Big hunting day for Washington Square Park Hawks - May 16th, 2012

Both Bobby and Rosie successfully hunted a Sparrow, pigeon, and rat on Wednesday. A friend who was in the park before me reported the Sparrow hunt. I was lucky to see and photograph the hawks with the pigeon and rat during my visit. 

A friend told me that some people may not realize that if you click on my photos, they enlarge to full or nearly-full screen. I'm sorry if I never pointed that out before or if you hadn't known about that. 

I had to be lightning quick to capture Rosie going into the nest:



Bobby left the nest and headed in my direction, overhead, and to the Judson Memorial Church cross:



Wiping his beak clean?



Rosie:


One baby cocking its head to the side to watch her leave:









Jump flapping:




Bobby soared north and out of sight:











After Bobby left, I went off in his direction to look for him in case he was nearby. He almost looked like he was dropping into the trees at the eastern side of the park. He may have, I just didn't have any luck finding him. By the time I got back to the square, Rosie was off the cross and nowhere to be found (not in the nest either). I searched and searched for either adult for forty five minutes. I was about to give up and go home when I saw who turned out to be Rosie with a fresh pigeon kill:


She brought the pigeon to a hidden section of the Judson Memorial Church roof. I looked from every angle I could and didn't see where she may be with it:


Bobby flew to the cross:


He had his beak open a lot, as if panting? Negotiating some fur or feather out of his throat? He didn't look like he was in distress.



Scratch:








He flew to a familiar perch on the southwestern side of the park. The hawks usually store leftovers in the gutter/roof of that corner of the building but what I next saw surprised me:






He dipped down to take a few drinks of water that had pooled. I hadn't seen him or Rosie ever drink from pools of water before. I know that raptors get their water source from the meat of their prey but seeing Bobby drink water in this way was a delightful new sight:









He flew to the nearby trees lining the western side of the park:




I watched him and saw which tree he landed in. I did my best to keep my eye on him as I walked in his direction. When I got to where I thought I saw him land, he was nowhere to be seen. I walked a few paces ahead, turned around and looked back at the cluster of trees in the hopes I'd make out his shape. Still nothing. All of a sudden he flew in my direction and landed in the tree in front of me, facing me, as if to say, "You silly person, I'm right here!"

Just landed:








He traveled from tree to tree to scan for prey from:


















Rosie looked on from the cross:





Bobby landed in tall grass by a few benches and grabbed a rat. He was already in the air with his catch before I got to where he was on the ground:







Decapitation:



Leg:



He flew to another tree. I lost sight of him again since the foliage is so thick. I turned toward the nest to see Rosie the second she landed in it. It appeared she had followed him there. Bobby had obviously flown past me and to the nest while I was looking for him in the trees:


Bobby flew to the cross:





It was getting later and later and darker and he still wasn't leaving to go to his roost yet. I waited twenty minutes and still no movement.


I had to go home. I packed up my camera and left. Out of curiosity, I turned around to have one last look when I was a block away. He was gone. I was too tired to reassemble my gear and look for him at the Red Roost Inn so I bid him a good night in my mind and went home.