Perfect Hawking at Tompkins Square Park - April 24th, 2014

I didn't intend to visit the Tompkins Square Park Red-tailed Hawks today but a friend (and fellow birder) wanted to run errands in that area with me so off I went. We stopped by TSP and had a great outing watching the resident Hawks over the next 40 minutes. It was an action-packed visit full of hunting, eating, twigging, and a nest switch.

We both saw a flock of pigeons freaking out, flying in panic. I was optimistic that the pigeons may have been fleeing one of the juvenile Red-tails that I used to see in the park but no, it was the nesting male!

He caught a Starling that had been fleeing with the pigeons:  


Hello:






Tending to an itch:











He took the Starling across the park and toward the nest.


He circled in front of his mate as she was tucked onto their three eggs. He cried out to her a few times then took the Starling to a tree in sight of her. It was obvious that he was letting her know he had food for her and where he was leaving it for her.

He left the remains on a high tree branch (seen on the right in the photo below):


Wiping up:








The female was up and alert:


A passing Peregrine:


The male moved to a new tree and snapped off a new twig for the nest:












The female got up then took a break from the nest:






She immediately went to the Starling that was left for her.


Hello:


She had some nice stretches:





Without warning she hopped off her branch and flew in a few circles before finding a new tree to relax in.



Her new spot was perfect; she was getting direct sunlight and could look over her mate in the nest at the same time.


In Washington Square news, Bobby and Rosie are doing well. Rosie is feeding her babes round the clock and Bobby has been seen on the highest perches around, watching over his family.