Rosie and Bobby shared babysitting duties in two parks today. Rosie was with one fledgling in Union Square Park (USP) and Bobby with the other in Washington Square Park (WSP).
Rosie in USP:
She's looking a bit haggard as she moults but she is doing well:
Hawking tip: When the Hawks look earnestly at something, look to see what they're looking at too. When Rosie hunched and watched something earnestly, I turned around to have a look at what she might be seeing.
What I saw with her was her fledgling soar over USP and land on the Independence Flagstaff north of us:
Rosie relaxed where she was:
The fledgling flew to the trees and began several minutes of zipping around the park:
Scrunch and spring:
The fledgling dove at a squirrel on the lawn:
But the squirrel managed to escape. The fledgling flew to another tree:
No one had really noticed the fledgling until it dove onto the ground then up and over the path to its tree. A small crowd of fascinated spectators admired it from below.
The fledgling started to get heavily dive-bombed by bullying Blue Jays.
Rosie, just in view from where I was now standing:
The fledgling flew off its new tree:
Sometimes it's worth following a fledgling from tree to tree to get good shots. But if it's zipping about, I've learned to stay in relatively one good spot (say near a tree it was in beforehand) from which to photograph all the zipping. Because the fledgling will at times return to a tree it perched in earlier or one near it anyway.
I was lucky to have decided to stay in relatively one spot because the fledgling did return to the tree near me. It was a rush to watch it fly from one end of the park toward me and land nearby!
The fledgling flew out of the park and across 14th Street toward 5th Avenue.
Seconds after the fledgling left the park, Rosie roused herself by standing and stretching then sprung into her own action.
She saw something to her liking in the distance then flew toward it:
She tried to grab a squirrel that was on a branch:
It escaped so she flew to another tree:
She landed on the edge of the great middle lawn:
A squirrel came out of the brush to investigate then retreated back into hiding, all unbeknownst to her:
She trotted on the grass several feet:
Then dove at something in the grass:
But she missed catching that creature too. She flew toward and landed on George Washington's head (I never thought I'd ever write that sentence!):
Part of Metronome on the right:
She flew to a tree at the southwest corner of the park:
She dropped into the grass below the tree:
And quickly came up with a small rodent:
She flew it to a tree to eat it:
She was a good distance from me so I had to rush and navigate through the heavy Farmer's Market crowd to get close to her.
She was pretty well hidden in the foliage. Out of nowhere, the fledgling that I saw leave the park flew to her tree, crying for food. Try to make it out in the photos below if you can but the fledgling knocked into Rosie I assume in an attempt to steal her food. Rosie flew off the tree with her catch:
She flew with her prey to an unknown spot outside the park. Her fledgling chased after her. But try as I might, I could not find where they both went.
I then walked down to WSP to see if there were any members of the Hawk family there.
I heard a fledgling crying from the trees and finally located it (their voices are not easy to follow since they echo in mysterious ways):
I was able to determine this was the other fledgling (not the one that was with Rosie in USP) because of its dimple in its chest:
After ten minutes, the fledgling flew off its perch:
It cried during its whole flight and landed near Bobby. The fledgling is on the far left of the photo below:
It seemed to be begging Bobby for food but that's no longer Bobby's job. He provides for the kids when they're in the nest and by leaving food drops around the park in the few weeks after they fledge and learn to hunt on their own.
The fledglings can hunt and kill on their own now so they don't really need Bobby to provide for them but they will on occasion beg from him (and Rosie).
Bobby gave the fledgling a look then flew away from it:
Fledgling's little face watching him fly away in the photo below:
The fledgling reached out and grabbed something with its foot in mid-air:
It took a few seconds for me to realize it had caught a passing dragonfly:
You can see the slight tinge of dried blood on its right foot so it probably had a meal not long before I arrived at the park:
After spending six minutes eating the dragonfly, it wiped its beak clean:
And picked at its talon:
It sat relaxed for a while so I went to look for Bobby.
I found him in a tree at the fenced-off area of the park:
Feeling good that all the Hawks had been accounted for, I left for home.