Zebra, Rosie's apple dance, worm slurp - July 4th, 2012

I spent a little over three hours in Washington Square Park with the Hawk family today. The temperature reached a muggy 92 degrees and oh boy could you feel the heat. The juveniles were very active though during the earlier part of the day, as usual.

The juveniles did lots of flying around the western side of the park. They play-crashed into each other, flew together, perched together, and play-fought together. Rosie was the main parent on the scene. She hunted a little bit but I did not see her catch anything. Bobby stopped by for a little while as well.

The two fledglings were on a lawn together by the western border of the park. One of the fledglings:

The fledgling flew to a tree further north. Rosie joined it. Fledgling upper left, Rosie lower right:

I stood in the shade to take photos of Rosie and the fledgling. Rosie was relaxed and preening and the fledgling was eating on a branch not too far away from her.


The other fledgling flew to the tree across from the other Hawks:

The fledgling then landed on the lawn near me. I slowly backed up to give it space but it kept moving in my direction during its antics so what was I to do? :)

Pouncing on a bug:

Watching the bug fly up from by its foot:

The fledgling hopped and jumped and ran on the lawn no more than ten or twelve feet from me. It was still early in the day so the park was pretty empty of people. I was the only person on this particular lawn. Rosie was facing in our direction. She just sat still in a contented way and watched the baby's playing and was obviously tolerating me. I made sure to stand in place and just keep my camera up to my face for the most part so as not to appear threatening. Even though the Hawks are extremely comfortable around people I didn't want to take the opportunity to be so close to the fledgling for granted and gave it its space.

Playing with something man-made in her beak. I couldn't tell what it was but it's easier to see when in full-screen (click on the image):

The bird was moving so fast, I couldn't tell what it was next playing with. I thought it was playing with a stiff mouse carcass:

It turned out to be a zebra toy!

The bird played with it for some time then picked it up, flew past me (within arm's reach), then brought it to a couple of different trees. 

The zebra toy is at the Hawk's feet:

It was only after I got home and looked at my photos did I see that a toy zebra was being played with and not a rodent.


She flew close to the other fledgling to see if there were any leftovers:

The fledgling found a new perch in the same tree to sit at:

Both Hawk babies dispersed.

I walked to visit a fledgling that had moved to a tree by the zebra tree to preen. 

As I watched the preening, I noticed a toy zebra on the garbage can beside me. Was it the same one the Hawk had been playing with and that someone had found and put on the can? Or was it a different zebra toy? If it was the same toy and I had known the Hawk had been playing with it, I would have brought it home as a memento!

Both fledglings palling around together:

One fledgling on a bench, the other flying past:

Flying together:

Rosie on a lawn:

Rosie on a lamp post, watching a squirrel at a tree base near me:

I had a feeling she would make a go for the squirrel so I stayed where I was. Rosie did indeed fly to the squirrel but missed it. She landed on the ground right in front of me. Because of her closeness and the curious onlookers around us, I stayed put in case I needed to guard her space so to speak.

Not sure if this was a yawn. She did not make a sound when she did this:

The fledglings and Rosie flew to the southwestern side of the park. I stood by a tree to watch and photograph them and managed to spook a squirrel that was enjoying its apple. I felt bad about that but it was unintentional.

Rosie saw the squirrel and zoomed to it but the squirrel got away.

After playing with a couple of sticks, Rosie pounced on the apple!

In mid-air:

A fledgling rushed Rosie. I assume it did so because it was curious over what she might have been eating:

But the juvenile was totally disinterested in the apple:

Its sibling crashed into it from above.

Talons locked:

Finding something else to play with:

The juveniles flew away eventually.

I had once again been super lucky to be standing where I was. The apple dance and fledgling fight took place mere feet from me. 

The squirrel was free to retrieve its apple finally:

Fledgling playing with a stick:

Playing with then eating a worm!

I am pretty sure I saw the juvenile dig the worm out of the ground. It appeared to dig at the ground with its beak and pull the worm from the soil. Little bits of the worm broke off during the digging but as you can see, a fine amount of it was left intact and provided for a decent snack.