A Tale of Four Redtail Hawks in NYC [VIDEO]

Further proof that nature thrives even in the urban jungle: Two hawks, Violet and Bobby, have built a nest right outside the office of John E. Sexton, the president of New York University just overlooking Washington Square.

(Yes, these hawks know the way to get some prime Manhattan real estate, at a fraction of the usual cost.)

As the New York Times City Room blog notes, you can watch a live web cam of Violet and Bobby (who, of course, have their own Twitter feed, @NYURedtailHawks—can’t let a mere Egyptian cobra/asp out-tweet two hawks.)

While we’re on the subject of redtail hawks in the Big Apple, the New York Times also provides an update about Pale Male, the redtail hawk who, a few years ago, gained a certain fame (and a book) along with his mate, Lola. The two built a nest on the side of a Fifth Avenue apartment building (a 12th-floor ledge at 927 Fifth Avenue, at 74th Street, to be exact) and became favorites with local bird watchers. But in 2004, the nest was removed — not everyone was thrilled at the bird droppings and animal remains that fell out of it — to great public, indeed national, outcry. Pale Male and Lola were allowed to stay.

But alas, now it’s only Pale Male living in the Fifth Avenue digs nest he shared with Lola from 2002 to 2010. She has been missing since the winter after, as New York magazine notes, “dying somewhere.”

Actually, Pale Male has not been the ‘only’ bird in the nest. He’s apparently been ‘mate-swapping,’ with a small bevy of females (Ginger, Pale Beauty/Paula, Lima) taking up with him. Birdwatchers are on the lookout to see if there are any eggs up there on the 12th floor.

Now, though, they can also turn their attention down to lower Manhattan where Violet and Bobby roost. As you can see in the video below, the pair have three eggs.



Photo of Pale Male and Lola taken in 2004 by zenera


Tammy McKee
Tammy McKee5 years ago

I'm glad the birds have a home and are expecting. Hopefully, they chicks will grow up healthy.

Chris P.
Chris P.5 years ago

Most hawks build nests in a mountain cliff face. Amazing that they wish to live in cities. Good luck to them.

John Doe
james rico5 years ago

i feed squerrels all year and every year in november i see hawks they stay for the winter and leave in mid march here in n.jersey the squerrels are smart and only come out in early morning or late evening. .these hawks are brown with white specks in them and long yellow legs they allways catch a few feral pigeons which they eat i threw a small peice of apple for a squerrel to eat lucky for him it landed near his hole on the roof. nest store when a hawk swooped down and tried to get him with those long yellow legs if that was a nut it would have gone out too far and he would be dead so i only feed early or late now

Kelly Stephens
Kelly Stephens5 years ago

thanks for sharing

.5 years ago

As youngsters we used to trap Kestrals ans Red Tails and make pets out of them. There are so many hawks out here in So Cal, it amazes me we have any reptiles or smaller mammals at all. I've watched a redtail from my office dive down and pick up snakes right across the street, Facsinating to watch. Friday while waiting at a stop light I watched a Redtail grab a squirrel who looked to be trying to make up it's mind on wether it was going to run across the street or not. His decision was made by the hawk.I have to believe with all the raptors we have around here that our enviorment is in pretty good shape. Locally we have a number of Osprey, Cooper,Redtails, Red shoulder, a few Bald eagles (Big Bear area) many Golden Eagles, numerous vultures, Many Kestrals, and a few Kites. All you have to do is look up and you'll see them.

Karren Exley
Karren Exley5 years ago

when there habitsdestroyed what do we expect them to do most of the time they move into urban areas because they've lost a food supply where urban areas have a large number of mice or smaller birds the main problem is pesticides used on field thats what kills there natural food supply

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago

Its nice to watch Hawks and other birds. I feed birds outside my house and every winter watch as Falcon's come and feed off the smaller birds. It's sad in one way and natural in another. Last year i was able to watch Turkey Buzzards grow up about a block from my home in an innercity field. they have a way of cleaning the streets.

Harry Zeit
Harry Z.5 years ago

We have a local smaller hawk in our neighbourhood in suburban Toronto - not sure if it is a Cooper's or a Sharp-shinned hawk. It doesn't seem to have a mate. It's always a happy note when it flies by while I'm walking our dog.

Donna H.
Donna Hanneken5 years ago

There's no place for animals to live, we are taking over where they should live, too bad they had to remove the previous next because of bad neighbors. So sorry for the birds, too bad for the humans.

Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi5 years ago

Thanks for the article at the same time feel sorry for these birds because we keep cutting down trees and forest these bird have take refuge in city buildings