Thursday, January 13, 2011

Expert Confirms: That Was A Red-Tailed Hawk On Carroll Street

photos above courtesy of Max Kelly

Some of you readers were wondering if the large raptor photographed on Carroll Street by Max Kelly and posted here yesterday was a Kestrel or a Red-Tailed Hawk. Dr.Robert DeCandido,PHD, an expert who is currently doing a survey on nesting kestrels in New York City, was kind enough to weigh in. He confirms that this is indeed a Red-Tailed Hawk.
Very cool. Thanks for the info, Dr. "Birding Bob" DeCandido.
"I am the kestrel survey guy (aka Robert DeCandido PhD of the Bronx) - anyway, that is a Red-tailed hawk, and yes they will catch pigeons, usually when the latter are on the ground. Kestrels (as someone indicated) are much smaller. (RTs are slightly larger than crows and kestrels are about the size of a blue jay or robin). Male kestrels have blue there is a plumage difference as well.

The other raptor that likes to eat pigeons, and is common in neighborhoods in winter is the Cooper's Hawk - mid-way in size between a Red-tail and a Kestrel...Cooper's Hawks are fast-moving and will catch pigeons in flight or on the ground, usually by surprise. Finally, Peregrine Falcons are aerial hunters, high above the city - use speed to "run" down pigeons in flight.

If anyone wants more info on these raptors in NYC, or the 11 species of owls that have occurred here (three species still nest), send me an email and I will send free info.

Finally, finally - I am indeed doing a survey of nesting kestrels in NYC - do email me for more info - free - and our free NYC Kestrel Newsletter.

Thanks - and when I grew up in the Bronx in the 1970s, we never saw Red-tailed hawks in local neighborhoods. Much has changed for the better..."

Robert Decandido PhD
The Bronx

Dr. "Birding Bob" DeCandido leads informative bird walks through Central Park each week. Check out his web site here.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you Robert!

Great info sharing

Anonymous said...

Somebody got a picture of a Red Tail hawk with eating a pigeon on Henry St.

Anonymous said...

Bob came thru! he rocks.