This page features the red-tailed visitors and residents we see in Central Park and around New York City who we don't think are Pale Male's offspring. Besides Woody Woody Duck, Prince of the Pond, I photograph red-tailed hawks more than any other animals I see in the parks of New York.
I have split the entries into two pages, this one and Red-Tailed Hawks 2, because it was taking so long to load all the photos. Note that there are separate pages for Pale Male and his family, Fred and Ginger (a pair on the west side of Central Park in the 70s and 80s), the Riverside Park hawks, the Grant’s Tomb hawks, the hawks nesting on the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and the Tompkins Square Park hawks.
While there are videos on this page, I'm trying to consolidate the red-tailed hawk videos into the Hawky New Year video page, which includes videos from 2017, the winter red-tails of 2018, and red-tailed hawks seen in 2019. You can binge watch red-tails!
This first-year red-tailed hawk was spotted on the ground near the Loch in Central Park on October 13, 2019, right after the bird caught a nice rat. After flying with the rat to a high squirrels’ nest to dine, the hawk flew down again to a lower branch near the water and posed for portraits.
Hunting Success at the Compost Heap
A first-year red-tailed hawk was hunting near the nursery south of the compost heap in Central Park on October 5, 12 and 13, 2019. On Oct. 5, the young bird caught and ate a rat (warning!, graphic rat-eating footage), then, while digesting on a branch, was visited by a curious squirrel (see at 2:40 in the video).
A YARTH (young adult red-tailed hawk) was perching at eye level on the Mall in Central Park on September 9, 2019. This was a very attractive small raptor, probably a male, that swooped down from the branch, grabbed a small rat, flew to another tree, dispatched the rat, and returned to the first tree to digest and look for more.
Baseball Fans in the North Meadow
After George Red-tailed Hawk lost his mate, Rose, to frounce, a young female hawk arrived to perhaps be his new mate. On July 10, 2019, George was perched on a baseball backstop when I arrived He flew to get a drink from a nearby puddle. The young female called, George flew back to the backstop, the female also flew to the backstop, then to the ground below, where George watched her for about 10 minutes before flying off. We hope this behavior means we have a new hawk couple. We are calling the female Gracie.
On June 23, 2019, we watched two red-tailed hawks who liked to perch on top of baseball backstops. First we saw George, a resident of the upper west side of Central Park who recently lost his mate to frounce, on the east side of the North Meadow. Then we got to watch a second, younger hawk on the west side of the meadow. That hawk also perched on a backstop to watch a game.
The Chasing the Hawks in Central Park video features George and the second, younger hawk in the North Meadow on June 23, 2019.
A Young Red-Tailed Hawk in the North Woods
This first-year red-tailed hawk was seen for an hour and a half on the evening of April 19, 2019, just south of the Loch in the North Woods of Central Park. The hawk basically sat, stretched, looked around, and looked around some more. No action, but I was able to get so close that there were some beautiful close-up shots. Just the “music” of the park and the birds objecting to the young hawk’s presence.
Dining on Governors Island
This adult red-tailed hawk was seen on Governors Island on October 7, 2018, guarding a squirrel on a nearby branch. The bird sat for a while (first photo), and later was seen eating part of the squirrel and then resting (second photo).
Young Visitors Hunt Up North in Central Park
Two first-year visiting hawks were seen hunting near the playground at 100th Street and near 96th Street on September 22 and 23, 2018.
More hawks for the Chasing the Hawks series, these from winter 2018 (see Hawk Fights, below, for additional photos and videos of the winter hawks from 2017).
The juvenile hawk we saw at Stateline Lookout on January 18 was quite striking in the sun.
The juvenile photographed on January 20 (Victoria, perhaps? see below) was quite photogenic.
This juvenile red-tailed hawk caught a pigeon near the Falconer statue on February 1, 2018, and ate it just north of Sheep Meadow. (I think this is Victoria, the hawk featured below as the victor in the Battle of Bethesda Fountain.
This juvenile red-tailed hawk did not seem happy sitting in the rain.
A visiting adult hawk hung out on February 18, 2018, just south of the Reservoir, in Pale Male's territory. The hawk managed to take in the sun without getting chased out for a couple of hours.
It's winter, and time for visiting juvenile red-tailed hawks in Central Park. In 2017/18, we've had several youngsters coming through, trying to establish themselves. Sometimes they fight with each other, or the resident adult hawks knock them off their branches and chase them out.
On Christmas Eve 2017, we were following a first-year hawk as he hunted and flew around the Bethesda Fountain area. We called him Stretch because he could really stretch his neck up to look around. While stretching that neck perched on a branch of a tree just west of Bethesda Fountain, he was smacked by another, larger first-year hawk. Thus was the first Battle of Bethesda Fountain. After the fight, Stretch flew south and the winning hawk surveyed her realm from a tree on the east side of the fountain. The following photos were pulled from the video, which you can see below.
The victorious young hawk we named Victoria, and we followed her that evening and for several days after. On Christmas Day, we followed Vicky around the Bandshell/Bethesda area. She was hunting, and her Christmas wish was granted in the afternoon: a squirrel dinner.
I put together another video, called Ho! Ho! Hawks!!!, which covers December 25, 27, 29 and 31. Most of the video shows little Victoria, and there is graphic footage of her eating a squirrel and a rat. I tried to cut it down a bit, but it is interesting to watch how she keeps looking around to protect her meal while eating on the ground (the squirrel was too heavy to fly to a tree). There is a brief look at Fred, the West Side adult red-tailed hawk that believes Bethesda Fountain is his territory, looking down before chasing the kid.
