Rosie and Bobby's shared pigeon dinner - November 24th, 2012

It had been a couple of weeks since I'd really had a chance to explore the grounds of Washington Square Park. Today I noticed two new non-poison rat snap traps which were encouraging to see. It was further proof the Parks Department is taking the lives of the Red-tailed Hawks (and other animals that may accidentally ingest poison) seriously.

I was worried I may not see Bobby or Rosie today when all of a sudden Rosie flew over the park from the north, overhead, and landed right into the nest.

I missed photographing her enter or leave the nest but captured her flying from the nest to the western side of the park:

I spotted her on one of the Hawks' favorite tree perches. Thanks to the fallen leaves, the Hawks are now easier to locate: 

I didn't realize it at the time but she was watching Bobby. One of the regular guys who hangs out in the park and who knows me to be there to photograph the Hawks rushed over to me to point out where Bobby was. Rosie flew toward Bobby:

It all happened very fast but from what I could tell, it seemed as though Bobby caught a pigeon in the northwest corner trees, flew with it to a sidewalk outside the park, and Rosie got it from him (either Bobby gave it up to her or she bullied him into having it).

The man who had approached me said the Hawk that was near him and his friends (Bobby) took a pigeon from the trees right near them before flying away with it.

What I managed to photograph was one of the Hawks descend to the sidewalk:

I hurried in their direction (other people who saw them did too so I did my best to hurry over to them so that folks wouldn't crowd them). I had nothing to fear though because within moments, Rosie flew with the pigeon to a lawn and Bobby flew to a tree overlooking her.

A crowd formed near her:

Rosie's tail feathers on the right:

One man stepped onto the lawn and kept inching toward her to take photos. I asked him to please not get closer so that she could eat in peace, that she was a wild animal, but he flatly ignored me and moved even closer to her so he could get his snaps.

I thought maybe he was a foreign tourist and didn't understand me but no, that was not the case because he spoke with me later, saying his being close to her was "not a problem". I replied that well, yes, it was a problem.

I kept my eye on him and his lady friend and although he stepped on the lawn near Rosie again but from a different angle, he did not get as close as before.

Bobby flew to another branch where there happened to be squirrel leftovers:

He picked at them a few times but didn't eat much.



Rosie then looked in Bobby's direction with movements of her neck as if she were watching him flying. We looked to where Bobby had been sitting and he was indeed gone but we didn't see where he was.

Rosie flew to the tree near where Bobby had been sitting:

All of a sudden we saw Bobby with the pigeon, taking it to his tree.

It was obvious that he had swooped onto the lawn and had taken the pigeon the moments we were facing Rosie as she sat on the lamp post. He was so silent and stealth, we didn't even know he was right next to us. 

Rosie often eats food on the park lawns which is always stressful for me and other Hawk-watchers since people like to get close to her when she's in that vulnerable position. But Bobby is more cautious. He takes his prey to higher perches.


He took the pigeon further away:

Rosie flew to his building, sitting on a perch just above his:

Bobby eating:

Rosie left Bobby and flew to their regular evening roost, dubbed The Red Roost Inn:

Bobby continued eating:

Rosie in bed (second rung down):

I stood closer to Bobby so I could catch when he finished dinner and hopefully join Rosie at the roost:

He flew toward the roost:

He saw her at the roost and, toting part of the pigeon with him, turned and brought it to an air conditioner drop-off (for leftovers for another time):

Instead of joining Rosie at the roost, he flew (empty-taloned) over the building across the street from her and disappeared: