April 21, 2010

Fruitless day of Hawkwatching in Queens

I visited several nests today hoping to see some RTH action, but was shutout. Bruce Yolton (www.urbanhawks.blogs.com) forwarded an email to me earlier in the week about the possibility of their being a new RTH nest on the Federal Building in Jamaica. I decided to got there first. I was in the area from around 8am to 10:30am but didn't see any hawks. I found the area where the nest is being constructed, and it appears to be in the early stages of construction. It's in one of the worst areas a nest could possibly be, with several major bus routes and LIRR tracks directly below it.

Next I headed west to visit the recently discovered Raven's nest. This is believed to be the first Raven's nest in NYC since the 1800's. The nest has become a popular topic amongst birdwatchers. Two members of a bird club from Long Island also visited the nest while I was there, and they mentioned it was a hot topic at their last meeting. It was discovered to be a Raven's nest by Hawk/bird watcher Jeffrey Kolbrunner. Jeff has been watching an RTH pair in the Kew Gardens area for 16 years and has an excellent website with great RTH pics and a 24/7 webcam of the hawk's nest. His RTH pair had 3 eggs hatch recently and you can watch the parents feed and raise them here.

Male (?) bringing food to the nest

Next I headed to Flushing Meadow Park to see if Bobby and Cathy had any eggs hatch yet. I stayed for nearly 2 hours but saw no activity. I'll have to try again Friday morning to see if any feeding behavior occurs. 

Next I visited the Citifield nest, which I believe has been abandoned. I've visited the Citifield area 5 times in the past two weeks, and haven't seen Sid or Nancy once. The RTH pair that had been the easiest to find has now disappeared. It doesn't appear they are using the nest and may have moved on. When they began to build the nest it was quiet in the area, but now with the Mets season in full swing, the area has become a lot more crowded with people, cars, and noise. The other possibility is that they were chased out of the area by one the Unisphere pair, whose territory overlaps with the Citifield pair. The two nests are less than 1/4 of a mile away from each other, so a conflict may have occurred. I have seen hawks flying over that general Grand Central Parkway area, but haven't been able to zero in on where they are perching. I'll search several areas to the Northwest of Citifield, but as of now it looks like another nest out for this season.

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