Bobby, Rosie, WSP and USP juvenile(s) - November 25th, 2012

I had missed a lot of Rosie and Bobby action before I got down to Washington Square Park (including them visiting their nest and lots of vocalizations between them) but caught a lot of good stuff during my 5 1/2 hour visit. 

A juvenile flew to the park and hovered over it for a few minutes:

Bobby showed up and escorted it away from the park. He and the juvenile flew northeast, toward Union Square Park.

I managed to convince my fellow Hawk-watchers to walk up to Union Square Park to see if the Hawks did indeed wind up there. USP is a pretty loathsome park in that it's very crowded, dirty, noisy with lots of surrounding car traffic, and many unsavory folks hang out there (there's a reason why one particular path is called Methadone Alley). But we wanted to see if the Hawks were there so ventured over anyway.

I spotted a juvenile eating on a branch:

It had a pigeon. It looked just like the juvenile I photographed in Washington Square Park on November 4th.

Feaking, or wiping its beak clean:

Funny leg spread:


Too cute to pass up photographing:

We had watched the juvenile eat and carry on for over an hour. It seemed to settle onto its last branch to digest for a while so I suggested we head back to Washington Square Park to see if Rosie and/or Bobby had returned. It was freezing cold out anyway so we warmed up with some hot chocolate while we walked back to WSP.

We had only been back in WSP for a few minutes when I spotted Bobby in a high branch, having a stretch. 


After a few minutes he moved his head from side to side as if he had spotted something in the distance. He flew directly toward his target: 

He had spotted Rosie and a juvenile by the south side of the park.




I was wondering why she had her legs down while she was soaring. The Hawks drop their legs when they're about to land or get into fighting posture and since she was so high up, I could see she was gearing up for a fight but I couldn't understand with who. 

After a few seconds I moved my camera away from my eye and saw that there were three Hawks circling the sky! It was Rosie, Bobby, and a juvenile. It all then made sense (that Rosie and Bobby were working together to chase the juvenile away from their territory).

Rosie yelling out:

The three Hawks headed further east, away from the park (as far as Broadway which is three blocks east from the park). Two of the Hawks (who I think were Bobby and Rosie):

Bobby in front, juvenile in the back:

Rosie on the left, Bobby on the right:

Bobby and Rosie flew back toward the park by themselves. 

I think this was Rosie heading in to land at One Fifth Avenue (apartment building just north of the park):

I had to move east to see where Rosie and Bobby landed. I couldn't spot where Rosie was but Bobby was on the high ledge facing northeast. He is the little dark shape on the right hand side (far north east from the green triangular shape):

He flew off his perch after half an hour, heading east:

A second Hawk immediately flew after him (seemingly coming from the same building but I could be wrong). I assume it was Rosie. I don't know for sure though because in my excitement to photograph it, I had an accidental camera mishap (ugh, it happens).

I went a block east of the park to search for the Hawks.

I spotted Hawks so started photographing again, not realizing at first that the first Hawk I saw was a juvenile:

I do not think the juvenile was the same one from Union Square Park. This juvenile's crop was not very full from eating and the one in USP had a very full crop from its pigeon meal and may not have had the time to digest its meal and venture to WSP to mix it up with Bobby and Rosie. Plus, the patterning on the underside of this juvie's wings were darker than the USP's ones. Also, its belly band patterning was denser and darker than the USP's patterning. There are a lot of Hawks around the city currently so it could have been a unique bird.

The juvenile and adult birds soared back and forth above the buildings where I stood, flying out of sight over and over. I stayed put so I could catch the next flybys. 

I next saw Bobby and Rosie flying together (Bobby on the left, Rosie on the right):

After a few minutes Bobby flew back to the park. In the photos below he's heading toward Two Fifth Avenue (the building across the street from One Fifth Avenue):

He almost landed but then changed his mind and kept going:

He soared over the western trees and to the top of an air conditioner of a building on the southwest corner of the park:

He then flew to the Judson Memorial Church cross:

He flew off after ten minutes:

He dropped down into the mews north of the park. There's a flock of pigeons that hangs out there so we wondered if he went hunting for them.

I spotted Rosie on the NYU Silver Center railing as we waited for Bobby to reappear:

It wasn't long before I saw Bobby sitting on a chimney grate, facing where the pigeon flock usually sits (park arch on the left):

Rosie dove off her perch, glided over the eastern trees, then north along the park heading due west:

I spotted her at the Red Roost Inn, the Hawks' regular evening roost. She surprised us all by being there so early (it was at least an hour until sunset and the Hawks don't usually roost for the night until just after sunset): 

Rosie was looking pretty relaxed so I went to look for Bobby after ten minutes to see if he was still on his last perch. He was:

He headed in the direction of the roost (flying a bit north) but did not land there. I went looking for him. I got word that Rosie had then left the roost and went to the western trees so I went back to the park:

She scanned for prey for about forty minutes before leaving her tree. She did not hunt anything so she went to a nearby building to eat leftovers:

She started eating at her new building perch (southwest of the park). That building top is a popular food drop and 'dinner table' for the Hawks so I guess she decided to have leftovers before going to bed for good.

We then saw Bobby fly into a tree diagonally across from her:

A friend who had just arrived at the park reported seeing a beautiful juvenile red-tail at Union Square Park eating a pigeon just an hour or so earlier. We all figured it must have been the same (or very similar) juvenile the rest of us had seen even earlier in the day. If it was the same juvenile, it either ate two pigeons within a three hour span or was enjoying its leftovers from its earlier kill.

Bobby flew from his tree and to the Red Roost Inn after a couple of minutes.

Five minutes later, Rosie followed:

Rosie in front, Bobby in back (all tucked in for the evening):