Hunting Tompkins Square Park Hawk, WSP drone - November 27th, 2015

I was walking about the Lower East Side of Manhattan this morning when I spotted one of the Tompkins Square Park Hawks hunting pigeons. I followed it as it flew around the few blocks near Katz's Deli.

It landed on an apartment building between 1st Avenue and Avenue A:

I'm pretty sure it was Dora since she was a darker Hawk. Her mate Christo is much paler in color.

Dora's building was directly across the street from Katz's.

Her corner was under the word "Yoga" (center of image) and you can see Katz's at the bottom of the screenshot below:

Looking south toward Katz's:

She flew off and circled lower to the ground after 10 minutes:

She made her way closer to Tompkins Square Park, disappearing from my view.


I reached Washington Square Park about 15 minutes later. 

One of the Paris terror attacks memorials was updated:

A man was flying a drone in the park, which is prohibited by the Parks Department:

A copy of the rule is linked to here.
§1-04 Prohibited Uses

e. Aviation

No person shall voluntarily bring, land or cause to alight within or upon any park, any airplane, balloon, parachute, hang glider, or other aerial device, except that certain areas may be designated appropriate landing places for medical evacuation helicopters. For the purposes of this subdivision (e), voluntarily shall mean anything other than a forced landing caused by mechanical or structural failure of the aircraft or other aerial device.


I had considered approaching him to let him know drone-flying was not allowed (and that Hawks are around and could get hurt by the blades) but I had approached someone with the same info several weeks ago and the person summarily dismissed me and said something like, 'I'm just testing it out'. So I found a Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officer who spoke to and made the person comply. 

Hawks have been known to attack drones and could get very hurt. The president of the Brooklyn Bird Club watched the resident Prospect Park Hawks fly in fight position around a drone on November 18th. Luckily the drone was landed before the Hawks could get hurt. 

I went to the park's office next to the bathrooms to look for the PEP officers but there were none there. Park workers near the office told me they didn't know where PEP were and that I should go look for them. I did look for them further around the park but did not see them anywhere so I called the Central Command PEP number for assistance. They took my report and said they'd dispatch PEP but the drone flyer left the park 20 minutes later (before PEP could arrive).

If you are a park visitor and see someone flying a drone and don't want to speak with the drone owner, try to find a PEP officer to handle the situation. If no officer can be found, call the PEP number 646.613.1200 to file a report and hopefully a PEP officer will be dispatched to assist.

I did not see the Washington Square Park Hawks during my two hour visit so I took some snaps of some of the balloons stuck in trees around the park:

Despicable Me's Dave:

Spider Man:

A park regular brought his Cockatoo out (I've seen them visiting the park as early as May, 2011):

A yelling Kestrel flew over the eastern side of the park at one point but I didn't see what was stressing it out. It flew to its territory south of the park:

Hawks' rendezvous uptown, Bobby chases a juvenile - November 25th, 2015

I noticed one of the Washington Square Park Red-tailed Hawks atop the ConEd (Consolidated Edison Building) Tower after I had looked throughout the park for a long while. The tower is a regular Hawk haunt that I check if I don't find the Hawks in the park.

Hawk on the tippy top:

What I didn't realize until I got home and looked through my photos was that a second Hawk was sitting at the base of the urn! You can see its silhouette on the left in the photo above.

The tower seen from the center of the park:

The tower in relation to the park arch:

I saw a second Hawk fly from the direction of the tower and head westward and closer to Washington Square Park four minutes later. The Hawk on the tower top watched the other Hawk fly by.

Flying Hawk on the lower left:

At the time I didn't realize the flying Hawk had originally been sitting on the base.

The pigeons in the park panicked soon after as if they had seen a Hawk but I didn't see what they were panicking over.

Remaining Hawk, moving from section to section:

It was only after another half hour when I finally saw the Hawk the pigeons had been panicking over.

It was Bobby on a favorite southwestern building:

I believe this meant the tower top Hawk was Sadie and probably not one of the Tompkins Square Park Hawks. If that is indeed the case, that means Bobby has brought all his partners to the ConEd tower (Violet, Rosie, and now Sadie).

I saw a juvenile Hawk circling above the southern border of the park seconds later:

Bobby circled near it and began to usher it away from the park:


I lost both Hawks after a few minutes.

I walked closer to the ConEd Tower and caught Bobby circling between the tower and the park 20 minutes later:

He circled several times then headed westward and out of sight for the rest of my visit.

Bobby and Sadie drive out an adult interloper - November 21st, 2015

An adult Red-tailed Hawk was chased out of Washington Square Park by Sadie and Bobby this morning. 

Sadie was atop a favorite southwestern building top (Judson Memorial Church on the left):

All of a sudden Sadie took off and started circling and yelling above the park:

She flew to the opposite side of the park and continued yelling:

Bobby appeared and circled with Sadie low over the trees:

It was then that I saw a third adult circling high above the park:


Bobby, he was yelling as well:

Bobby and Sadie dominating the sky together:

The third Hawk flew away, southeast of the park:

Sadie joined Bobby on the southwestern building:

One of the town's cats on a regular walk:

It was an hour of fast-paced action then sudden relaxation.

Parting shot: