Central Park red-tailed hawk nest - February 21, 2012

Followers of my blog will know that because I work near Central Park, I've become very interested in the red-tailed hawk couple that occupies the southeastern area of the park. I see them nearly every time I get to visit the park around lunch time. 

These hawks often circle the sky above Grand Army Plaza and the Crown Building and other surrounding buildings in the Plaza area. One of the hawks in particular enjoys perching on the Plaza Hotel on the side overlooking Central Park. 

I've noticed lately that the hawks have been landing on the same section of the Crown Building. At times a hawk would land on the building with twigs in its talons. Word gets around in hawk circles. I heard through friends that other folks have witnessed these hawks bringing nesting material to the Crown Building as well. 

Since my company has office space overlooking the suspected nest, I investigated the scene today and took photos of where the hawks were seen landing. Sure enough, there is a nest being built on the side of one of Crown's gables.

The nest is on the base of the gable to the left of center porthole window:

The nest looks pretty rudimentary. With all the rain that could collect under the nest and the wind that may accost it, it's hard to imagine this nest could be a great home to eggs, a sitting hawk mother, and eventual baby hawks. I welcome any and all experienced raptor observers to give their two cents regarding this nest.

Photo I took of one of the hawks flying from the nest on February 17th below. You can see some of the twigs against the green background:

Picture of the top of the Crown Building for aesthetic purposes only:

I went to the park grounds in search of one of the hawks. I was about to leave the park empty-handed until I spotted a hawk in a tree near me:

Time Warner Center buildings in the distance:

The lighter coloring of the eyes seem to date the hawk as a younger adult. Perhaps the nest is thus the work of a less experienced hawk (that is, if this hawk is one building the nest). 

The hawk scanned the ground for prey:

The hawk landed on a section of The Plaza overlooking the park as is its routine:

I had to go back to work so left the hawk where it sat.