Hawk Family Values

I've spent some time this spring with two pairs of hawks that have been sitting on eggs — Pale Male and Octavia in Central Park, whose nest is on Fifth Avenue, and Christo and Dora, the Tompkins Square Park pair who have nested this year above the park bathrooms.

  Pale Male, the Ramble, March 19

Pale Male, the Ramble, March 19

I put together Chasing the Hawks: Uptown Nest, Downtown Nest to celebrate these two sets of raptor parents from March 10 through April 18. It appears that both nests have now had hatchings. Pale Male has been handing out cigars for the past week.

On March 19, a first-year red-tailed hawk was hanging out near the Boathouse in Central Park, within view of the Fifth Avenue nest. Pale Male didn't seem all that perturbed until the youngster flew closer to him, at which point Pale Male let the kid know who ruled that neighborhood.

  First-year red-tailed hawk, the Ramble, March 19

First-year red-tailed hawk, the Ramble, March 19

  Pale Male, the Ramble, March 19

Pale Male, the Ramble, March 19

  Pale Male, March 19

Pale Male, March 19

  Pale Male, March 19

Pale Male, March 19

I visited the Tompkins Square hawks the afternoon of April 10. We saw both Dora and Christo on the nest, and the switchout when Dora returned to take over from Christo on the eggs. When we left the park as it was getting dark, Christo was perched on a tree eating a bird he had stored there at some earlier point.

  Dora taking over at the Tompkins Square Park nest, April 10

Dora taking over at the Tompkins Square Park nest, April 10

  Christo near the nest, Tompkins Square Park, April 10

Christo near the nest, Tompkins Square Park, April 10

Pale Male was high on a treetop on Cedar Hill on April 14. He was standing regally on a pigeon for a while, ate part of it, then took the remainder to the nest. Octavia flew out with the remaining dinner to Cedar Hill, where she ate it on top of another tree.

  Pale Male on Cedar Hill, April 14

Pale Male on Cedar Hill, April 14

  Pale on Cedar Hill, eating pigeon, April 14

Pale on Cedar Hill, eating pigeon, April 14

  Pale Male on Cedar Hill, April 14

Pale Male on Cedar Hill, April 14

  Octavia on Cedar Hill, April 14

Octavia on Cedar Hill, April 14

Two little white heads have been seen the Fifth Avenue nest, and it will be so exciting to watch the newest of Pale Male and Octavia's kids grow and fledge and learn to hunt this summer.