Special Raptors in Washington Square Park today - August 16th, 2013

Sleepy baby:


Photos above taken on August 15th.
I searched for the resident Washington Square Park Red-tailed Hawks for an hour and a half yesterday with no luck.

I searched for an hour and a half today with no luck either. I walked north to Union Square Park to see if maybe Rosie or Bobby was there but saw no Hawks there so I returned to Washington Square Park to search for them some more.

I did not see them but was delighted to stumble on a raptor presentation for kids being given by a member of "Talons!".

The first bird I saw was what I think was a Barred Owl:



Time to go back into its box:


The next bird that was taken out was a European Eagle-Owl named Big Mama:




The kids were invited to come by and stroke her feet:







Big Mama was put away. There was a Barn Owl in the carrier above hers:


The next bird out was described as an African Peregrine Falcon:







Contented rustle:


The kids were then invited to slip on one of the falconer's gloves and shown how to hold the Falcon:


The pigeons in the area were understandably going nuts from time to time, flying in panicked circles before perching again:


I would look for Bobby or Rosie every once in a while in the hopes they would show up to take a gander at the Talons! raptors but it was not to be.

It was pretty funny how the pigeons stayed in the same area though and overlooked the raptors:


The Falcon was put away:


The presenter cut up a pheasant in advance of the next bird to be shown:


It was a Harris's Hawk:


Some of the pigeons landed on the lawn across from the raptors and foraged:





The kids were asked to line up in two rows along the Harris's Hawk perch:


The Hawk was ordered to fly to and from the presenter:





The kids were then told to take their turns holding their arms out to form circles the Hawk would then fly through. The Hawk was trained to do this by reward of pheasant in the presenter's gloved hand.

Some of the highlights:


















The Hawk then flew into a nearby tree (which made my heart leap because I wasn't sure if this was part of the show or not and could only wonder if this Harris's Hawk may make trouble for the Red-tails if it stuck around):



But my initial worry was thankfully unwarranted because the presenter called the Hawk back: 


It flew through a new set of arms quite nicely:






It hopped to the ground at one point to collect some of the meat that had fallen:


Then it walked back to its perch then hopped back into place.




It was time to pack up for the day:


The presentation was a treat and the kids obviously had a great time.