The first part of my Thanksgiving day was spent in Washington Square Park.
This post is a synopsis of what I observed later on when I went "Hawking" in the East Village's Tompkins Square Park. The park is a few minutes' walk east from WSP and I figured I'd stop by and visit before meeting up with a friend who lived nearby.
There are almost always Red-tails or Cooper's Hawks there. I don't know if any Hawks have claimed the territory as their own or if it's just a stopping ground for birds that are passing through.
I got to see three Red-tails in Tompkins Square Park over the course of an hour and a half. The first Hawk I saw was a juvenile that made itself pretty easy to find since it landed on a tree branch in front of me right after I entered the park:
Going after a squirrel:
Flying past a temporary art installation called "Serendipity" (someone had added plastic shopping bags to it):
Spot the Hawk:
An adult Red-tail was a few trees north of the juvenile:
It was a young adult as evidenced by the lighter brown color in its eyes. The Hawks' eyes will become a richer, darker brown with age.
The juvenile watched the adult for a minute but didn't interact with it:
The juvenile flew to a section further south:
The adult was on a low tree branch, watching the pigeons, squirrels, and rats eat and forage on the ground beneath it.
I have heard of and seen photos of people feeding the pigeons at that park despite it being against park rules (sound familiar?). But without enforcing that rule, the feeding continues unabated and squirrels and rats eat the food left for the pigeons.
During my visit I saw whole slices of bread lying on the ground right near rat traps. Squirrels, pigeons, and rats were eating the bread.
One rat took bread and either brought it to a burrow under a rat trap or into the trap itself (I couldn't see exactly where it disappeared to):
The adult dropped down and tried to grab one of the pigeons:
The Hawk is on the ground in this photo:
The juvenile was way up north at this point:
Back to the adult:
I noticed a flock of pigeons scatter and looked up to see a Hawk flying overhead and land on a building across the street. I thought it was the juvenile chasing pigeons again but it turned out to be a second adult:
The first adult watched the second one for a few seconds:
The first adult tried to get a pigeon again with no luck:
It then flew to another low branch nearby.
The juvenile returned to our area.
The juvenile then landed in a tree very far north.
My friend arrived at the park so we bid the Hawks adieu.
The second adult was still on the fire escape when we left: