2008 Red-Tailed Hawk News
Archive November 2007 - February 29, 2008
November & December 2007:
Unfortunately, some technical issues prevented me from regularly updating my site since late October. Recently, I had the
time to diagnose and correct these issues. The site will be updated regularly going forward.
During these months both Mama and Papa spent most of their time on their own within their territory. We were able to see
them almost everyday. To our surprise Chief and Ivy also stayed around. They both spent most of their time in the Eastern
section of their parents territory. On many occasions we observed the two of them soaring together and hunting
individually. Ivy is almost a duplicate of Mama both in size and appearance. Chief is larger than Papa and smaller than Ivy,
we have not seen him lately. It appears he has finally moved on during a two week period in late December to early January
in search of his own territory. Ivy is still in the area, Mama, Papa and Ivy were soaring together mid last week.
January 27, 2008: Mama and Papa have been spending much more time together the last couple of weeks. This is the
time of year their pair bonding begins signifying the start of a new nesting season. The two have been sitting together in
most of their favorite spots. Papa had a meal on top of an apartment building chimney. Mama was observed hunting into
the very late afternoon. The two spent most of their time in the afternoon in the same general area where they could see
each other easily. On a number of occasions Mama was interested in branches, she was exploring them and biting on them
with her beak. She didn't break any branches off for new nesting material this time and continued on hoping around
playfully within the same tree, from branch to branch seemingly having a joyful moment. We are keeping a close eye out to
identify where they will deliver their new nesting seasons twigs and for their first copulation of the season, I hope to
photographically document these events.
January 28: Mama and Papa were soaring for most of the day within the center of their territory. A number of times they
were just above the tree line. Other times they could be seen very high in the sky hovering and watching for a meal.
Around noon a Kestrel appeared, it hovered clearly in a hunting posture for a few minutes. Then it spotted something and
darted with incredible speed toward the ground and disappeared behind a building. We didn't see Ivy today.
January 29: I went into NYC very early to work on the culmination of a very special project, Pale Male and Lola's nest
modifications. Please see photographs and read the NYC Audubon announcement regarding the project. It was truly an
honor to be a part of and work with all the wonderful people that participated in this outstanding effort.
Once back in Queens on my way home late in the afternoon I spotted Mama sitting on top of an antenna on a six story
apartment building. Shortly after spotting her she flew off for the evening to settle in for the evening.
January 30: We didn't search for our hawk family today.
January 31: Mama and Papa spent time in the Eastern section of their territory. They were very active flying within the
mature trees in the area. A Cooper hawk was also in the immediate area hunting while Mama and Papa were around. None
of the hawks seemed to be bothered by the others. Mama landed at the top of a very tall Oak tree and selected a fresh
branch, snapped it off and flew to the West with the branch in her beak. Unfortunately, I could not see where Mama went to
deliver this branch to her nest. I hope by this weekend we will discover this seasons nest location.
I have added additional images to page 2 from Pale Male and Lola's nest modifications this past Tuesday.
February 1: We were not able to search for our hawk family today due to a very heavy rain.
I have added some additional images to page 3 from Pale Male and Lola's nest modifications this past Tuesday.
February 2: Mama came to a local Cedar tree around Noon today. She landed at the top of the tree and struggled to
maintain her balance on the thin branch. It appeared she was looking for a branch for her nest but decided to take off
before selecting one. Later in the day I found Mama flying in the general area around her nest from last season. She
eventually landed high on top of a tall building. I left to go home as the light was not good for photography. I did not see
Papa today. I will be posting some new images on Sunday of Mama. Papa and Ivy from December '07 and January '08 to
the Raptor Photo Gallery.
February 3: We were treated to a visit by three of our hawk family members, Mama, Papa and Ivy. We had not seen Ivy for
a few weeks, it was good to see her today. All three hawks were soaring together. Papa was chasing Ivy at times, nothing
seemed very urgent in the chase but he may have been giving her a gentle message that it is time for her to move on and
her own territory. Ivy was the last to leave the nest and seemed to be provided some nudging at the time from Mama that it
was time to leave the nest. Now it seems she is comfortable in her parents territory and is once again the last one to move
on. It appears that Chief has moved on, it has been a while since we last seen Chief in the area. I have added some more
recent images of a Cooper hawk and our Red-Tailed family, Mama, Papa and Ivy on page 18 and page 19 of the Raptor
February 4: We were not able to search extensively for our hawk family today. Late in the afternoon, Mama was sitting on
an antenna on top of a tall apartment complex in the area. I have added some more recent images of a Cooper hawk and
our Red-Tailed family, Mama, Papa and Ivy on page 18 and page 19 of the Raptor Gallery.
February 5: We were not able to search for our hawk family today.
February 6: We were not able to search for our hawk family today. However, we did observe Blue Jays chasing a Cooper
hawk for most of the late morning into early afternoon.
February 7: Mama flew over and circled a number of times in the central section of her territory in the early afternoon.
Later in the afternoon Mama and Papa were together in the area they typically mate each season in their favorite tree.
Mama flew off a number of times to the area of last seasons nest returning shortly after to her favorite tree. Both Mama and
Papa were very relaxed today and there was not much activity. During the few hours I had observed them there was no
hunting or mating activity. The lighting was poor for photography during the time I was observing our hawk family. I will post
some new images later.
February 8-10: We were not able to search for our hawk family on these days. Hopefully the weather will be good
February 11: I spent two hours on this very chilly day with Mama & Papa. I spotted Papa in the NE section of his territory
from a good distance away mildly chasing another Red-Tailed hawk. It appeared that the other hawk was Ivy as she is still
around and frequents that section of her parents territory. Papa then returned to the area closer to my vantage point flying
low in a rapid stoop landing in one of Mama's favorite trees. Papa landed next to Mama on a sturdy branch high up in the
tree. They remained there for over an hour, Papa then moved to a neighboring tree for a while eventually returning to
Mama's tree landing just 10 feet below her. The two were very relaxed and soaking in the sunshine. There was no mating
during the time I observed them.
February 12-14: We were not able to search for our hawk family on these days.
February 15: Mama and Papa were soaring together in the central part of their territory at 3pm high in the sky. Papa
noticed something as he went into a stoop he disappeared from view behind a building. He didn't circle out, so I assume he
caught a meal. Mama continued to patrol the territory and disappeared from view toward the eastern section of their
territory. Later in the afternoon Mama was sitting on top of a very tall building near her nest and Papa was sitting on an
apartment building antenna to her East about 1500 feet away.
February 16: I found Mama sitting in an Oak tree taking in the sun and observing the general area around last seasons
nest. She flew off to the West and joined Papa soaring in the Western section of their territory for a while. They eventually
moved to the Eastern section together. About fifteen minutes later Papa returned and landed on an apartment building
antenna. He didn't stay there long, as he flew off he vocalized a number of times circling the area. Soon after Mama joined
him and landed on a different antenna. Papa then circled behind landing on Mama and they started to copulate. This was
the first time I have observed them copulating this season although I'm sure this was not the first time this has occurred
season. I was able to get some nice images of them today that I will post soon. Ivy was in the immediate area and watched
her parents starting a new family before flying off to the East.
February 17: On a brief search for our hawk family today I only found Papa. He was sitting on top of an apartment building
antenna. When I left him he had just moved to another antenna about 100 feet to the South. Please see the new images
taken over the last week that I have added to the raptor photo gallery on page 19 and page 20.
February 18-20: We weren't able to search for our hawk family on these days.
February 21: Mama and Papa continue to copulate. Both Mama and Papa took turns today working on their nest. We
didn't see them bring any new twigs, however, they were very busy rearranging the existing twigs in the nest. At one point
Mama delivered a new twig to a second new nest on the east side of the same building. Shortly after, she then visited last
seasons nest before continuing work on the new nest on the South side of the building. Please see the new images taken
over the last couple weeks that I have added to the raptor photo gallery on page 19 and page 20. I will be adding additional
images from today soon.
February 22: Due the snow storm we were not able to search for our hawk family today.
February 23: Mama continuing to work on her nest came to a nearby Cedar tree to remove a small Cedar branch for her
new nest. She made a quick selection, broke off the branch and returned to her nest. The weather was not the best for
photographing our hawk family today.
February 24: Mama and Papa spent the afternoon together today. Mama spent a good deal of time sitting in her nest
while Papa sat proudly nearby. Mama delivered some more twigs to her new nest. It appears that they are selecting the
nest on the South side of the building. A number of times both Mama and Papa flew off together soaring over their territory.
Later in the afternoon, we spotted Ivy flying about a half mile to the SE of the nest site. A cooper hawk was busy chasing
Pigeons in the central section of our hawk family's territory. Neither Mama or Papa seemed concerned with the Cooper
hawk being nearby. I hope to be posting new images from the past few days in the next day or two.
February 25: Mama and Papa continue to spend their time together and working on their nests. We didn't observe them
copulating today. At one point Papa landed on an apartment building antenna and was resting for about 10 minutes when
Mama joined him with a new branch for the nest. The two were located about 1,200 hundred feet East of the nest, it
appeared that Mama was showing Papa the new branch before delivering it to the nest. They stayed together for about five
minutes before Mama continued to the nest. Papa made two casual attempts to hunt in the late afternoon and came up
empty, the Pigeons however were very nervous and didn't rest while Papa moved about the area.
February 26: We were not able to search for our hawk family today.
February 27: We were not able to search for our hawk family today.
February 28: Mama was soaring over the general area of her nest today. On a number of occasions Mama delivered fresh
branches to her nest. The branches were harvested from the trees approximately 300 yards to the east of the nest. Later
in the afternoon Papa was sitting not far off to the SE of the nest taking in the afternoon sun on top of a local office building.
February 29: Today Mama and Papa spent most of their time a few hundred yards South of last seasons nest. Incredibly,
they are working on a third nest. The first time ever that we have observed Mama and Papa constructing a nest in a tree.
Located approximately 65 feet above the ground near the massive trunk and strong branches of a mature tree Mama
delivered pine branches adding to some existing materials previously delivered. Papa also brought additional materials
while we were watching. Mama spent some time in the nest before soaring high in the sky with Papa over their tree. It
almost appeared as if they were analysing how well protected this nest appears from above. None the less, it is amazing
that Mama and Papa are working on three nests this season. We will keep observing their behavior over the next couple
weeks to see what they decide. While we were observing all the activities, a Kestrel flew directly over the this new nest site,
Mama and Papa didn't pay any attention to the intruder. Very late in the afternoon Mama chased an intruding hawk out of
her territory. This hawk had a very tattered appearance. I am a bit behind in posting new images and hope to get them