Bobby and Rosie perched high, 'new' NYU rat poison traps - September 13th, 2013

I had searched for Bobby and Rosie in Washington Square Park for about forty minutes before I spotted Bobby perched on One Fifth Avenue:

He had not been there long because I had scanned that area of One Fifth no more than five minutes earlier.

As I was watching Bobby I saw Rosie flying high above the park trees I was standing under. She was headed from northeast to southwest. I then saw her land next to Bobby on One Fifth seven minutes later.

It looked like they were minding some food (Bobby on the left, Rosie on the right): 

Bobby left the perch after a minute:

He was flying northwest:

Rosie then jumped off and followed him (note her nice full crop):

Glimpse of Bobby on the left in the photo below:

He then continued northwest. She turned and headed east. That was when I lost sight of both of them. I did not see them again over the next hour and a half of looking before I had to leave.

On Saturday, September 7th I noticed that some of the rat traps at the row of NYU townhouses across from the northern border of the park had what looked like new poison labels on them. 

The poison on the label, Difethialone, was the same anticoagulant rodenticide that was found in all four of the dead Red-tailed Hawks poisoned in the Spring of 2012.

I took these two photos of the traps on September 7th:

Photo rotated to show the label right-side up:

Followers of my blog may remember that NYU replaced the rat poison that had originally been in those traps with snap traps in March of this year (no doubt after I and fellow Hawk advocates contacted NYU, campaigning for the Hawks, imploring them to use non toxic methods to kill the rats).

I suppose in my naïveté I had hoped NYU was going to replace the poison/labels with snap traps (and their labels) during the week like they did in March. But this did not happen so I called and left a voicemail for John Beckman, Vice President for Public Affairs (NYU), today regarding the issue.

I know that Mr. Beckman and his colleagues do try to strike a balance between protecting the Hawks and controlling the vermin population (as evidenced in this article here).

And I am aware that New York City Audubon suggests setting rodenticide out from September through February when Hawks are typically not nesting but this policy is nonsensical in this case since Bobby and Rosie live in the park year-round. Difethialone or any other anticoagulant rodenticide poses a great risk to the Hawks at all times.

Photos of some of the traps taken today:

This label looks old:

It looks like one of the older labels was covered with a newer one. We had a heavy downpour last night which could account for the curling of the label.

As I wrote in March, there are typically at least eighteen of these traps on that one block alone, posing a great threat to Bobby and Rosie should they eat a poisoned rat. I have seen rats run across the street from that area to the park grounds with my own eyes in the past (at night) so the threat is unfortunately very real.

The advocacy for the Red-tailed Hawks is not because we "like the birds so" but because the birds are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and should therefore have its habitat (i.e., the park and immediate surroundings) free of such lethal dangers.


It began to darken and then sprinkle so I made my way out of the park.

New blooms: