I visited Tompkins Square Park this morning to check on the resident Red-tailed Hawk family. All three Hawk babies have fledged so I thought it'd be fun to try to track them down and see how they were getting on.
I am glad I went to TSP instead of Washington Square Park to look for fledglings because I would not have found them; a fellow Hawk-watcher spotted them at 5th Avenue and 12th Street this morning! That corner is a good five blocks north of Washington Square Park and I would definitely not have found them if I looked in all the usual places.
The TSP fledglings were easy to find because I heard one crying/begging loudly from a tall tree. A friend and I followed the sound and got to see a lot of action in the hour we spent in the park.
The first of the two fledglings we saw, hopping about the tree branches:
Christo, the father, flew near the fledgling then landed on the lawn beneath its tree:
He grabbed a rodent and brought it to a neighboring tree:
The fledgling and he called out to each other. The fledgling seemed to be begging while Christo looked as though he were saying, "I've got the food right here! Come get it!" but the fledgling stayed put and continued to cry.
Christo took the food to a nearby building top:
Crying out to the fledgling:
He flew a block east of the park with the food before circling back around and returning with it in the park trees.
Christo crying out again:
The fledgling looking down at him:
The Hawks were crying quite loud. The sound of both of them calling out together was cacophonous. It surprised me to hear Christo being so vocal. Bobby, Washington Square Park's Hawk father, does not vocalize to his offspring that much at all.
Dora, the TSP mother visited the nest while Christo and the fledgling were carrying on:
She then flew to a tree near the other two for a few minutes before flying further west of us.
Christo left the trees with the food again and made his way to the nest as well.
Christo calling out:
He flew back to the same trees as before, near the fledgling.
The fledgling finally hopped lower and lower toward Christo and the food:
Christo then spiraled down and landed on the lawn again:
It did not look like he picked up a new rodent. Rather, it looked like the decapitated one he'd been carrying the whole while.
He brought the rodent to a tree further west of the fledgling I had been watching the whole time. I discovered later that he had left the food for the second fledgling.
It was around this point when my friend and I were sure we were hearing three Hawks crying out together.
Fledgling hopping about:
Christo then brought food to a branch with an old, discarded squirrel nest.
He was still calling out to the fledgling:
The fledgling finally descended toward the food:
Christo ascended as soon as the fledgling approached the food:
My friend and I were leaving the park when I spotted the second fledgling that had been crying out earlier. It was finishing eating the rodent Christo left for it:
It moved to a new branch to wipe its beak.
It then hopped in a way I'd never seen a fledgling play before.
It would hop vertically by about two feet before landing on the same branch. It did this about four times.
One of the hops:
I have seen fledglings hop vertically on the ground when playing with sticks but not like that on a branch. It was pretty comical.
The fledgling then had a fine and strong flight to another cluster of trees: