In February, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks began to build a nest in the window of a tenth-floor conference room in Yonkers, NY. Over the next four months, Jerry and Beverly—who work in that office—watched and documented the red-tails as they raised their chicks. Many thanks to Jerry and Beverly for agreeing to share their photos and videos, and thanks to James for passing them on to me!
One day, Dad brought Mom a rat and took over incubation for her after she flew away to eat. Here is Dad on the nest, calling:
The nestlings practiced using their growing wings:
And then… they left.
Three chicks grown and fledged is a great success for this pair. They’ll continue to feed their chicks for a while: learning to hunt as a raptor takes time, so the fledglings will be dependent on their parents for a time yet as they perfect their skills.
The hawks have left the nest, but Jerry reports that they still come by sometimes and (as you can see) have left fresh leaves in the nest. Red-tails may re-use nests in subsequent years, and part of refurbishing an old nest can be to add greenery to it, but it’s not clear why these hawks are adding greenery to the nest now—they’ve already had their one brood for the year. Eagerness for next year, maybe?