2012 Red-Tailed Hawk News
LECTURES, FIELD PHOTOGRAPHY
WORKSHOPS & EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY:
NEW 2012 Workshop Schedule.
January 11: A very active immature Coopers Hawk was hunting in the central section of Mama and Papa's territory.
January 8: Mama and Papa spent a good deal of time together today. Papa delivered a meal (a Pigeon) to Mama and she
started to eat it immediately. Pair bonding is getting much stronger now that nesting season is upon us for 2012. Mama and
Papa will be spending much more time together and bringing offerings to one another in the from of food or new nesting
materials. We will be observing them carefully for any signs of nest construction.
January 15: Mama and Papa roosted together overnight on one of their favorite fire escapes
February 2: The Immature Cooper's Hawk was hunting once again in the central section of Mama and Papa's territory.
February 5: An Immature Bald Eagle flew over the central section of Mama and Papa's territory it came out of the South
and flew to the Northwest. Mama and Papa were not in the area at the time.
January 22: The Immature Cooper's Hawk was hunting successfully once again in the central section of Mama and Papa's
territory. Mama and Papa were not in the area at the time.
January 28: Mama roosted alone this evening on her favorite fire escape.
February 14: Mama was sitting in a mature Oak tree overlooking one of her nests this afternoon. Later, Papa delivered a
freshly cut branch to Mama in a pair bonding ritual as they then sat together on an apartment building chimney. Today, I
found another one of the nests Mama and Papa are constructing. This one is much less developed than the other nest
they are working on to this point.
February 16: Mama and Papa were sitting on two different vantage points this morning about 100 feet apart and they were
keeping an eye on one of their nests.
February 12: Papa was delivering new nesting materials to his nest. There are many freshly cut branches that have been
added to this nest.
February 18: Mama and Papa are spending much more time near their nest.
February 19: Mama and Papa once again are spending significant time near and on their nest making final preparations.
While observing them to the West of their nest about 3pm an immature Bald Eagle appeared circling above Papa as he sat
on the top of an 18 story building. Mama did not seem very concerned about the Eagle as she flew about fifty feet above
the Eagle to keep an eye on it as it cruised through their territory, one could clearly see the extreme size difference
between the Red-tailed Hawk and the Immature Bald Eagle. I will post an image soon of the Bald Eagle.
February 20: A visit to the nest today, no eggs at this time. I am actively working to correct the issues with the Hawkcam
February 21: Another visit to the nest today, no eggs at this time. I am continuing to work to correct the issues with the
February 23: Mama and Papa continue to mate and stay near their nest. Mama roosted on her favorite fire escape this
February 25: Mama and Papa are spending more time sitting on their nest for fifteen to thirty minutes at a time. They both
seemed to enjoy soaring over their nest for long periods of time.
February 26: Mama and Papa spent s great deal of time nest their nest this afternoon. Papa delivered a meal to Mama at
the nest. She did not seem interested as she ate recently. So, Papa returned the meal to its previous location where they
were storing their food.
February 27: Today I restored the Hawkcam 24/7 video for the 2012 nesting season. Mama and Papa took turns sitting on
their nest this afternoon. When they were not in the nest a quick check revealed no eggs but a very complete looking nest.
A number of new pine branches have been added to the nest bowl since this past Tuesday. Mama stayed on her nest late
this afternoon until just before dark when she flew out to roost.
March 2: This evening Mama spent her first night on her new nest. She is in an upright position indicating that there are
no eggs at this time.
March 3: Mama is staying on her nest for the day and Papa has delivered food to Mama. She is laying in the nest
indicating an egg may have been laid.
March 4: Today it is clear that Mama and Papa have eggs in their nest! Papa delivered food to Mama late this afternoon
as Mama took the food to a nearby chimney to eat Papa stayed on the nest. Later in the day Mama returned to relieve
Papa from his nesting duties.
March 5: Mama continues to sit on her eggs, Papa is delivering food for Mama and the pair are taking turns sitting on the
eggs. I learned today that more trees are going to clearcut nearby to make way for yet another construction project, this
project is will be located directly in Mama and Papa's traditional training grounds over the years for their fledglings. There
will be very few mature trees left near this seasons nest and none left to branch out for their first fledge. ALERT - This is
going to be a very dangerous season for the fledglings. The dangers Mama, Papa and their fledglings will endure this
season are: The Van Wyck Expressway expansion project still has four years plus prior to completion, heavy equipment,
construction materials, construction traffic and 37 rat poison stations for the Expressway project are distributed in the area,
many of these stations are located less than 75 yards from their nest, many are less than 75 feet from the nest. All the
mature trees near the nest have already been clearcut for this project. Now we have the above mentioned project and the
trees that will be cleared and probably more rat poison stations for this project.
