I took a walk around the Lower East Side section of Manhattan with a friend before visiting Washington Square Park on Sunday the 20th.
I had only meant to explore and perhaps take photos if anything struck my fancy. The walk wasn't especially bird-focused.
My camera wasn't even out and available when I stopped in my tracks and asked my friend if the bird sitting on an antenna in the distance might be a raptor. He replied yes it could be and, "Hey, there's a Red-tailed Hawk flying near it".
I saw the Hawk he was referring to but by the time I had my camera out of my bag and ready, the bird was gone. No worries, though. I was optimistic I'd see maybe one or two more Red-tails during our walk since they are actually more and more common in that part of town.
The bird I originally spotted:
I'm not 100% sure but I'm guessing the bird was a dark-colored Kestrel. It could have been a Peregrine Falcon:
It hopped off its perched and flew behind its building.
Almost immediately, a Kestrel took its spot:
Next stop was Tompkins Square Park. There's often a Cooper's Hawk or Red-tailed Hawk passing through so I was hoping to find one or the other.
My friend saw a Cooper's Hawk chasing pigeons above the buildings lining the western side of the park but I missed getting a good view of it.
All of a sudden I heard nearby squirrels giving out their Hawk-warning cries to each other.
I looked around then up and saw a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk sitting in a tree about three trees down from us:
A few kids were super excited to see the Hawk. They ran toward their parents shouting, "The Hawk! We saw the Hawk! It's over there!!"
A boy in the group seemed to be the leader of the tiny bird lovers. He looked for where the Hawk was perched but couldn't see it anymore. He loudly lamented that it was gone. I couldn't help but say, "Hey guys, the Hawk is there in the tree!" and pointed it out to him.
He took his Fisher-Price binoculars from his parent and rushed over to have a look at the Hawk.
How adorable is this little guy!??
It was so cute to see these kids excited about the bird. They had obviously seen the park Hawks before and were in all likelihood on the lookout for the Hawks during their visit to the park. Their parents might have even bought them those binoculars for such outings.
The Hawk flew to a couple of different trees before finding one to rest in.
The juvenile was spending a long time sun-bathing and my friend and I had to get to Washington Square Park to visit its resident Red-tails before it got dark so I bid the juvie adieu.