down Fifth Avenue to The Pond area.   Stella calls Kat to see if  perhaps Octavia or Pale Male may have just flown down Fifth, the Hawk Bench is empty and Kat  is on her way home. DRAT!  Red-tail who had perched there earlier is still on The Plaza appearing to hunt.

4:38PM Stella takes two pictures of The Crown Building.

Photo courtesy of Stella Hamilton
 The facade in which earlier Stella observed a pair of Red-tails taking twigs in and out from behind this architectural element.

 5:15PM  If a Red-tail pair chooses this site, it will be extremely tough to view from the ground.  Though the round window center frame would possibly be a marvelous spot if a hawkwatcher could get themselves up there.
 5:46PM  From Stella--"This is the downtown Plaza male. He sat there on top of a tree at the entrance of Central Park Zoo trying to hunt... "

 5:49PM  Note the black tail band, which Pale Male also has.

From Stella,  " [Downtown Male]... then decided to fly toward the Plaza hotel where he sat on the roof below the western flagpole. He sat there for 2 minutes then decided to fly westward toward the Time Warner building. I had no more visual of the female or any other hawk at that time. It was getting dark."

Many thanks to Stella Hamilton and Katherine Herzog!

Stella says she will be back in the field tomorrow!

"Curiouser and  curiouser", said Alice...

Happy Hawking
Donegal Browne  


Sally said...

Could the Plaza Male be Jr? That would explain the similarity to Pale Male and the Territory.

Stay warm!

Donegal Browne said...


Yes, it would. Or another of PM's line.