Rosie and Bobby's Saturday surprises - January 19th, 2013

I was three blocks east of Washington Square Park when I saw one of the Red-tailed Hawks flying over Bobst Library, heading south.

The Hawk, who turned out to be Rosie, was sitting on a water tower/heat grate on the NYU housing along 3rd Street. Bobst Library is on the right:

 She circled the sky above 3rd Street then flew toward the park. I caught just a glimpse of her flying toward the front of Bobst Library, where her and Bobby's nest is (south side of the park).

I entered the park and looked up to see her in the nest!

She flew out after fifteen minutes:

Landing on a building diagonally across the park from the nest (east of the park):

She then flew north and circled above the Washington Mews, a small side street where a big flock of pigeons hangs out. Fellow Hawk-watchers saw both her and Bobby soaring above the mews but I only saw her at that point.

Neither Hawk were returning to the park so a couple of us walked over to look for them. I spotted Rosie sitting on a new perch on a tall apartment building overlooking the mews and pigeons:

She didn't catch any of the pigeons she seemed to go for.

As I was moving to get a better view of where she might be, I turned and saw a Hawk (who I guess was Bobby) sitting on the edge of NYU's Silver Center (east side of the park):

I searched for Rosie but didn't find her so I went to see the Hawk that was in view:

The Hawk flew out of sight. We were Hawkless for a couple of minutes until Bobby flew over my head and over Silver Center:

He landed on his favorite flag pole:

A nearby Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was too cute to resist:

Bobby relaxed and preened:

All of a sudden Rosie reappeared and flew right to him:

I have no idea what kind of Hawk hijinks they were up to. Was Rosie being playful by hopping on his back? Was she being dominating or amorous? Whatever the reasoning, their behavior was pretty amazing. She was only on him for about three or four seconds. I am 100% sure that it was Rosie who mounted Bobby and not the other way around.

She flew further east from the park then right to the nest:

Bobby flew off his perch:

He dropped down into the nest with her. Rosie is on the left:

He left within a minute:

He landed on the Judson Memorial Church cross:

Rosie stayed in the nest for about ten minutes longer: 

She circled around and landed in a high tree top.

Bobby flew off the cross and to one of their many dinner tables, a structure on top of the NYU Law Building. He must have been going to see if there were any leftovers to eat before going to bed.

Rosie followed him to the dinner table and sat with him for a minute before flying over the park square and back to the mews.

Bobby then followed her and went to the mews.

Flying past the park arch:

He dropped into the mews.

Both Hawks had disappeared again.

Bobby then flew past me as he flew toward a tree outside the park:

Other people saw him land in the tree and were pretty taken aback. They stopped to look but it was getting very dark and he was pretty well hidden in the branches.

He flew closer to their regular evening roost, the Red Roost Inn:

Friends later told me they saw him land on a building just before going to the roost. So he had landed on this building after he left the tree. He was hopscotching on various perches before going to bed. 

Rosie didn't join him tonight but I'm sure she was safe and sound elsewhere for the evening.