Bobby! ... and Pip? July 28, 2011

It was a good day of hawk watching today. Bobby was gorgeous in hunting mode in Washington Square Park this evening. I was lucky to spot him as he flew from one tree to another since I was alone at first and had I been looking in the other direction for just two seconds, I could have missed him entirely. Soon enough, a couple more hawk-watchers arrived and we made a fine, albeit small, band.

Bobby successfully caught a mouse from a bed of wildflowers just about now. Within a couple of minutes of hopping from yet another tree to tree with his kill, he flew almost directly over my head with his catch in his talons. I did not have the chance to record this flight but experiencing it personally was amazing. He flew low and silent and was wholly awe-inspiring. He landed on a small building across the street from where I was standing along the north side of Washington Square Park.

It was at this point when we lost sight of him. Getting my calls and texts of the hawk's location and passing the word to others, more hawk-watchers joined us in our search of Bobby. A few of us scattered about so we could traverse more ground and improve our chances of finding him or another hawk. No such luck so a friend and I walked north up 5th Avenue and toward Union Square Park to try our luck there. 

Most of the other hawk-watchers stayed stationed at Washington Square Park in case Bobby made his return. We have a pretty good networking system in place; as soon as a hawk is seen, we text or call each other with our location (and with any luck, the identity of the hawk) and stand by. But I digress. My friend and I reached the outskirts of Union Square Park and well, well, well.. who do we have here?

My friend spotted this hawk sitting on top of the Union Square W hotel from the opposite side of the park. He earned his Hawk Eyes for the evening. But who was the hawk? Bobby with his dark head, keeping a watchful eye on the park's hunting ground (and Pip?) nearby? Or was it Pip, looking just a little darker than usual around the beak? The lighting was a bit poor but I tend to believe it was Bobby who deftly made the short jaunt to this other park. I suppose it doesn't really matter since it was just such a treat to spend some time watching it. 

Within several minutes the hotel signage lights turned on:

Whoever you are, you can't catch a break from a harassing bird no matter how high you sit!

Before taking flight, the hawk obviously spotted someone (another hawk?) or something in the distance and rushed toward it.

Off you go:

At this point, it was too dark to film or photograph so I made my way home (being sure to scan the sky and buildings just in case of another sighting).