Pigeon meal, building thump, and sunset bath - June 16th, 2012

When I was a block east of Washington Square Park (Greene Street between West 4th Street and Washington Place to be precise), I stopped to put my camera gear together and take a few test shots of the sky and some architecture. I took this first photo below (eh, not too bad but the color may need a little tweaking):

I took another shot (photo below). As I was adjusting my settings, I noticed two small birds were calling out frantically and swirling near the building corner I was doing my test shots on. I thought to myself, 'That's strange. Birds usually act like that when there's a Hawk around'. I looked at my second shot again to check how it turned out and only then saw that Oh my God, there's a Hawk in the photo! 

It was Rosie! The little birds were obviously dive-bombing her and trying to get her to leave her perch. I hadn't realized she was there when I was doing my test shots of the corner directly above her. It was hilarious and amazing at the same time. Out of all the dozens of buildings in the area to take test shots of, this happened to be one a Hawk was on! I gathered myself and got to work:

She sat on this perch for four minutes. 

As soon as she was in the air, there were loud, flustered cries from nearby birds. Pigeons scattered in panic. It's a wonderful thing to observe nature and how other creatures respond to each other's presence and how they interact. 

As she flew a block further east, the two little birds that presumably had been dive-bombing her before chased her and dive-bombed her in mid-air:

Here she is sitting on a building at the corner of Mercer Street and Washington Place:

She was preening and seemed relaxed enough so I walked away in order to go into the park and look for the two kids. As I was walking along the street, an NYU security guard noticed me and my camera and walked out of his building and greeted me and asked me if there was a Hawk around. I was a little taken aback in surprise but had to laugh over being recognized and known as a Hawk person (by someone I'd never met before). When I'm out a-Hawking I keep to myself as much as possible and keep a low profile and try not to be conspicuous despite my big lens.

I told him, "Oh yes! There's a Hawk right down the street on a building top!" and pointed Rosie out to him. A second security guard came out to have a look and we all stood and chatted about the Hawks and the nest.

He happily told me that he saw the two babies flying back and forth between his building and the one across the street recently. I told him that yes, I was there that day too and agreed it was a great thing to see.

Rosie sat on her perch for twelve minutes. She then flew north. I said goodbye to the security guards and went to look for her. She came flying in my direction down Greene Street, turned right onto Washington Place, then turned left onto Washington Square East (the street lining the eastern side of the park). She was flying as if following traffic rules.

I lost sight of her when she turned left onto Washington Square East. But I did notice Bobby sitting on the corner of Bobst Library when I got to the corner of Washington Square East and Washington Place:

He flew east on West 4th Street (toward Greene):

I looked for him and/or Rosie but didn't find them so I went looking for the babies. I saw a Hawk fly from the direction of the Judson Memorial Church cross to Bobst Library.

It turned out to be one of the babies sitting on a park-facing ledge on NYU's Kimmel Center (between the church and library):

Rosie flew in from the East and to the baby. I kept forgetting to mention until now that very often, since the babies fledged, Rosie will make a chirping sound as she flies. Perhaps it's her way of letting the fledglings know where she is while she is in flight (whether I see a baby around or not, she is often making pretty chirping sounds). She chirps almost every time she catches prey and flies with it too (whether she eventually eats it for herself on a branch or takes it to a food drop for the kids).

Rosie flew deep into the building gutter. Following the movement of her wing, I saw she was hopping along a short span of the gutter. I thought maybe she was going in there to take a bath. I'd seen both her and Bobby dive into that gutter on occasion.

The baby watched and followed her:

Rosie emerged:

She had a pigeon! It became clear that she dove into the gutter to hunt:

The baby followed her, crying out during its flight:

The pigeon was brought to a chimney top on the NYU Law Building. I could only see the fledgling eating it:

After eating for forty minutes, the fledgling moved to another chimney top:

In the photo below, she is crying while watching one of the adult Hawks fly in to eat as well. I missed photographing the parent fly in and eat. I assume it was Bobby.

The fledgling took off:

As I searched for the fledgling, I saw Rosie on the Judson Memorial Church cross:

She soon flew toward the park trees:

The fledgling was heard crying a lot in the sky and among perches but it took several minutes to finally find it again. It was on a pine tree in the southwestern side of the park (by the fenced-in area):

It took off. A fledgling was next seen on the Judson Memorial church, behind the smaller green cross. I could not tell if it was the same fledgling or not. All of a sudden it took off, flew through the park, and landed on the arch. 

The other fledgling appeared as it was flying in my direction from the trees just south of me:

It then landed on the corner of the church:

Other fledgling on the arch:

Back to the other fledgling:

It crashed, feet first instead of head-first thank god, into the side of a building:

Freedom Tower, or One World Trade, in the background:

The Hawk composed itself then flew back toward the park:

Flying just past the church and into a tree nearby:

The fledgling on the arch flew southward. It had been sitting there for five minutes:

I stayed close to the fledgling that had crashed into the building to make sure it was OK. By all signs, it appeared to be unharmed. It rested, did its happy shake, preened, and relaxed some more.

After I felt it was OK to leave its side, I left that fledgling and looked for the other. It was on the park-facing side of NYU's Silver Center:

It was relaxing in the light of the setting sun.

It began to pant so I assume the heat of the light became a little too much for it.

It dropped down to a shadier part:

All the Hawks seemed to be in post-meal resting mode so I took my chance to go home to have my own meal and rest. Another splendid Hawk day in the books!