The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Where To Watch for Baby Hawks on the Upper East and West Sides

By Emily Frost | March 30, 2016 6:14pm
 Local hawks are either mating, nesting or getting ready to tend to chicks, the Parks Department said. 
Hawk-Breeding Season
View Full Caption

A hawk parent spotted sitting on a nest in Riverside Park, near West 116th Street.

UPPER WEST SIDE — While you're admiring the daffodils and blossoming trees, there's another telltale sign of spring to keep an eye on: baby hawks. 

It's officially breeding season for New York City's hawks, according to the Parks Department, and bird-watchers can hardly wait.

"I am very anxious to see the babies, exciting time of the year," wrote one fan on Instagram. 

The hawks that live in Riverside Park, Central Park and Morningside Park started mating in February and laid eggs in early to mid-March, Parks Department officials said. 

The red-tailed hawks that frequent these parks, including the famous Pale Male and his current mate, Octavia, are monogamous and build nests from twigs and other natural material on high perches. 

The hawk parents then incubate the eggs for about 30 days — which means keeping a lookout for the first baby hawks in the next couple of weeks, the Parks Department said. 

After they're born, hatchlings are fed by their parents in the nest for about a month-and-a-half and spend the next three to four weeks learning to fly, department officials said. 

When the juvenile hawks are 1 1/2 to 2 months old, they can catch their own food, and they become fully independent at about 4 months, officials said.

The Parks Department confirmed that there are nests with eggs at the following locations:

► Riverside Park at 116th St., near Riverside Drive. 

► Around Grant's Tomb in Riverside Park, off West 123rd Street, on a platform attached to a light post. 

► Around the Sheep Meadow in Central Park, north of the 65th Street transverse.

► On a residential building window ledge on Fifth Avenue at East 72nd Street. 

Fans also note that they've seen a hawk nesting on a ledge on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Amsterdam Avenue at West 112th Street.

Avid birder Lincoln Karim, who documented the legendary hawk's comings and goings on his site PaleMale.com, noted that he and his mate Octavia began sitting on their Fifth Avenue and East 72nd Street nest on March 9. 

Another bird-watcher caught some nest-building in action at that site in early March.

Pal Male's mate, Octavia, was spotted coming and going from her nest. 

A hawk parent was also spotted sitting on a nest in Riverside Park, near West 116th Street:

And another was seen at the top of a metal post in Riverside Park near Grant's Tomb, off West 123rd Street. 

"We ask that interested New Yorkers follow proper birding etiquette: please don't get too close to the nests, enjoy them from a distance with binoculars, and check out the Parks website, NYC.gov/parks, for Urban Park Ranger led birding programs to learn more about hawks in NYC," a Parks Department spokeswoman said.  

Subscribe to the Upper West Side podcast:


Subscribe to DNAinfo's Upper West Side podcast: