Photo of the Day: Majestic Bird on a Railing

A hawk stopped by Karen Luerssen’s porch at Lincoln Towers on Wednesday, and spent some time surveying the area, she said.

“This amazing hawk sat on the corner railing of my terrace for over an hour today waiting for prey. I live in 185 WEA, Lincoln Towers, and I’ve been in this apartment for over 25 years and have never seen a hawk on my railing. It was an incredible experience!”

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 31 comments | permalink
    1. UWS Dept. of Comment says:

      I dub thee “NYColeman Hawk-ins”

    2. EricaC says:


    3. jezbel says:

      Strange to find this post here today. This afternoon while walking on E. 49th Street just off 5th Ave, I came across an unconscious hawk, lying on it’s back in the middle of the sidewalk. Soon there were about 15 people who also stopped to observe the bird, see if it was breathing and try to help it in some way. It had flown into the glass of a store. The hawk was completely out cold but was breathing. We bundled it with a scarf someone bought from a vendor. Sat with it. Kept anyone from stepping on it. Called emergency services around town. And waited with it for 30 minutes till Audubon got there to bring it to in our neighborhood (87th & Columbus). A great NY moment where the lives of 15-20 people stopped to protect this beautiful animal in the heart of mid-town.
      Hopefully your pic might be of the recovered bird after being released. Trying to get his bearings.

    4. Christine E says:

      Eat, prey, love!

    5. Jasper says:

      It would be nice to think he might be one of Pale Male’s grandkids. 🙂

    6. Ye Olde Englishe Teachere says:

      “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is Southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” –Hamlet: Act 2 Scene 2 (sayeth Google).

      Some call Hamlet “the Melancholy Dane” while a few prefer-to-refer to him as The Great Dane (woof!).

      Thanx 4 letting us Watch the Birdy.

    7. We’ve got the young redtails all the time. There’s available food.. rats, mice, small birds. There’s even been a resident kestral.

    8. B.W. says:

      So beautiful! Great shot, Karen!

    9. Lisa says:

      Amazing! I would have loved that!

    10. Joy Weiner says:

      How fantastic, thank you for sharing this!

    11. phyllis howe says:

      You were blessed. S/he must have felt at home on your terrace. Good for you for patiently watching and appreciating him.

    12. Alan says:

      Are we sure that’s not a Peregrine Falcon?

      • Karen Luerssen says:

        Tail feathers not the same — this bird had red tail feathers. Plus a friend who knows birds confirmed it was a red-tailed hawk.
        — Karen

      • jezbel says:

        Peregrin is less than half the size of a mature redtail. Male redtails are a bit smaller than females, which are about 2 feet tall with a wingspan of 4 feet.

    13. Mireya says:

      Wow! You are so lucky to have had such a wonderful guest.

    14. Mireya says:

      Wow 😮. You must feel lucky to have had an awesome guest just drop in from the blue.

    15. BillyNYC says:

      Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos of this guy! I have been seeing more and more Hawks in this general area and overwhelms me how they are part of our every day life here on the Upper West Side.

    16. Caroline Jules says:

      Terrific photos!!

    17. UpperWestSider says:


    18. Cintra says:

      That’s nice of the hawk to drop by. It obviously felt comfortable at your place.
      20 years ago in April, there was a pigeon who laid 2 eggs on my window patio, which had a lot of empty large flowerpots. The eggs eventually hatched & the birds grew up & eventually flew off.

    19. Laurel Gilbride says:

      I live in 185 West End and haven’t, to date, had such a great visitor. I’m jealous.

    20. Norma says:

      Nice photos! In all likelihood, the hawk thought your balcony was a nice place to rest. I used to live upstate, and would often see hawks resting on tree branches or some hardscapping. When birds of prey go after something, they do so from high up above (eyes of a hawk) to get speed. I once witnessed a squirrel taunting a hawk in Central Park on the lower branches of a tree. I watched and worried, but the hawk just hung out.

    21. Wendy says:

      There may be a club/group about raptors in Mirebeau, F-86110, France ; La France profonde ! I’ve looked at 2 or 3 books in the English language @ raptor. Don’t remember receipts @ raptors, inc. their Eggs. How’re raptors chez the Bronx Zoo ? Pity, the small Cage for that Eagle, decades ago.

    22. Ronnie says:

      Me, too. But in Madison, WI. One whole hour. Grooming, mostly. A treat!

    23. Joey says:

      Great for rat & pigeon control

    24. Diana M. says:

      There is a large woven wreath (almost 3 ft. in diameter) for sale at Michael’s. If you put this on your terrace, if the red-tailed hawk is part of a couple they would start building a nest now, lay some eggs and raise a brood in the nest. There is such a nest outside the President’s office at NYU in Washington Square and a website that follows them (Don’t remember exact website name)

    25. Rita says:

      Great photo of a majestic bird! Maybe he will return for a second visit.

    26. Andrea says:

      What a pleasure to see these photos. Many thanks for taking time to share with us.

      BTW, if a hawk did make a nest on your balcony, you would not be able to use it (see story about this in early edition of this paper). You would become a threat to the eggs/young, and the hawks would attack you when you opened your door to come out.

    27. Toni Burbank says:

      Thrilling bird, gorgeous photos! Thank you.

    28. Helen S. says:

      He or she visited me a week before and stayed on a perch at my window on the 16th floor for about 20 minutes. I was able to get quite close. It was an amazing experience.