After New Year's Day, we saw Victoria on January 5 and 7. On the 7th, she was first near Strawberry Fields, where Ginger, Fred's red-tailed mate, was perched in a pine tree staring at her. The youngster flew east, but then flew to Cherry Hill, where Ginger chased her out. After more attempts to return, the youngster went after Ginger, and would probably have kept fighting if Fred hadn't swooped in and chased her off. Two kids fighting? Victoria wins. Victoria tag-teamed by two adult hawks? The adults, no question! Fortunately, I was able to film part of the battle.
March 26, 2017, was a fun day with two first-year red-tailed hawks around 100th Street in Central Park. The first hawk was eating pigeon in a tree. The second hawk chased squirrels for a while, flew to Central Park West to hunt pigeons among the cars, buses and trucks (and to perhaps apartment hunt a condo?), then returned to the park and finally caught a squirrel just west of the tennis court. The squirrel was too heavy to lift, so the youngster stood on it on the ground for a while, then ate about half, and then stood on the meal some more. After two and a half hours, the hawk was chased by an off-leash dog into a nearby tree, where more time was spent waiting for a chance to retrieve the meal.
The video, Separate Tables, was filmed in between screaming at people to keep away from the hawk or keep their dogs away and convincing other people that the hawk wasn't sick, but just trying to eat in peace.
These photos show the first hawk, with the pigeon.
Our second first-year kid is seen here at first in between trips down to the ground to chase squirrels, then on Central Park West looking for condos and pigeons, then back in the park with a squirrel on the ground. The final shot shows our youngster in a tree after being rushed by an off-leash dog.
We chased a first-winter red-tailed hawk for a couple of hours on March 1, as the youngster perched low on branches, chased squirrels and missed, caught some bark on the ground, flew all around the Ramble, then flew to a tree and grabbed a squirrel out of a hole. You can read about it in the blog, and see the video here and the photos below.
The hawk was definitely ready for lots and lots of closeups.
Hawky New Year!
Central Park has been providing food and temporary residence for a number of first-year and young-adult red-tailed hawks so far in 2017. The result: a new series in the Chasing the Hawks in Central Park grouping. The Hawky Near Year! series can be found in the Hawky New Year gallery. Two of the series are below, but check out the gallery!
These photos are from Jan. 1-10, 2017. The last photo is of a squirrel in the Ramble, who cried and cried from his hole in the tree because the hawks were overhead.
These photos are from Part 2: Jan. 11-12.
Photos from Jan. 13 and 14, with so much fun on the snow day!
The Jan. 15 video shows a first-year red-tailed hawk dining at Bow Bridge. The last three photos show a second red-tailed hawk in the Ramble on the same day.
This grouping has photos from Jan. 16 and 17, 2017. The first photo is of an adult red-tailed hawk, probably Ginger, at Strawberry Fields. The rest are of youngsters.
These photos were taken Jan. 18, 2017. The first two are of a young red-tailed hawk at Bethesda Fountain. The next photos are of a first-year hawk in the Ramble before and while dining on a squirrel.
These shots are from Part 8, which covers Jan. 23 through Jan. 26, 2017. The first shot below is of the adult red-tailed hawk, possibly Octavia, seen in the rain on Jan. 24. The other shots are of the "kids," on Jan. 23 through Jan. 26.
Part 9 covers Jan. 27 through 29, 2017. The photos of Pale Male are on the Pale Male page. These photos are of the first-year hawks that were hanging out throughout the park.
These photos are from Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, 2017, and are part of Part 10 of the Hawky New Year! series. Jan. 30 was a very sunny day; Jan. 31 was a delightful snowstorm.
Holidays With the Hawks
Christmas Day 2016 was a great day with a young first-year hawk. We chased the kid around the Ramble, before finding Octavia and Pale Male near the Met Museum. The video can be seen in the blog posting for Jan. 3, 2017. This gallery shows the kid.
More November Hawk Watching
Nov. 10 through 13, several red-tailed hawks graced us with their presence. There were two first-year hawks visiting, plus a young adult red-tailed hawk hanging out near the Bandshell. A number of our resident adult were flying high over the park. Lots of video opportunities and photo ops, too.
The first-year hawks. The first two shots are from the Mall; the rest are a first-year eating a squirrel (grabbed when a Cooper's hawk dropped it) near the Boathouse.
The young adult hawk seen on Nov. 12 and 13.
Those Bright Eyes Search for Rats
A young red-tailed hawk visited Bethesda Fountain on Oct. 26, and then Laupot Bridge Nov. 2. It was probably the same hawk you'll see in Two Youngsters at the Bandshell and A Young Visitor at Laupot Bridge, both below.
Photos from Oct. 26:
Photos from Nov. 2, 2016:
A Young Adult Red-Tailed Hawk Hunts Near the Bandshell
A squirrel was crying around 3:15 on Oct. 28, 2016, on the west path leading down to Bethesda Fountain. I had been looking for the two first-year red-tailed hawks we saw earlier that week, but despite the plaintive sounds from the squirrel, I couldn't find a hawk.
Around 5:15, we went in search of the kids again, and coming to the same tree, we found the squirrel a little lower, still very, very nervous. Going farther up the path, a red-tailed hawk, with a red tail, was spotted in a tree over Terrace Drive. The hawk took off for the tree on the west side of the balcony, and then flew down into the ivy after a rat.
Two Youngsters at the Bandshell
Oct. 23, 2016, we saw two first-year hawks, plus Sheep Meadow Mama and Octavia. The two kids looked very similar, and we wondered if they were siblings.
A Young Visitor at Laupot Bridge
On October 3, 2016, we spotted a juvenile red-tailed hawk just north of Laupot Bridge. It was a brief sighting, but I wanted to document the visitor. There's a short video and three photos.
More hawks can be seen on Red-Tailed Hawks 2, a continuation of this page.