Fledgling visits the nest. Bobby and Rosie action - July 25th, 2013

The weather was blessedly cool all day and made for some more comfortable birding. I'm sure the coolness was welcomed by the Red-tailed Hawks as well!

A fellow Hawk-watcher was already in Washington Square Park when I arrived and let me know Bobby was in a tree at the northeastern section of the park.

I came over and watched him preen and look about alertly:

He was harassed at one point by a Blue Jay that was aggressively moving from branch to branch, 'yelling' at him.

Bobby left his perch after twenty minutes:

His new tree was a couple of trees southeast of him:

While my friend and I were watching Bobby I heard what sounded like one of the fledglings crying out, begging from a tree north of us. I remarked that the call sounded really weird and I wondered if the bird might be in distress since the sound was a bit off. 

We couldn't see the fledgling at all but the sounds were very loud and definitely coming from that particular tree. It was a bit baffling.

All of a sudden Rosie flew from behind us to the tree to investigate the source of the calls. She must have been in one of the trees right behind us while we were watching Bobby.

Rosie looked about the tree from her branch then stretched and became indifferent:

She left her tree after three minutes:

Bobby had left his tree while we were watching Rosie.

My friend went to look for Rosie because she seemed to land in a tree south of where we had been watching her.

I went to look for the crying fledgling (still calling out from the tree Rosie had just left).

My friend soon joined me at the tree. We scanned the tree for the crying fledgling but still weren't finding it. I then saw a Blue Jay moving about and realized it was the source of the call. The Jay had been mimicking the call of a begging fledgling the whole time! 

I had heard Jays mimic the screeching call of a Red-tailed Hawk in the park before (you can hear one do the same at this link) but never the call of a begging fledgling. Clever bird! 

Blue Jays give out Hawk calls to warn other Jays that a Red-tail is in the vicinity. I read that some Jays do it to scare other Jays from a bird feeder so they can have the food for themselves.

I had to wonder if it was the same Blue Jay that was harassing Bobby earlier and had moved to a different tree to give out its warning. Whichever Jay it was, it certainly had plenty of fledgling crying/begging sounds to learn from this season what with three fledglings vocalizing.

We left the Jay and went to look for Bobby and Rosie.

They were soaring and circling above the park square together.


We watched them circle above the square for three minutes. Rosie then flew west out of the park and toward Sixth Avenue and Bobby flew east past the nest and disappeared behind the tree line.

It was while heading to look for Bobby when I spotted a Hawk in the nest. It was a fledgling!

Its crop was very full so it had obviously recently eaten and was digesting.

It looked about the nest. It was probably remembering that view quite clearly. :)

Rosie returned and was on the cross:

Fledgling in the nest:

My fellow Hawk-watcher reported seeing a Hawk at NYU's Shimkin Hall (southeast of the park) so we now had Bobby, one fledgling, and Rosie accounted for. Shimkin is where Rosie and Bobby have been bringing new nesting material lately (and for a while last summer as well).

The fledgling hopped off the nest and flew toward the trees below it after fifteen minutes:

Sparrows and pigeons scattered. I and my fellow Hawk-watcher searched but couldn't find the fledgling.

Rosie then left the cross and flew past the nest, heading east.

My companion went to look east for Rosie since that's where Bobby had been too.

My friend found Rosie at a Shimkin windowsill.

Shimkin from where I was standing (Bobst Library on the right):

I couldn't get a fixed-in shot due to the foliage but I thought Rosie looked pretty funny peeking around a north-facing window ledge at one point:

I saw Bobby fly from behind me and toward the buildings south of the park. Within seconds Rosie flew from Shimkin to where it looked like Bobby had flown. My friend joined me to look for them.

We stepped into the west side trees to look next for them or any of the fledglings. 

Bobby flew to and landed in a tree near us while we were walking along a northwestern path:

He flew to a new tree after ten minutes:

It was lucky because he flew to a tree right next to us.

He was sitting for a long time at the new tree so we went back to the center of the park square and the east side to look for a fledgling.

My friend saw Rosie reappear and return to Shimkin with foliage in her beak.

She was at a west-facing window now. She was generally looking around, pretty relaxed:

Library on the right:

My companion had returned to Bobby and found a fledgling sitting on top of a building outside the northwestern corner of the park so that was good news.

At this point we were very cold and even shivering! It started to sprinkle too (enough for folks to open their umbrellas). I wanted to leave and get warm but I just had to wait and see what Rosie would do next!

She finally flew off her perch after forty minutes:

She was getting lower and lower and I was like, 'Oh my God!' because she kept getting closer and closer and landed in the very tree I was standing next to. 

She was initially facing away from me but then she turned around and I swear she looked right down at me:

She turned around again and settled in:

She then floated to foliage beneath her, chirping as she descended. She was going after a group of Sparrows that had been foraging on the ground and hanging out in a small tree under hers.

I lost sight of her for a couple of minutes as I moved to get to a better vantage point. I don't think she caught anything because I next saw her preening on a low branch of a tree just east of the Sparrow shrubbery:

She was quite low and close to a path and people sitting on benches so I stepped back and photographed her discreetly so as not to make others aware of her presence. A big crowd underneath her tree at that moment would have been a bit much.

My friend and I were pretty well chilled at that point and all seemed to be well with the Hawks so we went our separate ways for the day.