Saturday, April 19, 2008

Redtail review with a new PS

Female sitting at the Highbridge nest - April 17, 2008
Photo by Bruce Yolton -- Http://

No news yet on the Fifth Avenue nest, but the day is young. Meanwhile Robert B. Schmunk has sent in a detailed report on some of the other Red-tailed Hawk nests in the vicinity:


About the other red-tailed hawk nests in Manhattan and when egg hatching might be expected:

The Cathedral nest should not see a hatch until after April 26 and possibly not until the first of May. The female, Isolde, did not start to brood until some time between March 26 and 30. Although this seems late, it believe it is typical of the nest, as the dates were about the same last year, and first fledge last year and the year before were one same date. I suspect the shady, cool location at the Cathedral delays egg-laying there until the days are a little warmer. It probably didn't help that this year there was a last minute change of resident male hawk.

The nests at Houston St. , Riverside Park, Highbridge Park, and Inwood Park, all had females reported brooding before the Cathedral. Without doublechecking others' blogs (i.e., Bruce and Lincoln's websites), I think all four of them had mothers reported brooding 7-10 days before the Cathedral nest. Consequently, for all four of these, I think the hatching window could open any day now. I'll note that both at Highbridge and Inwood, feeding behavior or an actual nestling was observed last year on April 20.

Bruce [Yolton] checked on Highbridge yesterday but did not see any signs of a hatch yet. [See photo above]

I lost track of Seventh Ave., but as best I recall, Charlotte had not yet been reported as being on the nest at the time brooding began at the Cathedral. So start of May for Seventh Ave.?

And as for the new nest at CCNY, it's a real tough spot to observe. I never heard any reports at all about when the female there may have started brooding, so it's anyone's guess as to when there might be a hatch.

PS from Marie

A few hours later I received a report about the Fordham nest [Bronx] from Chris Lyons. Rose is the female of the Fordham pair:

I saw your latest blog article--Rose started sitting regularly on the nest at Collins Hall on March 20th. No sign of a hatch today--she's been at it maybe 29 days, but I can't confirm when she laid her first egg. Could have been the 21st, or later.

So I won't even start worrying until 4/25. I didn't see any feeding last year until 4/26 (Rose started around the same time last year), and actual eyasses didn't become visible for several days after that. However, we've got a better vantage point to watch the nest from this year, so it should be easier to tell. I probably won't check the nest again until Monday. I'll be bringing the scope.

There could have been a hatch by now--most of the Red-Tail nests in the city don't get the constant daylight observation that the ones in downtown Manhattan do.