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:


Rosie:









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:



Rosie:







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!