Tennis ball toy and squirrel bluffs - July 6th, 2012

Because we're still in the midst of a heat wave and the air quality in the city is poor (at least to me), I did not venture to Washington Square Park on the 5th and could only manage being in the park for about an hour and fifteen minutes on the 6th. But the action I saw during my brief stay was great!

I saw Rosie fly to a branch in the distance so that's where my Hawking began. 

She was nicely hidden:

She was relaxing yet watching the flock of pigeons that live in the western side of the park get fed:

Within a couple of minutes a fledgling descended in a straight flight path with feet dropped from the southwest and into the flock. The pigeons scattered like crazy while the fledgling continued its flight. Fun stuff.

Return flight but to the trees in the southwest again:

Rosie went to a tree in the fenced-off area of the park. A fledgling swooped in and forced her off her branch. The kids do this a lot to their parents and to each other. It always looks like harmless posturing and nothing serious. I had to shoot the following shots through a chain link fence so sorry about the light criss-cross on the images:

The fledgling then flew to the flag pole at NYU's Law building:

The other fledgling appeared and flew from east to west and to a popular food drop building. It had a large rat in its talons. I don't know if it had just killed this rat or was bringing its body from another location.

Rosie reappeared in a nearby tree and preened:

The corner where this food drop is:

The fledgling did not eat. Instead, it made a proper food drop itself and left the rat for a future meal. This is yet another sign that the Hawk babies are growing up. Instead of eating the first food that comes their way, they are calculatingly saving meals for later in designated areas.

The fledgling stayed on the same perch as above for several minutes and didn't look like it was going to go anywhere for a while so I searched for the other Hawks. I had seen Rosie go to the northern section of the park so that was where I went.

I found Rosie preening:

The other fledgling (the one without the rat) flew to a nearby tree and was in viewing distance of her. 

It then flew into the pigeon flock and continued south. I found it on a small structure by the dog run. It was in the fenced-off area of the park. Judson Memorial Church in the background:

Peeking under the pile of stone.. for rats or other prey?

Picking at pigeon leftovers but not eating:

Play time! Showing a branch who's boss:

The fledgling flew out of view when it went behind the red brick building on the left. I almost didn't stay in the park at that point because of my discomfort from the weather but thought I'd try to see if I could find the fledgling from another angle anyway. I'm glad I did because I found it having a great time playing some more.

I saw it hopping and flapping mightily with a round green object in its talons. I thought, 'Could it be the same apple as on the 4th???' But then saw it was a tennis ball. These kids are too funny!

A squirrel approached and charged the fledgling a few steps then walked away from it.

It walked back from the direction it came in. Another squirrel came to have a look at the Hawk:

The fledgling play-charged the squirrel:

Panting from the heat:

It flew out of sight again. I took that as my cue to leave and went straight home.