March 1: Mama and Papa have started to rethink their nest and started rebuilding a nest they started earlier in the
season. Something earlier in the week on February 28 and 29 altered their attention from their completed nest.
March 9: Papa spent time with one of his fledglings from last season urging it to leave his territory. This is not the first time
Papa has had to his fledgling to move on to another area further from his nest.
March 6 through 8: Mama and Papa continue their daily activities tending to their nest
March 10: Papa spent time hunting nearby to the South of his nest as Mama continues to sit in the nest.
March 11: Papa delivered food (a rat) to Mama late this afternoon. A scary thought with all the heavy rat poison in the
area. Hopefully all will be well, please see the Alert in the March 5th posting. We have already lost four Red-tailed hawks in
NYC in the past month including Lima, Pale Male's mate of only one season. We ares still waiting on necropsy results to
determine cause of death in these cases.
April 5: Mama and Papa were observed swapping duties at the nest today at 2pm and 6:30pm. They were very quick
exchanges and I was not able to see how many eggs are in the nest. If anyone happens to have observed how eggs are in
the nest please email me and we will post the observation.
April 4: All is fine at the nest, Mama and Papa continue their nesting duties as we get closer to a potential hatch(s). Based
on their first day staying on the nest mid April becomes the time to watch very carefully for changes in the parents
behaviors or possibly witnessing a hatch. This seasons Hawkcam has the highest angle of view into the nest bowl that we
have had since the inception of the Hawkcam in 2007.
April 3: Big news today, with the help of our friends at the facility where Mama and Papa are nesting this season we
successfully relocated the Hawkcam. So, once again we are fortunate to have a close up window observing live video of the
Briarwood Red-tailed Hawk parents Mama and Papa as they sit on this seasons eggs and eventually raise their young.
This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to share and witness events as they unfold at the nest of these magnificent
Birds of Prey, the Red-tailed Hawk pair that we all have come to love over the years that otherwise would never be seen.
Last season Mama and Papa had two fledglings in a nest they built very nearby in a pine tree both fledglings are still
around and have been observed nearby recently. Please follow the links on this website to the Hawkcam - Live Video or
watch on the go with your smartphone.
March 12 - 20: During this time all has been fairly routine and quite as Mama and Papa continue to tend to their nesting
duties. The weather has been generally good and for the most part mild with minimal rain events. Papa seems to provide
Mama breaks and food between Noon and 2pm and between 5pm and 7pm. I have not been able to observe the morning
schedule at this time.
March 21: At 11:15am I observed Mama and Papa escorting two other Red-tailed hawks that appeared to be second year
and most likely their offspring from last season out of the area near the nest. Mama and Papa did not seem to be overly
concerned with this pair as they made their way off to the Northeast. Mama returned to her nest quickly and Papa stayed
around a bit longer. All is fine at the nest. A Kestrel was also spotted early this afternoon.
March 22 - 31: During this time not much to report except the normal routines of the day. All appears to be well at the nest
as Mama and Papa continue to sit on the eggs. We hopefully will be relocating the Hawkcam soon.
April 1-2: All is fine at the nest. It looks good for this week that we will be able to relocate the Hawkcam, stay tuned. On
walk Sunday I noticed that about a dozen mature Chery trees were cut down to make room for a construction project. The
trees were mature Cherry tress about 30 years of age that appeared very healthy and were in full bloom. The fledglings in
year past typically use these trees as their training area for the first couple months out of the nest. It is very sad to loose
these beautiful trees to make space for construction equipment, lets hope they do not remove the few remaining nearby
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April 6-8: Mama and Papa continue their nesting duties, everything appears fine at the nest.
April 9: Mama appears to be adjusting herself a bit more in the nest bowl today and sitting a bit higher than normal.
April 10: Mama continues to adjust herself more frequently in the nest bowl and sitting a bit higher than normal. Mama and
Papa spent more time together at the nest as well, at least fifteen minutes on one nest swap. They also appeared to be
looking at the nest bowl on occasion.
