Trap, dead (poisoned?) rat, other updates - September 20th, 2013

A fellow Hawk-watcher informed me that one of the Washington Square Park Red-tailed Hawks was bringing nesting material to the Bobst Library nest yesterday morning so that was nice to hear.

Another Hawk-watcher let me know that one of the Hawks was seen perched atop a building along Washington Square West before it flew southwest.

I did not see either Rosie or Bobby during the two hours I was at the park today but I did come across other sights and I have updates I wanted to share.

At one point I almost stepped on the old remains of a pigeon on one of the northwestern park lawns. It must have either fallen from the branch above or was eaten by one of the Hawks on the lawn.


I noticed a new rat trap that has been placed at the southeastern section of the park (note the "POISON DO NOT TOUCH" marking on top):


That trap is located behind the Do Not Feed Pigeons sign on the fence in the photo below:


The red stone of Bobst Library (where the Hawk nest is) is seen across the street from the location of this trap. The nest faces the park.

Because there was no way to know for sure if there was poison or a snap trap in the trap's housing, I reached out to the park's manager Ralph Musolino to enquire about it. I first left a voicemail on what sounded like a more general mailbox then followed up with an email and photos of the trap and dead rat you'll see below. I included a couple of his Parks Department colleagues (one being Parks Commissioner Veronica White) in my email. 

Mr. Musolino is the Manager for Manhattan parks in Districts 1 and 2 and in his capacity oversees Washington Square Park administrative matters. He was the same gentleman I corresponded with last October regarding the rat traps that initially contained poison, were removed, then which were subsequently switched out with snap traps (thanks to my and many others' efforts).

I left the trap and continued to search for the Hawks.

I noticed a dead rat on the lawn at the northwest corner of the park. It looked poisoned as there were no signs of physical trauma.



I found a park worker who helped me dispose of the rat. Hawks eat carrion and Rosie, Bobby, or even someone's pet dog could have eaten the rat and gotten poisoned.

I didn't see any rat traps in the immediate vicinity other than one rat trap on a nearby lawn that historically has had snaps inside it. 

Since the rat was found just inside the fence bordering the street called Washington Square North, I looked for any rat traps that may have been on properties directly across the street from the park.

I immediately saw one trap located at 26 Washington Square North (a residential building across from where the rat had lain):





It's possible the rat could have eaten some of the poison at the residential building then crossed Washington Square North to go back to the park. I have seen rats cross the street before.

Park fence along Washington Square North (the rat was found on the lawn across from where the red-shoed lady is):


As well as my contact with Parks Department staff today, I spoke with someone from NYU's Public Affairs Office on Wednesday the 18th regarding the traps at the NYU buildings along the other side of Washington Square North. The gentleman said he'd look into the situation and get back to me. I followed up and left a voicemail for him today.

I have checked on the status of the traps at the NYU buildings along Washington Square North each time I have been at the park and they have not appeared to have changed in any way (either by altered labels or structural changes).