Rosie hunting, fledglings mingling, Bobby guarding - June 11th, 2012

Rosie flew to a tree right near me as I was setting up my camera equipment when I arrived at Washington Square Park. Hello!








Rosie settled in a bit so I went deeper into the park to find Bobby and the fledglings. Bobby was on the Judson Memorial Church cross:


He was overlooking the fledglings who were on top of the building across the street from him:


The second fledgling hopped up and sat near its sibling:



Bobby joined his children: 










Bobby dropped down to what we believe is a cache of food. The hawks have many food drops on buildings around the park.






He flew out of sight.

Rosie was still relaxing:


While watching the fledglings I saw Bobby in the distance, flying from south to north to land on his favorite cornice corner on NYU's Silver Center:





Back with the fledglings. They still spend much of their time together and follow each other around the park.





















Fledgling flying above me. I tried to find it but couldn't make out where it landed (the trees' foliage is very thick):


Rosie:


After meandering through the park to find the fledglings, I saw Bobby on the corner of NYU's Education Building:



One of the fledglings had hopped onto the food drop spot on the Catholic Center. It was looking out over the park for several minutes as if in a protective cradle or sofa.


Bobby dropped down:




Then overhead:


He landed atop the Law Building across the park:


He sprinted along the roof top edge:




Fledgling still tucked in:


 

Bobby had landed on the back side of the Judson Memorial Church bell tower:







The other fledgling soon took his spot. Bobby is seated on the railing in the far left of the photo below:




The fledgling's sibling started to eat at the stash of food:


A view of the scene from another angle:


A stranger approached me and a fellow hawk-watcher. He figured we were photographing the hawks so he told us that a hawk was on a lamp post behind us. It was Rosie:



She flew into a nearby tree:


The fledgling on the Catholic Center was still at it:


Rosie flew from the eastern side of the park to the western side.









She caught and killed a squirrel. She spent so long on the ground, a large crowd gathered around her to take close-up photos. I stayed back where I stood, lucky to have a telephoto lens. I hate crowding her or any other hawk. It makes me anxious for them because people who don't know the hawks become naturally curious and will get as close as possible to photograph them, not taking into account that the birds are wild creatures and deserve space. In the photo below, the crowd had thinned out significantly. Rosie's head is seen above the grass, in front of the tree.


She took her kill and flew in my direction:



I stayed put and was pleased to see her so close but not under those circumstances because as soon as she moved and landed, an even larger crowd rushed to the fence and leaned over the railing, taking pictures with their iPhones, camera phones, and small cameras. A couple of people nudged me aside so they could get a better photo. I asked them to please back up a little because she was hunting. I was wholly ignored. Mob mentality and the thirst for a great "photo op" trumps any logic one may try to convey. Rosie looked up at the crowd:


At one point a young woman with a Jack Russell Terrier was in front of me, leaning in to get a close-up photo on her iPhone. Her dog was straining hard at its leash, staring into Rosie's eyes. It wanted so badly to get through the fence and at Rosie. Rosie appeared stressed as she stared into the dog's eyes. She stood in a frozen position, probably trying to stay still because, in her mind, any movement may make the dog pounce at her. Thankfully, the fence was tall enough and it would not have been possible for the dog to get her.

I asked the woman if she could please move the dog back a bit and she snapped at me, "What business is it of yours!? Besides, it can't get my dog." I replied, "It's not the dog I'm worried about." I was so flush with anger and stress for Rosie, I didn't know what else to say. The woman moved on but not without muttering something rude about me under her breath (which I will not repeat here).



I was relieved when Rosie finally left the ground and flew to higher perches. She left the squirrel on the ground for a later pick-up, I'm sure.














She dropped down to the ground again but only for a couple of seconds before she was up in the air again:


She landed on top of the Garibaldi statue:




Bobby was flying above the park square:



He seemed to land at the back end of the church tower again.

I left the park soon after. I was still upset over the whole crowd debacle and just needed the break and to relax. A couple of my friends were still in the park and I knew they'd look out for the hawks.