Tour boat raptor spotting - August 30th, 2013

I took an out of town guest out onto a Manhattan Island tour boat cruise today, putting in some great sightseeing.

Since I have to snap away any time I see a raptor, I couldn't help but photograph an Osprey and a mature Red-tailed Hawk seen during the ride.

Osprey soaring low above the Hudson River:

Red-tailed Hawk flying past a History Channel billboard located on the Harlem River, south Bronx area (Hawk seen just to the right of the H):

That was about it as far as photos of raptors went. I am pretty sure I saw another Red-tailed Hawk further up the Harlem River (not a rare sight of course) but I was too far away to photograph it and only had my smaller lens mounted on my camera at the time.

Rosie hanging out atop One Fifth Avenue - August 29th, 2013

I spotted who looked very much like Rosie (rather than Bobby even though the lighting made identification difficult) as she flew quickly over the eastern side of the park, heading north:

She flew right to and landed on the southwest corner top of One Fifth Avenue:

I and an out of town guest (who has always loved the Hawks but never got to visit them until today) watched Rosie relax at her perch for about half an hour before we had to move on. 

Kestrel hop - August 25th, 2013

A few regular Red-tailed Hawk seekers and I spent at least two hours looking for Bobby, Rosie, or whoever (banded fledgling or any 'one' else) in Washington Square Park but we didn't find them.

We're well into the summer post offspring-rearing doldrums when the Hawks hang out away from the park for longer periods of time.

The leaves have been dropping lately, making it easier to spot the Hawks when they are in the trees so that's a positive.

I took some photos of Sparrows and a couple of Kestrels that were hopping about on some of Bobby and Rosie's favorite perches. 

The Kestrels were pretty nice to briefly follow during Bobby and Rosie's absence. 

Hawkless but not without bubbles - August 21st, 2013

I searched for the Hawks in and around Washington Square Park for two hours today to no avail. But I was pretty happy to see the man who creates huge bubbles by the park arch. I don't think I've seen him all summer. I'm pretty sure I've seen him every summer since I started 'Hawking'.

A sampling:

Rosie fights the banded fledgling - August 18th, 2013

The timing of my visit to Washington Square Park this morning was more conducive to Hawk-watching and I witnessed some pretty exciting action. 

Rosie silently flew past me in the nearly empty park. She was going from tree to tree, hunting.

She dropped down into low foliage. She is just visible behind a bench in the center of the photo below:

More people began to walk into the park. A few of them walked right behind Rosie as she sat on the back of one of the benches: 

I'm not even sure if this guy noticed her:

She flew within arm's reach of me as she passed.

After a few minutes of preening she noticed something in the distance and shot toward it, out of the south side of the park:

She flew south past the NYU Law Building (a building across from the southern border of the park, on West 4th Street). It was then that I saw the banded fledgling ("NJ 30") sitting on the Law School. It was taut, watching her:

I walked a little bit west so I could look down MacDougal Street to see where Rosie went since it was clear she flew south past the Law School building. 

She was on one of her favorite perches at 111 West 3rd Street (a block south of the park):

The fledgling flew to her, calling out not in a begging voice but in a very loud, threatening call: 

Rosie turned right around and charged the fledgling, attacking it:

Rosie regained her footing and charged again:

The fledgling didn't have a chance. It lost its footing entirely and slipped through the railing:

It flew back to the Law building:

This was the moment I had been waiting for for days. I was hoping so very much to see Rosie try to drive the fledgling out/fight it in an attempt to reestablish her foothold on her territory.

Violet had chased an interloper out of the park in 2011 and Rosie chased one out in 2012 so I was excited to see Rosie doing so again this time with this fledgling. Not that I had anything against the fledgling or any of the previous interlopers but because it is so fascinating to see the females defend their territory so ardently.

If it happens to be that this fledgling was one of her and Bobby's kids from this spring then it's around the time she would be driving it out of the park to find its own territory anyway.

The fledgling flew back to Rosie for another round after a minute:

Rosie gave chase:

The fledgling dropped down to an area of the roof not visible from the street:

Rosie crouched above it:

She turned away from it but kept her eye on it:

Rosie gave chase again:

A fellow Hawk-watcher arrived at the park just in time to see a Hawk on the Judson Memorial Church cross and another Hawk rush toward it and knock it off its perch. It was a lucky sighting for me because I was still a block away and could not see this activity taking place.

We saw Rosie on the roof of NYU's Kimmel Center soon after:

She flew southeast and out of sight and the fledgling flew north over the park and out of sight.

We searched for both Hawks for an hour and a half but did not see them again. Now that Rosie is in full territory-protection mode, there's a good chance we won't be seeing this fledgling in the park much longer (I'm surprised we've seen it this long).

At one point we came upon a dead rat lying on a park path by the Holley Monument (west side of the park). We figured it was probably the same sickly rat my friend and another Hawk-watcher saw yesterday walking by the Holley Monument (that rat sighting giving us some concern since it might have been poisoned and Bobby was hunting near the rat yesterday). But here the rat was dead and I was glad of it. I had my chance to dispose of it and hopefully protect the Hawks from a possible poisoning. 

I found a huge leaf and used it to pick the dead rat up by its tail and dispose of it in a nearby trash bin. The bin was the covered kind so there was no chance of any of the Hawks seeing or being able to take the rat.

My fellow Hawk-watcher and I went our separate ways a few minutes later.

Life went on as usual up 5th Avenue: