Thursday, February 21, 2008

Riverside Park redtails

Photo by Leslie Day = 2/19/08

I've been watching Red-tailed Hawks out of my fourth-floor window for years. I look out onto Riverside Park, and I've often seen redtails of various ages and sexes hanging out there; one year I even saw a couple of fledglings near the playground at the bottom of the hill at 91st Street. Clearly there must have been a nest nearby that year. But in spite of many hours spent searching the park trees, and the facades of Riverside Drive buildings -- including my own -- I never found a nest.

Day before yesterday I received the above photo and an e-mail from Leslie Day. She's a naturalist and the author of a recently published and excellent book, A Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, [Johns Hopkins Press].

She wrote:

Hi Marie - wanted you to know about this and then maybe you can spread the word. I first noticed the pair building yesterday morning as I walked my dog and saw a little knot of people staring up. The nest tree is a honey locust and it is next to the on-ramp of the north-bound West Side Highway at 79th Street. This provides a great view for people watching the nest building, but we're worried about the nest hanging over the on-ramp and worried about fledglings being so close to fast-moving cars. Here's a photo from this morning.

A redtail nest in Riverside Park is exciting news. Leslie lives in the Boat Basin quite near to the nest and is following its progress every day. I'll try to keep you posted.