Rosie's hunt and fledgling's rat catch - June 18th, 2012

One of the Washington Square Park Red-tailed Hawk fledglings was in a tree at the western side of the park when I arrived:

I caught sight of the other fledgling flying toward the Judson Memorial Church through the tree canopy. I was only able to see the little Hawk from the angle below while standing in the middle of a crosswalk when the light was in my favor. It was a bit of a dangerous location so I won't do that again:

One of the adult Hawks was on a flag pole at the eastern side of the park:

It was probably Bobby because when I walked through the park again to find the other Hawks I saw Rosie on a lamp post in the distance:

Her fledgling was perched not that far from her:


I stood and waited for her to make a move for twenty five minutes. I made the mistake of allowing myself to get distracted by a timed alert I had programmed onto my phone earlier so I missed when Rosie jumped off her perch. At least I got this passing shot:

She spent a long while preening and searching some brush for prey:

She finally saw something to her liking and dove into high plants:

Only the tips of her wings were seen from my angle. I did not want to get closer and crowd her so I stayed put. 

Wish I could say the same for others but oh well, what can you do! At least this group was admiring her and were a rather safe distance back and just wanted to have a look:

Rosie was obviously dealing with formidable prey because she was flapping about a couple of times and was in the brush for a good few minutes.

She finally brought what looked like a big rat or a squirrel to a wide lawn nearby. One of the fledglings landed next to her to eat not long after she landed with the prey.

Rosie on the left:

Rosie left the prey with the fledgling:

Rosie watched both her fledgling and the crowd from a tree on my right:

She then flew to a lamp post behind her:

Now two crowds had great views of both Hawks:


The fledgling had enough to eat so she flew away to a nearby tree:

She wiped her beak clean and then relaxed:

Rosie returned to the food:

The slab of meat was huge! I wish I knew what she caught. It must have been a squirrel, it was so big:

Handsome Bobby then flew to the food to get his turn at eating:

But a fledgling would not have it and crashed into him so she could take it for herself:

Bobby deferred to her:

But the naughty fledgling did not eat a bite. Instead, she staked her claim over it for a couple of minutes then left:

Bobby returned to the meal and tried again:

He was thwarted yet again because his two kids rushed to him and the food from the same direction:

The Hawk activity was an awesome sight to behold and the drama playing out in front of me was surreal and magical. I couldn't believe I was able to witness these wild, amazing, strong-willed creatures interact right in front of me. 

The fledglings then play-fought and carried on with each other:

One of the fledglings touched the ground a couple of times during fly-bys. Practicing hunting:

Fledgling that had had the last bit to eat:

In the distance I saw the fledgling that had been practicing her touch-downs. She flew like a shot into some low brush. I waited a few seconds for her to pop back up into view. She rose up and flew in my direction. She caught a small rat! Hawk-watching friends of mine told me they saw a fledgling catch one a few days ago but this was the first time I got to see one do so:

Luckily for me, she landed in the tree right in front of me.

She took the rat to a new tree and ate it. I was so proud of her!