Plaza Male still mating with Pale Male's Octavia - March 20th & 21st, 2013

This post contains photos I took over the last two days so prepare for an image-heavy account.

I saw the Plaza Male and Octavia (Pale Male's mate) mating yesterday and today. I had assumed that since she was laying and incubating Pale Male's egg(s?), that her time copulating with the Plaza Male was over but that is not the case.

March 20th, 2013:

The first Red-tailed Hawk I saw was the Plaza Male carrying a twig while circling and soaring over Central Park's Grand Army Plaza:



Unfortunately I didn't get to see where he took the twig. It looked as though he dropped it off on any of the number of buildings at or east of Fifth Avenue.

I next saw him as he landed on his favorite Sherry-Netherland Hotel perch:



He took to flying around again:



Past the GM Building:


Past the Pierre Hotel:


Flying past the other side of the Pierre:


I watched as he then flew in one straight drop to Octavia who was sitting on the left-side rooftop feature of one of their favorite building perches (located at 825 Fifth Avenue):


She was facing him as he arrived:


He quickly mated with her then flew toward the west:



I rushed up the avenue to her building to see what she may do next. She was pretty relaxed for minutes (preening occasionally). Octavia then flew off her perch and headed northwest. 

Take note of the visible black dot on a tail feather to her left (a hallmark feature of Octavia's). These dots are helpful in identifying her (especially in later photos in this post when she is seen mating with the Plaza Male again and then entering her and Pale Male's nest):


I visited Grand Army Plaza after work to see if I could spot some more Hawk action.

The Plaza Male was on his Sherry-Netherland perch:






He dropped down like a bullet to trees on the western side of the park (a regular area for his drops from the Sherry-Netherland):



He reappeared several minutes later, flying in to land on a Pierre Hotel perch:




He next flew past the Sherry-Netherland and dropped down and tried to snatch a pigeon which was flying above Bergdorf Goodman Department Store:


Crown Building topper to the right:


He missed his prey so he soared around some more.

Flying past Solow Building (9 West 57th Street):


Solow in the background, Plaza Hotel on the right:




He landed on a few more perches (including Bergdorf Goodman, Plaza Hotel) before he disappeared while landing on a perch on the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (the boy knows his real estate!).

March 21st, 2013:

A cloudier (and lightly snowy at times) time during my outing today.

The Plaza Male was carrying a twig around again:


He flew into a tucked-away, east-facing spot on the Plaza Hotel with the twig: 




I guess it wasn't a good spot because he flew out with it still in tow:


He transferred the twig to his beak:


Flying into another east-facing spot:


He left the twig there. It was the same spot I saw him with a twig at on March 4th, 2013.

After he left the tucked-in spot he flew along the eastern then northern side of the Plaza where he spotted Octavia sitting:




She did not welcome his advance this time and shoved him off of her:



One of her visible tail feather dots (her left, our right):


The momentum forced both Hawks into the air.


The Plaza Male flew away while she landed on a Plaza perch close to where his nest had previously begun to take shape (but there isn't a decent nest there anymore).

He flew down to attempt to mate with her again:



Both of her more prominent tail feather dots in the photo below (larger dot on our right, smaller one to our left):


Better view of the smaller dot:


He was having some difficulty getting situated:


She accommodated him by moving her tail feathers to the side:



She moved perhaps to peck at him:





She watched him fly away:


I thought at first that she might have been in distress but she immediately began to relax and preen:


I thought perhaps he had taken her against her will but I figure she had the time to fly away from him as he descended to her (on both days). Or perhaps she did not move away from him when he arrived because she is so familiar with him and expected him only to perch next to her. In retrospect I have to say I think she was trying to fight him off soon after he mounted her.

A third Hawk appeared, soaring over the park's pond. It was distinguishable by its right-handed damaged wing feather:



I was disappointed I couldn't get a better shot of it but it was flying higher than The Plaza Male and Octavia (who both circled the sky with it).

Octavia joining in:


I lost sight of the Hawks as they scattered and flew north, west, and east.

Last shot of the damage-feathered Hawk:


The Plaza Male returned to the Sherry-Netherland:




I was on my way to Pale Male's nest for a visit when I spotted Octavia heading back toward Grand Army Plaza:



She was flying over Fifth Avenue and around 64th/65th Street when I captured the above image. I remember that rather well because I was a few blocks north of Grand Army Plaza and walking on 5th Ave toward Pale Male's nest. She was flying from the direction of the nest (maybe during a swooping flyby around the nest, not directly from it).

Flying past the Pierre, heading south:


Three Hawks were flying together again (presumably Octavia, the Plaza Male, and the damaged feather Hawk).

Three birds in this shot. Going clockwise, you see the highest one through the upper tree branches, one seen in the break between branches, and the other to the right of the street lamp. I don't know what they were up to but I am pretty sure I saw one of the Hawks hit another (perhaps being territorial).


I rushed to Pale Male's nest. Since Octavia was further south and cavorting with the other Hawks, I had a few minutes to spare and see if Pale Male was around. 

The nest:


I couldn't tell if he was in the nest due to my view. Octavia flew toward the nest before I had the chance to get into a better location to look for him.

She flew toward the nest fifteen minutes after I arrived:


A better view of her two more prominent tail feather dots:




I realized I had lost track of time so I rushed back to work before getting the chance to look for Pale Male.