2007 Red-Tailed Hawk News
Archive April 1, 2007 - April 30, 2007
April 1. Papa spent most of the day protecting his territory and stayed very close to the nesting area. He
flew over Mama a few times today as she sat on the nest to make sure all was well. Papa escorted a
Cooper hawk away from the immediate area and kept a close eye that it did not return. Once again the
process of escorting intruder hawks out of their territory typically does not turn into a direct engagement
or battle. Papa had a meal late in the afternoon and once finished he went out to hunt for Mama's meal.
April 2. We did not search for our hawk family today
April 3. Mama was patiently sitting on her nest this afternoon. We did not see Papa today.
April 4. Mama was flying low over the general area of her favorite sleeping spot today, she was looking for
a meal. We did not make it to the nest location and did not see Papa today, although he was most likely
sitting on the nest.
April 5. Papa spent the morning flying over the central portion of his territory.
April 6-8. We did not search for our hawk family today
April 9. Mama was sitting on the nest today, Papa was not in the area at the time we observed Mama.
April 10. Today was a very exciting day, we were able to confirm that Mama and Papa have produced
three eggs this season. The eggs are in the center of the nest and placed next to each other side to side
forming perfectly straight line. A couple of months ago we brought this nest to the attention of the NYC
Audubon Society. Working closely with their Program Director, Yigal Gelb we have obtained permission to
place a high quality color webcam near the nest so we can all watch the nesting behavior of the Red-Tail
Hawk family we have come to know as Mama and Papa. This afternoon we completed the installation of
the webcam. We must thank the wonderful people that we have spoken to and worked with at the nest
location to allow us to place this equipment at their facility for us all to learn and enjoy these incredible
April 11. Mama continues to sit on the nest. Papa joined her this morning, when he arrived Mama stood
up and they both checked the nest. After a few minutes papa flew off and Mama settled back into the nest.
April 12. Mama was rain soaked by the weather today as she kept her eggs warm and dry. Papa relieved
her multiple times throughout the day. On one occasion Mama took the non edible remnants of her earlier
meal, a pigeon, out of and away from the nest to keep it clean. Hawks do not leave food in the nest for
very long and dump remnants far from the nest so as not to attract predators and primarily to keep the
April 13. We have been observing Mama very closely the last couple days. She was sleeping Wed
evening 4/12 around 9PM when she abruptly woke up and moved around looking into the nest and
moving something around with her beak. I thought at that moment an egg may have hatched. Today at
7:50PM we witnessed Mama tearing small bits food from her meal and feeding it into the nest. This was
my first behavioral confirmation that Mama must have at least one egg that has hatched. I witnessed this
behavior again late last night. Papa made a number of visits to the nest today to check on Mama but we
did not see him swap with her while we were observing.
April 14. BIG NEWS at least one egg appears to have hatched as Mama continues to sit on the nest
(Please read entry for 4/13 as well). Today around 3:15PM she once again provided small bits of her
meal into the back section of the nest. It clearly indicates that there is at least one egg that has hatched.
We will continue keep an eye on this. I have received some e-mails that Mama has been restless the last
couple days, even late at night, some suggested the bright light might be bothering her. I believe the
restless behavior is from the eggs hatching, she is keeping the young warm under her body. Now that
there are some youngsters in the nest it is not as easy for her to settle in, she needs to be comfortable
and she needs to keep her young comfortable and protected. The youngsters are moving around under
her a bit where the eggs were static and easy for her to settle down while she kept them warm. So she is
now appearing to be more restless to us observing her. Later this afternoon Mama provided food to her
young. Judging from the speed she provided the food and the angle of her head each feeding it appears
that their must be at least two young that have hatched.
April 15. Mama endured a steady soaking rain today, about 4 inches fell to this point, it let up a bit after
3PM. Mama took the opportunity to shake off a number of times, she also used the opportunity to feed
her young. In the early evening at 7:09PM Papa brought a mouse to Mama, from his beak to hers he
gave her the mouse. Mama placed the mouse close to her side, she did not eat the mouse as I'm sure
she is saving it to feed her young later tonight. The heavy soaking rain started again around 10PM and
continues to fall at this time, Mama patiently sits and keeps her young warm and dry.
April 16. Mama still rain soaked today finally started to dry off in the late afternoon. She fed her young a
couple times in the afternoon that I had observed. Papa delivered a pigeon to Mama today around
3:15PM and this time she immediately started to feed their young. A few minutes later she ate some
herself and then settled back down to keep her young warm on this chilly day. Papa stayed less than a
minute and took off. Mama fed her young again at 5:40PM from the meal that Papa delivered earlier in
the day. Mama appears to be getting some rest this evening since the weather has improved.
