Bobby catches a rodent, Rosie full of pigeon - December 15th, 2013

A friend and I saw Bobby as soon as we arrived at Washington Square Park late today. He first landed on a couple of buildings before making his way into the trees at the western side of the park (where he and Rosie have been catching rats lately).

Bobby made a few low flyovers over the brush but didn't catch a rodent until it was dark. 

Leg kicked out in a relaxed stretch:

Bobby then hunted from the tree called the Hangman's Elm. It is the tree where the squirrel-feeders bring lots of nuts and tubs of water for the squirrels and where the woman and man were harassing Rosie a couple of days ago.

A squirrel charged Bobby at one point so he charged back. The squirrel soon ran away:

Bobby off hunting again:

A couple who noticed us watching Bobby let us know they had seen the other Hawk eating a pigeon on a tree east of us. My friend and I were glad to know that Rosie was well and was eating pigeon (a safer meal than rodents these days).

Rosie joined Bobby in his tree after a few minutes:


Rosie flew out of the park and to the Red Roost Inn twenty-five minutes after she had joined Bobby:

She landed on the third rung down in the photo below:

Bobby continued to hunt but further south (where he caught a rat last time I saw him):

He caught a small rodent. I couldn't tell if it was a small rat or a mouse.

He ate it quickly:

He flew northwest again to continue hunting.

The pipe of the Red Roost Inn can be seen on the far left in the photo below:

My friend and I lost sight of Bobby when he flew further west. We didn't get to see him again (he wound up not joining Rosie at the roost during my visit). 

Another regular squirrel-feeder appeared at the base of the Hangman's Elm. I recognized her to be a woman another Hawk-watcher warned me and others about over a year ago because she was seen trying to attack one of the Hawks when it was hunting near her. 

I have never seen this woman do anything untoward in the park except (illegally) feed squirrels however I always keep an eye on her when I see her; especially when the Hawks are around in case I need to step in should she try to attack one of the birds.

I had always wondered who was refilling the water tubs for the squirrels and tonight the mystery was solved. It was this woman.

Caught in the act:

As a reminder, these tubs of water aren't enjoyed by squirrels and birds but rats too. It is the food and water left for the squirrels and birds that are obviously the biggest contributors to the rats' survival. 

I have told Sarah Neilson, the new Washington Square Park administrator this fact in September but so far, it seems obvious she has not implemented any kind of crackdown on this illegal squirrel and pigeon-feeding/watering (the main source of the rats' food).  Instead, the "easy solution" was implemented; the installation of around thirty rat traps full of the poison Bromadiolone around the park.

Photo I took of a rat enjoying this water on September 26th:

Feeding squirrels:

She hand-fed squirrels as well as left peanuts in the grooves of the tree bark and handfuls of nuts on the ground.

As I searched for Bobby I saw the man who had harassed Rosie with the white-haired woman two nights ago. He was placing food at the base of trees at the south side of the park:

As I mentioned above, I keep an eye on the people I know to be a danger to the Hawks so I took photos of the woman above earlier this month when I spotted her feeding squirrels and otherwise leaving food out for them. I'm glad I recorded this activity. It further proves how regular and how large a problem this food is in terms of the rat situation.

December 2nd:

Peanuts and apples left at the tree:

The same two women together leaving food out for the squirrels at the Hangman's Elm on November 29th:

So much food and water:

I was sure I had blogged about an earlier run-in with the white-haired woman in the past (when I personally had to stop her from hitting Rosie before) so I checked my archives and found the post where I described what happened. It was on October 4th, 2012 . Text of the Parks Department Rule about not harassing or injuring park animals is included in that post as well.

Peanut shells at the Hangman's Elm, November 21st:

Sarah Neilson's contact info once again:

Sarah Neilson
Washington Square Park Administrator
Executive Director, Washington Square Park Conservancy