Fifty minutes on Friday with Bobby and Rosie - February 17, 2012

I only saw the Washington Square Park red-tailed hawks for fifty minutes today but so much happened in that small amount of time. It's always a treat to spend time with them.

Thanks to the sun setting later in the day, it was still bright outside by the time I left work. As I approached the park I noticed one of the hawks seated on a terrace railing at Two Fifth Avenue (on the north side of the park). It was Rosie. 

A hawk-watching friend let me know that Bobby was near her, in the trees at the southwest side of the park. Because I had a hawk in my immediate sights, I got closer to her instead of seeking out Bobby.


Bobby appeared and flew to and landed on the side of One Fifth Avenue, the largest apartment building north of the park. It was not possible to tell where on the building he landed from my vantage point:

He had a nice full crop so it was obvious he had eaten recently. I heard that Rosie was seen eating a rat an hour earlier so she was full too. You can see her full crop as well in the next few photos of her.

Rosie left her terrace perch and joined him at One Fifth:

I rounded the side of the building and saw one of the hawks perched on the side. It turned out to be Rosie. I don't know where Bobby perched. He was as good as gone.

Yes, there is a hawk in this photo:


She flew above the park for several minutes, circling often:

She flew through and not just past the Judson Memorial Church belfry:

She spooked pigeons from their belfry perches. She may have flown through them for fun.

She eventually disappeared over low buildings lining a mews to the north of the park. I searched the buildings on either side of the mews but did not find her. As I was returning to the park grounds I received a text from another hawk-watcher letting me know one of the hawks was back in the park, near the top of the building at the Southwest corner of the park:

Canada Geese made a flyby over the park:

The hawk left the building and flew north across the park to 2 Fifth Avenue:

I noticed that it had landed just above another hawk! Due to the lighting and how far I was, I cannot say with certainty which hawk was which but from the belly band patterning, it looks like the top hawk is Rosie. Her chest pattern creates a slight v in the middle and there is a narrow negative space of whiteness between the v and the upper part of her chest.

Scroll four photos up and you see what may be Bobby sitting on the lower terrace railing as Rosie comes in for her landing.

Bobby flew to the Red Roost Inn. Within several seconds Rosie followed him there.


No sooner did I get close to the Red Roost Inn did Rosie leave the roost and fly overhead and down MacDougal Street to her still unknown night-time roost:

Flying down MacDougal:

She disappeared when she hooked a left onto West 3rd Street. A hawk-watching friend who was at the roost first noted that both hawks were seated near each other at the roost (not on the same perch but at the same level on separate brackets holding the pipe to the building).

Bobby at the roost:

I and a group of us hawk-watchers searched for Rosie and where she may be roosting but we never found her.