April 17. Mama finally had a chance to dry off a bit today. She fed her young this late this afternoon and
early evening. My observations today were limited in time, during the time I watched I did not see Papa
come to the nest. Mama did have food, so I assume he made his usual visits to the nest.
April 18. Mama fed her young this afternoon while I was observing just before 2pm and around 4:15pm
when Papa visited the nest. She seems to be feeding her young every 2 or so hours. Papa did not bring
additional food on this trip, Mama had a meal in the nest from a prior visit that she shared with her young.
Papa stayed about two minutes and left. Mama for the first time that I have observed since the eggs have
hatched left the nest unattended for three minutes today from 4:27pm to 4:30pm. During this time I had
noticed through the twigs what appeared to be a tiny head moving left to right. Over the next week or so
we should be able to see the youngsters heads clearing the twig line of the nest. This evening Mama has
been getting some rest. I was not online to be able to see any additional feedings this evening.
April 19. Today turned out to be a busy and very special day at the nest. Mama continued her routine
feeding schedule and Papa made a number of visits to the nest supplying food. It appeared that Mama
was feeding a rat to her family today. At the 3:45pm feeding it was easy to see her youngsters moving
around. Occasionally their tiny heads just cleared the twig line of the nest as they reached for food. At
5:43PM Mama removed inedible remnants of a prior meal, the nest was unattended for twelve minutes
she returned at 5:55PM to settle back with her family. It has been my experience with this pair of hawks
when the nest is unattended one of the parents is always close guarding the nest. Soon the young will be
visible regularly. Mama was resting comfortably this evening, although at 12:15AM she is awake and
April 20. Mama is feeding her family more frequently, it seems almost every hour she provides food. The
duration of the feedings is also increasing. Mama has been leaving the nest unattended more often and
Papa is visiting more frequently. Yesterday, I managed to get the first photograph of a little white
fuzzy RTH head sticking up from the nest. Today I was able to get more photographs of one of the
youngsters. Please see page 4 of the Hawkcam photo highlights page. Near the bottom of page 4 the
first photograph of two little white fuzzy RTH heads. You can clearly see the head, eyes and beak
on a number of the images. We are still hoping to capture all three little ones in a single photograph.
April 21. Activity at the nest is increasing. The feedings continue to be about every hour. Just before noon
today Mama was feeding her young for about ten minutes with food that was already in the nest. Then
she flew off for about twenty minutes. Papa came a few times to visit and sit with his family, at one visit he
sat for five minutes. Then he left to collect a new twig for the nest and placed it at the side edge of the
nest. Mama returned and started to rearrange some twigs on the nest also working the outside edges. I
have also noticed when feeding her young most of the time she provides the food to their beaks and
sometimes she drops bits of food into the nest just above their heads. I did not see any new food
delivered to the nest during the times the parents left the nest that I had observed from 11:30AM to 4PM.
A number of time I observed very clearly two young heads, I am still waiting for visual confirmation that all
three eggs hatched. Once I thought I had seen three little heads, another day or so will help as they get
April 22. Mama fed her young today at 11AM once completed she left the nest for about ten minutes and
Papa visited in between. Around 1:10PM Mama rearranged some food from a prior delivery, it looked like
a rat and a mouse. At 1:45PM Mama removed the mouse from the nest and she stayed out for another 10
minutes, Papa once again visited during her absence. Mama left again for another fly at 2PM, I'm sure
there was a feeding shortly after she returned when I was not online. At 4:15PM another feeding followed
by another break from the nest. At 5:10PM both parents were off the nest for over 35 minutes, Papa
returned first for a few minutes then Mama also appeared. They checked their family and flew off once
again. It appears that Mama is the only one currently feeding the young. Papa visits many times and
provides food to the nest, however, I have not observed him feeding the young. One of the youngsters is
getting very strong as it can stand up for brief moments and get its head fully above the twig line of the
April 23. Papa visited the nest today around 1:35PM, he checked the nest briefly and left, he came back a
few minutes later with a new twig for the nest. Papa placed the twig and rearranged a few others before
leaving again. Papa returns to the nest at 2:30 and for the first time appears to be feeding the two
youngsters. Mama joins Papa in the nest at 2:35, Papa leaves the nest and Mama a few moments later
removes inedible food from the nest. Feeding and activity at the nest seemed less frequent today as it
was one of the first warmer days we had of late. The many times I checked, Mama was sitting and not
moving around very much.
April 24. Today Pap delivered fresh food at 1:45PM. Mama fed her family for nearly 20 minutes. Shortly
after 2PM Papa returns with another twig for the nest. Both Mama and Papa enjoyed some time away
from the nest today. At 5:45 Papa visits the nest, shortly after Mama joins him. Papa did not stay long and
Mama moved a pigeon to the outside of the nest and started to eat. Ten minutes later Mama feeds her
young for the nest 20 minutes. It seems the last two days the frequency of feedings is getting further
apart and the duration of the feedings is getting longer.
April 25. Mama fed her young for 25 minutes around 11AM and then took a break by noon. At 12:45PM
Mama was sitting in a tree about 300 yards East of the nest. Her vantage point allowed her to see directly
across to the nest, if needed she would be at the nest in less than 15 seconds. 4:50PM Mama was
feeding the youngsters again. I was not able to check the nest from 6PM through 11PM. Mama is sitting
over her young protecting them from the rain and cooler weather late tonight. It seems apparent the last
couple days that the third egg either did not hatch or the baby did not survive. We do have two very
strong youngsters in the nest that are getting bigger quickly. There are new photographs posted of Mama
feeding her family some of the images on photo highlights page 6 show Mama placing food into their
beaks and some show how large the little ones can open their beaks already.
April 26. After feeding her young today at 11:40AM Mama removed an inedible half of a pigeon from the
nest. Papa delivered and placed some fresh bark in the nest around 1PM. Mama fed her young at 2PM
and removed the remaining half of the pigeon from the nest. Mama took a break from the nest a few times
today. She took a longer break around 5:00, when she returned she fed her family again at 5:45 for 25
minutes. At 6:15 she took another break from the nest for a short time. At 7:40 Mama completed another
feeding when Papa appeared delivering a mouse to the nest for the night, he stayed for only a minute
and left probably to his evening sleeping spot. Photo highlights taken today have been posted on Page 6.
April 27. Noon today Mama was rain soaked from keeping her family dry all night and morning. I had
checked in on her late last night during the steady rain, Mama used her wings like an umbrella to protect
her youngsters. The rain stopped after noon, Mama took a break from the nest around 12:40PM she
returned at 1:40 to feed her family. Shortly after this feeding she left once again. Mama returned for
another feeding at 2:10 lasting 15 minutes, she left the nest again after this feeding. I was not able to
observe the nest for the rest of the afternoon. Mama seems to be getting some good rest this evening.
April 28. Late this morning Mama left the nest and the youngsters were very active as they flapped their
wings and moved about the nest. Papa delivered fresh pine branches, checked on his family and stayed
for about 5 minutes at noon. The nest remained unattended until 1PM when Mama fed the youngsters for
20 minutes. Mama left the nest at 1:45 and returned shortly after with a fresh branch and stayed for the
next 20 minutes. During this time Papa returned again with another fresh branch for Mama and he left
less than a minute later. At 2:30 Mama fed her young and herself. I went out to see our hawk family.
Mama was on top of a very tall building and Papa was out further East hunting. Mama stayed near and at
the nest. The nest was unattended again from 7:15 until 7:45 when Mama settled in for the evening and is
currently sleeping at 11:45. I have posted some images of one of the youngsters flapping its wings and
providing a good view of its current size on page 7 of the photo highlights pages. To see additional high
resolution photographs of our hawk family and their previous offspring please visit the photo gallery
contents and click on the Raptor thumbnail or page links to view the photographs. I want to thank
everyone that has emailed me or posted their thoughts in my guestbook for their wonderful comments on
the Hawkcam and my website. I will try to respond to everyone as quickly as I can.
April 29. At Noon today the nest was left unattended, I'm sure one of the parents was nearby as usual.
During this time my wife had seen a sea gull flying overhead carrying something white and being chased
by Papa. He was very vocal and chasing the sea gull a good distance from the nest. We were concerned
about the youngsters, thankfully Papa returned to the nest at 12:30pm after pursuing the sea gull to
check on his family and we confirmed at that time the youngsters were fine. Ten minutes later Mama
returned to the nest to feed her young. Papa returned to the nest around 2:45 and Mama followed shortly
after. Mama delivered more nest material and rearranged the nest, building up the side section. She left
at 3pm taking some inedible part of a prior meal with her. At 3:45 Mama fed her family once again. We
went to look for Mama and Papa around 6pm and Mama was keeping a watchful eye on her nest from
above as she sat on top of the building about ten yards away. We did not see Papa. At 7:15 Mama once
again fed her young and settled into the nest for the evening. New photos taken today of the youngsters
have been added to page 7.
April 30. Mama and Papa spent a great deal of time today on the nest with their youngsters between
11AM and 3pm. Neither parent left the nest unattended during this time, if they were both away one
returned quickly. This is a change in behavior over the past weeks when the parents stayed near the nest
but not on the nest for greater periods of time. There were many gulls around the area today or maybe
something else made them stay on the nest. Papa at one point stayed over 40 minutes on the nest, the
past week he typically visited often for five minutes or less. Mama fed her family at 1:30, 3:30, 4:30, 6:30
during my observations. New photos have been added to page 7.