Blizzard and plucky Hawks - February 8th & 9th, 2013

We had a blizzard pass through New York City (and surrounding states!) Friday. It was only just after 9:00AM when I took the following two photos from a coworker's office:

Sherry-Netherland Hotel:

I and many of us left work a few hours early in order to get home safe and beat the storm. It wasn't a particularly rough storm as far as blizzards go for the city but it threatened to wreak havoc on our transit systems and roads so it was best for everyone to just wrap it up at the office and leave before 2:00 or 3:00PM.

Views outside my apartment building that night:

People were being smart for the most part and stayed off the roads.


One of the Mourning Doves I feed daily, waiting for me to deliver!

I went out for a neighborhood blizzard aftermath stroll with a friend around noon.

It was breezy and cold out but sunny and lovely overall.

Not in Service (just great!):

The snow clogged our street grates so we had to contend with very slushy or puddly corners:

We stopped by Washington Square Park to check on any potential damage but nothing was amiss:

Judson Memorial Church:

Western side:

One Fifth Avenue:

The Red-tailed Hawk nest looked good. There was evidence of water seepage from the melting snow but that's a good thing, it means any future eggs or Hawk babies would not get inundated by water (that the moisture would drain out):

I didn't see Bobby or Rosie so we left the park to continue our walkabout.

We took the subway (which had surprisingly normal and quick service) to Central Park to have a look at the Pond ducks (and the Plaza Hawks if they were around).

I spotted one of the Hawks soaring above Grand Army Plaza then heading north. It landed on scaffolding:

The park was packed with tourists. I hadn't seen it that packed in months really. Lots of folks came out to take photos of the snow cover and kids were sledding down one of the nearby hills. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits and enjoying a sunny, snowy day outside. 


The Wood Duck, my friend's intended bird for our visit, was in all his glory:

Skyline in his eye, tree on his bill:

He and the other ducks were vocal, preeny, and splashy.

The Wood Duck was preferring the shade from a nearby tree so I had to wait for a couple of minutes here and there for him to get into the sun so I could get a decent photo of him.

The Plaza and Solow Building behind it:

Pond and bridge:

Hallett Nature Sanctuary:

I turned and spotted the female Plaza Red-tailed Hawk flying to the Plaza and come in for a landing:

The male appeared and flew around the Plaza:

He might have been looking for her. In either case, he did spot her and immediately tucked in like a bullet and shot toward her:

She was waiting for him:

He mated with her for several seconds and I was extremely lucky to be where I was standing at that moment.

She stayed on her perch (below the cornice, left of the rounded corner):

William Tecumseh Sherman statue at Grand Army Plaza:

Shadow of the Sherry-Netherland hotel:


We returned to Washington Square Park so I could look for Bobby and Rosie Hawk. I knew I had a better chance of seeing either or both of them later in the afternoon.

I spotted Rosie eating a rat on a tree branch:

I watched her eat for twenty-two minutes.

She ate on her building perch for eight minutes.

Snow kicked up by the breeze:

She took the prey to the Washington Square Park arch but only stayed there a minute:

She then flew straight over the eastern side of the park and between the buildings along Washington Place (flying above the street).

I found her with her prey on a building top at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street:

To be more precise, she was sitting on the thin building at the bottom right-hand corner of the Google Maps screen shot below (behind NYU's Silver Center which faces the park):

That image was taken during warmer months obviously. But I wanted to show the distance from the park arch (upper left-hand corner) to her perch.

She flew toward the park along Washington Place:

It was very windy out and she was using her tail feathers/retrices as a rudder often to stay level:

Flying back over Silver Center:

She then headed south and flew above Bobst Libary (where her nest is):

My friend and I were exhausted from our long day out in the elements so we left the park. I did not see Bobby during this visit but I was not too worried for him. 

I received a text later in the afternoon from a fellow Hawk-watcher who reported seeing a Hawk on One Fifth Avenue (building overlooking the north side of the park). That building is a favorite of Bobby's so it may have been him.

Update: The same fellow Hawk-watcher saw Rosie at the Red Roost Inn (regular evening roost) and Bobby flying about from perch to perch so both Hawks were accounted for. Thanks!