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Rat poison

By UrbanAnthropod, April 25, 2011 10:18 pm
Watching traffic

A few weeks ago, we saw the postings announcing the presence of rat poison by the dumpster outside the Boat Basin Cafe in Riverside Park. This was worrisome since this is the prime hunting grounds for the Riverside Park red-tailed hawks. With the commotion raised by the watcher community, talks proceeded and it was decided that a compactor would be installed to deal with the sanitation issues of the dumpster. The damage was already done though. The bait was out and the rats were probably succumbing to poisoning. We kept an optimistic outlook whenever we watched the nest.

The nest officially hatched sometime last week.

I was able to see two white fuzzballs on Good Friday. Mom would get up and feed the two eyasses. Dad eventually came by to check out the nestlings and to move some pigeon carcass around. He took off and watched some traffic before attempting to hunt. Things didn’t look so good… Read the rest

Wild in El Barrio

By UrbanAnthropod, April 16, 2011 6:21 pm
Fresh Kill

Remember that scene in Men in Black when J comes to the realization that he’s been surrounded by aliens all his life, but like most people, he chose to ignore their existence? Most people in the city do the same thing when it comes to wildlife. People don’t expect hawks here even though Pale Male has been here for 20 years!


She Had just taken down a pigeon
Fresh Kill

Imagine the surprise of the people of Carver House (public housing projects by NYCHA) who caught a glimpse of a juvenile Red-Tail taking down a pigeon outside their window. I had seen a juvenile red-tail in this vicinity. She’d always been found roosting along 5th Avenue in the East Meadow. I’ve even seen her chasing pigeons along Madison Avenue before. Yesterday, I thought I saw her being chased out by Norman from the Cathedral of St. John the… Read the rest

Overnighting and sitting

By UrbanAnthropod, April 15, 2011 10:08 am
Coy

The news from the 5th Avenue nest is that Ginger/Lima is sitting. She’s taken to the nest since Sunday night. I visited and she was alternating between sitting high and burying her face in the cavity of the nest. The frequent fussing within the nest was a good sign. While this proved to be rather boring, I’m hopeful that the young formel will finally produce for our city.

Pale Male was noticeably absent. I had hoped to see some food drop-offs, but he was out of sight for a while. Finally, he emerged on the antenna of the Oreo building. He stood there for 2 hours!

As the sky darkened, he headed over to a railing and was eventually flushed into the trees by Cedar Hill where he would finally roost.

The first tree he took to was occupied by a pair of jays. He branched like a fledgling until he decided to remove himself from the flyby’s of… Read the rest

Chopped

By UrbanAnthropod, April 11, 2011 6:22 pm
Pale Male calls for his mate

Fifth Avenue Hawks

This Saturday, I made my way over to Conservatory Water to watch the 5th Avenue hawks. I got there about 1 P.M. and things were quiet. There was little action visible from the Model Boat Pond, so i walked north a bit to see if I could find them off in the west. As I got past Alice in Wonderland, Pale Male flew low overhead and headed towards one of the buildings. He perched on some chimneys and was obviously carrying something.


Pale Male calls for his mate

He fiddled with a rat in his talons as he called out for his mate. Ginger/Lima arrived and he took off to let her eat her share.
Ginger/Lima with a rat
After the meal, they both disappeared for a while. We decided to head towards the west side where we found them roosting on the southeast side of the Beresford Apartments.
Read the rest

Weekend Wrap-up

By UrbanAnthropod, April 4, 2011 10:01 pm
Tearing it up


This weekend, I paid a visit to the 5th Avenue nest and was greeted with a lot of nothing. Pale Male and Ginger/Lima were both very absent. They’d make an occasional pass but noone was working the nest. Late afternoon on Saturday, I noticed Pale Male go low and Ginger took to the nest. A passerby had reported that a hawk was feeding close to the ground so I took my gear over northwest of Alice in Wonderland and found a small crowd along the path. Sure enough Pale Male was working on a pigeon. I was able to get some of the video above. He took off and went to the nest to drop off the meal and she left soon after to a tree near where he was feeding. This just meant I had to walk back over to the area just south west of Cedar Hill. It didn’t take long before Pale Male returned and grabbed… Read the rest

Still waiting on eggs

By UrbanAnthropod, March 30, 2011 10:00 am
Pale Male over the nest

After the drama surrounding Pale Male’s numerous formels, we’re just hoping that someone would lay and egg. When Pale Male arrived to the city and set up in the par, he was a sign of positivity. The return of this level of nature provided an exuberance to the city. People continuously ask us who we’re shooting or watching when we’re out there. Some know it’s that famous hawk while others display a disbelief that wildlife could exist in the center of all this asphalt.