April 11: EXCITING NEWS TODAY, A CONFIRMED HATCH - We received confirmation this morning about 10:30am est.
from a grandma and her granddaughter Christine residing in South Jersey that there is a confirmed hatch in Mama and
Papa’s nest. Christine and her grandma have been faithful viewers of Mama, Papa and the Hawkcam for many years. So
far there is one tiny Red-tailed Hawk baby in the nest, many thanks for their keen observation this morning. Mama has
been feeding her newborn approximately every hour. Late in the day it appears there is a rat or small Squirrel in the nest
that Mama has been sharing with her little one that most likely hatched in the last 24 to 48 hours.
April 12: MORE EXCITING NEWS TODAY, A SIBLING - Today around five pm Mama was finishing feeding her youngster
when at the last second and just prior to Mama settling back down in the nest I spotted what appeared to be a second little
head. I am attaching this new image taken today (Left) next to the one below from yesterday (Right). I just received
confirmation from Bobby that the two siblings were observed in the nest sitting together earlier in the day.
Photo of the first born taken 4/11/12 5:45pm
Photo of the two eyasses in the nest taken 4/12/12 4:52pm
April 13-14: Mama has been very diligent feeding her babies and shading them from the early morning sun. Papa brings
food regularly and checks on his family often. The two parents have been on the nest together a number of times the last
two days. They have added more nesting materials and pine branches. The two eyasses have been very attentive taking
food and both seem to be getting an equal share. Late afternoon yesterday Mama fed her youngsters a rat, with all the rat
poison in the area this is always a concern to see, everything appears fine for now. You can now follow us on the Twitter
link located at the upper left of the page.
April 15-16: Mama continues to provide shade for her youngsters in the morning hours as the nest is full sunlight until
11am. The days have been getting warmer, daytime temperatures getting into the mid 60's and today into the 70's. Mama
looked a bit under the weather today and we observed her carefully throughout the day. Papa delivered some food in the
afternoon but did not stay very long. You can now follow us on Twitter, the link is located at the upper left of the page.
April 17: Mama looks better today, more alert and active (see April 15-16 post). I made my first visit to the nest site today
and took some high resolution images of Mama and her babies. I will be creating new photo galleries soon to post images
from the Hawkcam and my field photography. Papa checked in on his family a couple times today. Mama continues to feed
her youngsters often, you can clearly see their small crops bulging with food after about ten minutes of feeding. Today they
shared a rat for a meal, once again this is very concerning as I have discussed in prior posts about the large quantities of
rat poison within the area. The Van Wyck Expressway expansion project is the main source of the many rat bait stations
distributed in their territory. I contacted New York State Senator Tony Avella a couple of weeks ago regarding the rat
poison situation locally to Mama and Papa's territory and their nest as well as the larger issue of rat poison throughout the
five boroughs that has been fatal to at least three of four Red-tailed Hawks in Manhattan recently. The forth Red-tailed
Hawk had high levels of rat poison in its system coupled with a separate medical condition, so a cause of death in that
particular case could not be confirmed. Senator Avella has agreed to work on this issue on our behalf and we are currently
waiting on a response to his inquiry on this topic. I will be posting updates regarding the rat poison project as soon as I
receive information. I want to thank New York State Senator Tony Avella for taking on this important issue. You can now
follow us on Twitter, the link is located at the upper left of the page.
April 21: Sorry for the lack of updates, my Internet access has been down this week and is still not 100%. I hope to catch
up on posting new high resolution images this weekend taken at the nest of Mama and her babies this past week.
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April 22- April 30: Sorry for the lack of updates, I have had many issues with my Internet access not working well for an
extended period of time. You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please see the links at the upper left of this
page. Mama, Papa and their family are doing well. The eyasses are now entering their third week of age. We would like
some input from our viewers on naming the two eyasses, so please email us your ideas. On most days Mama and Papa
have been bringing at least two rats to the nest for meals. We still have the Rodenticide issues in the area so this is still a
big concern. We are making progress on this topic locally with the help of Senator Avella and hope to report this progress
as soon as we have confirmation on the current discussions, stay tuned!
May 1: You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please see the links at the upper left of this page. Resolving my
Internet issues has delayed my posting new galleries for the Hawkcam and high resolution images of Mama and Papa's
family. I hope to catch up soon and post many new images. Mama left her eyasses alone for an extended period of time
today for the first time. We would like some input from our viewers on naming the two eyasses, so please email us your
May 10: Today Mama's first born is 4 weeks of age. The babies are getting big now and starting to develop their feathers.
You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please see the links at the upper left of this page.
May 11: Today Mama's second born is 4 weeks of age. It appeared Mama delivered a mouse to the nest for this mornings
breakfast. You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please see the links at the upper left of this page.