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post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm fascinated by the fact that we have redtail hawks in NYC. We have Pale Male and his mate. Pale Male has been here nesting, on Fifth Avenue, since 1992, and has fathered about 25 babies, I think.

And now, there are at least 4 nesting pairs of redtails in Manhattan, and a bunch in the other boroughs.

I always look for the hawks when I'm running in Central Park. This morning, on my run, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I was on a path, coming down to the sailboat pond, which is right on the side of the park that's next to the building that holds Pale Male and Lola's nest. What stopped me dead in my tracks was Pale Male on a branch of a tree about 20-30 feet from me. Almost eye level....maybe a little above. He had a pigeon in his claws, but he was just looking around. I stared at him for about 5 minutes. Then he swooped up, keeping hold of the pigeon, angled around and flew right over me as he headed for another branch. It took my breath away!

Then, later, I'm back home, I'm on the phone with my mother, and I see another hawk soaring on the wind right outside of my apartment!!! (I live on the 23rd floor, in Hell's Kitchen, which is basically West Midtown.) There is a whole section, that goes for blocks, of low-lying buildings. This hawk was catching the wind, and really loving it. It came so close to my window!!! I couldn't believe it!

What a magnificent sight!
post #2 of 15
I read that cities are the new homes for hawks; they dive straight down from the tall buildings at amazing speeds... watch out, pigeons!

We have hawks here, too, my favorite are the Peregrin Falcons. It just makes your day when you see one!
post #3 of 15
They are beautiful creatures
post #4 of 15
Hawks are beautiful. Sadly we don't have many here. I've only see a couple over the last couple years. Mostly we just have robins, sparrows, magpies, ravens, and a few woodpeckers. And lately pigeons seem to be showing up all over.
post #5 of 15
Oh that's cool! Maybe you'll be able to catch one of them in action going after a pigeon. Those things can be a nuisance for city cleaners. :P
When I used to live in Florida, there was a Peregrine Falcon that made a home next to my Dad's old house. I had also gotten not even 3 ft away from a wild American Bald Eagle in the empty lot next to my Dad's new house. That was amazing! The bird didn't even flinch, he/she just stared at me.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by StacyD1987 View Post
...... I had also gotten not even 3 ft away from a wild American Bald Eagle in the empty lot next to my Dad's new house. That was amazing! The bird didn't even flinch, he/she just stared at me.
Wow. I think I would totally stare in awe if I saw a bald eagle up close. I have a thing for raptors, since seeing so many hawks here. I think a bald eagle would pretty much make my year.

Originally Posted by TigerOnTheProwl
And lately pigeons seem to be showing up all over.
I think you need a hawk flying around.

The hawks have probably made a dent in the pigeon population here - not enough to be noticed, but it's better than poisoning them. Survival of the NY fittest, I think. Also with the rats. I think there's alot of food here for hawks.
post #7 of 15
Cornell's Lab of Ornithology years ago released some Peregrine falcons from the lab in an attempt to increase their numbers. The Peregrines had on tracking devices. A number of them made it to NYC. Nice high ledges for nests. No DDT and plenty of pigeons and rats to eat. The Peregrines are doing just fine.
Not surprised that the hawks are there. They are beautiful, aren't they?
post #8 of 15
That's really neat that you got to see him in person. I saw a show on PBS about the first clutch that they raised.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yup. I remember when the peregrine falcons were released, and everyone thought it was so cool. As you said, Butzie, takes care of the vermin without DDT.

I think it's so cool that the hawks have just found their own way here, and seem to have adapted perfectly.

Wild nature in NYC!!!

That PBS movie they did was fantastic!
post #10 of 15
While I haven't seen any hawks this winter we have a bunch of them hanging around during the other seasons of the year. They are great on controlling the rabbit population. There were times last summer I swear I saw them about the same time everyday!! And I've had to duck as they will cruise pretty low at times.

My SIL said they have a sparrow hawk in their barn (they have a large dairy). They like it for the control of the birds that reside in the barn as the bird droppings can cause problems with the cows.

We also have great horned owls we live about 300 yds from a small creek so I'm sure they nest around there.

Bald eagles are around too-one swooped down to take some road kill off the highway rigth in front of us. A nearby nature center which is located on the Fox river and by a paper mill has upwards of 20-25 bald eagles as the water stays unthawed in a certain area. Lots of people go their to see them.

Other predator birds are around too!!
post #11 of 15
Aren't raptors awesome! We have red tails here as well as ferruginous Hawks and golden eagles. The Ferruginous Hawks are HUGE.

My favorite though are the pretty little Kestrels. They are so cute.

I too saw the wonderful documentary on Pale Male. Fantastic that he is still around and a delight to NYC residents.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Aren't raptors awesome! We have red tails here as well as ferruginous Hawks and golden eagles. The Ferruginous Hawks are HUGE.
Wow. Those are beautiful hawks!
post #13 of 15
I love raptors!

We had a Sharp Shinned Hawk hit the kitchen window I freaked when I saw it lying on the ground. We picked it up, put it on the back table, and 5 or so minutes later it flew off It must have been ok, because the next day I saw it perched on top of my bird feeders

At the local botanical gardens, there's an Eagle cam. We've had a pair of eagles raise chicks for the last few years. Can't remember the exact website for it, but if you google Norfolk Botanical Gardens, that will bring you to the site.

The sad thing is the pair laid 2 eggs. Then a "love triangle" appeared, and this 4 year old female chased the other female off. The 2 eggs in the nest were left alone too long, and were no longer viable But when I looked at the site today, the "other" woman was hanging out with the male, so maybe they'll lay some more eggs.
post #14 of 15
I love watching the raptors! We are so fortunate where we live 'cause it's all agricultural with vineyards and orchards - lots of rabbits, quails and mice so we've got redtails, lots of different owls from great horned to little palm sized burrowing owls, bald eagles and even some turkey vultures! I bought my husband a set of binoculars with a digital camera on them so he can take pics of 'em.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Turkey vultures are huge!!! I was down in Mexico with some friends a couple of years ago, and we were lying by the pool, up from the ocean, and above this whole flock of huge birds flew over us. They were dipping and soaring on the wind, and it was like this flock was one big bird. I found out later they were turkey vultures.

Pale Male and his mate Lola have tried for a few years to hatch some eggs. I don't know if anyone recalls, but a few years ago the co-op board of that Fifth Avenue building ordered the nest removed. There was such a public outcry, that they built a structure in the same place, and the next season, Pale Male and Lola started re-building a nest there. But the people had put pigeon spikes on the platform, so any nest that was built still had pigeon spikes sticking up in the middle.

People were wondering why eggs were laid, and nothing ever hatched. The Audubon Society took a look and discovered that the spikes were there, so everytime the hawks tried to turn the eggs, they were pierced. Duh.

Once again there was an outcry about how this platform was put together without any thought of how a hawk behaves.

This has since been rectified, over the winter, and the spikes have been removed, and the platform has been renovated, so now Pale Male and Lola are once again rebuilding, and we're hoping for a happy flock of babies this year!!!

Fingers crossed!!!

Resilient, these NYC hawks.
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