I went to the nest this afternoon. It was a weekday and the feeling was completely different. Normally, I’d go to Conservatory Water on a weekend and people would be actively enjoying the park. On a weekday, the only ones around are the guys on the hawk bench and a few meanderers.This afternoon was a little frustrating because I had to compete with some presidential appearance in the city. 5th Avenue was partially blocked off. This… Read the rest

Tercel Telenovela

By UrbanAnthropod, March 27, 2011 10:06 pm
Watching the light fade

There is no hawk i the world more famous than Pale Male. Last week I wrote about the prolific procreative activities that Pale Male was engaged in with Pearl/Pale Beauty. While I found the name “Pale beauty” too laborious, she did have the looks going for her. She really made things difficult when it came to identifying the two “Pales”. You’d see one on a building and it would be too difficult to say who it was unless you could spot some field marks that were identifiable. To recap, Pearl came to the nest sometime in late January and had engaged in courtship flights with Pale Male. This lead to the heavy copulating in March and gave us watchers a lot to look forward to with respect to egg laying. Sometime in December, Lola disappeared and Pale Male took to hanging out with a dark young formel referred to as Ginger. She disappeared for a little bit and that gave… Read the rest

Doing the Deed

By UrbanAnthropod, March 13, 2011 9:38 pm
Pale Male comes in for a landing

It’s that time of year! Love is in the air. We were all a little disheartened when we learned that Lola had disappeared. But things looked up when Ginger, the dark female, started interacting with Pale Male. Then she went away and this new pale lady hawk arrived. Pale Male’s nest had been unproductive for a few years now and he’s getting on in his years. This new lady hawk brings a lot of promise. Everyone’s been anticipating pro-creative activities and it may have been a little slow to set in. But these guys have been busy! I arrived on Saturday to reports that the pair had been copulating at least 6 times already. I watched as the two hawks sat on completely different buildings and ignored each other. Time passed… Then more time passed… I decided I’d walk over to 79th to get a closer view of Pale Male who was on top of an antenna. She was on… Read the rest

Return to Green-Wood

By UrbanAnthropod, March 5, 2011 9:40 pm
Quakers fly to the colony

In a previous post, I visited the parrots of Green-Wood Cemetery. The next time, I visited for the historical aspect of the grounds. I had planned to go back, but it is an awful ways away. I finally generated enough momentum in the idea of birding in the cemetery to get me to go. Given the shiny new lens, I really had to go

The highlight of the visit will always be the Quakers. Yes, they’re a foreign species, but they’re not that invasive. You can find their colonies in small pockets around the area. They’re illegal as pets in a handful of states. But they really don’t go around out-competing every other native species. In fact, they’re replacing a lost indigenous species. While most would contend this last bit, I believe that Quakers are low on the invasive scale. I have a soft spot for parrots. They may be noisy, but their… Read the rest

Nesting at the Cathedral

By UrbanAnthropod, February 22, 2011 11:21 pm
Norman tends to the nest

Yesterday was President’s Day and we were presented with a random snow storm. The gloom gave way to a super sunny day. I took a long lunch and walked over to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Overlooking the Park, I routinely see Norman and Isolde at work. Occasionally, I can spot their courtship flights! I got my start with hawk watching at their nest and I hadn’t seen them up close in a while. As I walked through the north woods, I could spot them overhead. The sun actually got a little too intense and I began to overheat as I neared the Cathedral from Morningside Park. I started to think that the light was too bright. Given that it was just past noon, this was true. But it was still winter, so I banked on the lighting to be more pleasant. As I walked up the steps to Morningside Drive, I encountered numerous bags in trees from… Read the rest

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