Bobby on his rounds - November 4, 2011

I spotted Bobby today on a familiar branch at the far eastern side of Washington Square Park. He seemed relaxed and was not in hunting mode.

Bobby flew from the park to an area a few blocks east. Since I had just been photographing him from within the park, I lost sight of how far he had traveled at first. It was only when I saw about four pigeons disperse frantically from a building along Broadway did I get a sense of the direction Bobby headed. He did not chase the fleeing pigeons but sure did startle them. 

A good tip when hawk-searching is to pay attention to the behavior of other wildlife in the area to give the hawks' presence away. For example, small song birds will cry out to each other in warning or 'yell' at the hawk, kestrels and peregrines will yell at the hawk and dive bomb it or otherwise try to taunt it from the area, and squirrels will sometimes freeze in place and make repetitive vocalizations like a creaky screen door closing on its rusty hinge over and over again until the hawk leaves the area. Becoming familiar with and listening to what the other creatures in the area 'say' when a hawk is nearby has been a hugely rewarding experience for me and has given me a much deeper understanding of how varied species interact with each other.

I only saw Bobby briefly in the new location. He made a couple of flybys behind the furthest buildings in the center of the photo below which means he was flying above Lafayette Street (the furthest east I've ever seen him). Lafayette is four long blocks east of the park. It was incredible to see his large wing span at such a distance. He looked so huge and prehistoric. I was not able to get a photo or video of him at this stage but below is where I saw him:

I scanned the sky and buildings for him for a few minutes to no avail. I returned to the park in the hopes of seeing him perched or hunting.

He was sitting on the Judson Memorial Church cross as he often does around sunset:

He flew straight from the cross to his night-time roost and tucked in for the night: