Bobby and Rosie, true park mates - January 14, 2012

The last time I saw Bobby and Rosie, Bobby would fly away from Rosie consistently when she would join him at a tree. On Saturday, he was more obviously accepting of her presence. They sat together on a tree, he fully allowed her to run free as she zipped around the park hunting or otherwise getting more acquainted with the park, they met at the nest, perched on the same building, and he even created a diversion from a dive-bombing peregrine falcon so she could fly without harassment. Unfortunately, she did have to deal with an air assault from a peregrine at one point but no harm was done. But all in all, it was pretty fascinating to watch him watch her. He was very mellow as he sat on high branches and watched her cavorting around the park below him. 

When I first got to the park I saw what at first might be a hawk on a popular building top but it turned out to be a peregrine:

As I approached the west side of the park (the hawks' favored area), I spotted Bobby and Rosie relaxing together. Bobby is on the right:

The hawks tend to hunt and eat one last time just before the sun sets most likely in order to have a full belly before tucking in for the night. Rosie hunted all over the park late Saturday afternoon while Bobby perched on a few select trees. As usual, she had me and my hawk-watching companions run a bit ragged from time to time.


Flying over the Holley monument:

In front of the One Fifth Avenue apartment building in the background:

Flying toward the eastern side of the park:

Bobby relaxed in a tree high above pigeons at the west side of the park:

Rosie made her way to a terrace at Two Fifth Avenue overlooking the park. Park arch in the foreground:

She reentered the grounds of the park:

She flies quite low to the ground sometimes:

She spotted some prey in the brush:

She scampered and stomped around loudly and even ran a few steps on the ground but didn't catch anything.

I just barely caught a glimpse of her on a fence post at the southern side of the park:

Dense urban environment in the background:

She flew from the western side of the park to the eastern side of the park:

It was delightful to be near her as she sat so close on a high tree stump. A crowd gathered below her in awe and excitement. She was not interested in us, of course.

Back to the opposite side of the park:

Flying past a perched Bobby:

Back into more brush:

This time her hunting efforts were successful and she caught a rat. Instead of bringing it to a tree to eat, she killed it and ate a large portion of it while on the ground:

Although my camera was zoomed in on her, I and everyone else in the area (regular hawk-watchers and park goers who happened to see her and stopped to watch and take their own photos) gave her a large respectful distance to eat. The hawks are vulnerable on the ground and it's important to give them their space as a courtesy. We all had a great time more or less watching her in silence. It really is an awe-filled experience watching these wild creatures so closely.

She wiped her beak clean:

She took hold of the rat again and brought it to another tree (perhaps to eat the next day or to leave for Bobby):

She swooped underneath Bobby's perch with the rat (to show him her catch?) instead of flying it straight to another tree in the distance:

The rat is on the branch to the left of her (arch in the background):

She flew to another tree and began to break off a twig. She held it securely in her beak. It was exciting to see her do this because it meant she might soon bring it to the nest for fortification:

She flew with it toward the general direction of the nest (and not in a direct path for reasons that became obvious). 

A peregrine falcon spotted her:

From what I could see, she found a place to either perch or otherwise get away from the falcon while Bobby created a diversion and allowed himself to get dive-bombed:

He then flew to the nest (the peregrine is above Bobst Library while Bobby is seen outside the first window on the left-hand side of the top floor):

Diving peregrine:

Rosie circling above with her twig:

She too then had to deal with the peregrine but she held onto the twig:

She joined Bobby at the nest with the peregrine in pursuit. The photos below aren't great quality but serve as illustration:

Bobby left the nest and flew to a neighboring building:

Rosie followed him:

Rosie peeking into the building:

Peregrine harassed her:


He flew to another part of the building:

She returned to the nest:

She then soared diagonally across the park and to a terrace railing again:

Arch below her:

Bobby watched her:

Bobby then flew to a tree at the southern side of the park and scanned the ground for prey:

He dropped to the ground and snatched up a mouse in one easy attempt:

Cleaning his beak:

Rosie was seen flying past us and down a path along MacDougal Street. It was a night-time path she'd been seen following for several nights. It would be great to find her night-time roosts she must be going to.

Bobby flew to the same night-time roost I saw him in last weekend and which others have seen him in other times as well.