Two eggs in Rosie and Bobby's nest / Egg(s) at TSP? - March 29th, 2014

A fellow Hawk-watcher informed me that two eggs have reportedly been seen in Rosie and Bobby's nest since March 10th. There is no word yet on if there may have been more eggs laid since then.

I am not sure how reliable the date of the 10th is yet since the footage I had taken of Rosie and Bobby mating and spending quite a bit of time away from the nest was around 1:00PM on the 11th. So perhaps Rosie laid the eggs a little later on the 11th.

In either case, the revised hatching dates (28-35 days after laying) should be around April 7th - April 14th and the fledge dates (42-46 days after hatching) should be between May 19th - May 26th or so.

Historically the Washington Square Park have hatched at least two days later than 'expected' so the true fledge days may come a little later as well.

In other fine city Hawk news, it appears the Tompkins Square Park Red-tailed Hawk female may have laid her first egg today.

Here is a link to Goggla's blog and Flickr pages' updates and beautiful photos. In this linked Flickr photo you can see that the apartment resident took great care to protect the inside view of the nest so as not to scare the Hawks.

Early morning Hawk nest switches - March 29th, 2014


Rosie on a nest break / No Hawk cam this season - March 27th, 2014

I got to see and take video footage of Rosie on an hour and a half long break from the nest today. At one point she was harassed by a pair of Mockingbirds. She eventually relieved Bobby of his egg-warming duties.

Try to watch the video in the HD setting if you are able (click on the YouTube icon at the bottom right of the video below and make your quality selection when at the new YouTube page).

In other news, I was informed (by a few reliable sources) there will not be a live webcast of the nest this year. If this spring's young survive, they should hatch between April 4th and 10th (give or take a couple of days) but won't be seen very well from the ground for another couple of weeks after that. 

Bobby on various perches and a nest visit - March 23rd, 2014

I visited Washington Square Park three times over the last several days but didn't get to see either Red-tailed Hawk until today. I didn't think to bring binoculars to see Rosie (or Bobby) in the nest (I probably would have been able to see her if I had) and I'm still without the use of my telephoto zoom lens and proper DSLR camera. It hasn't been easy for me. :)

Bobby went about from perch to perch, visited Rosie in the nest, then flew far east out of the park. 

I captured the sights on my snappy little point-and-shoot (it's best to watch the video in HD if possible):

Timeline of the Washington Square Park broods - March 16th, 2014

Now that it appears Rosie and Bobby may have at least one egg in their nest since Friday March 14th, I was inspired to calculate how long it may be before the first egg hatches then how long it may be until the first fledging.

Eggs typically hatch 28-35 days after being laid. The babies then usually fledge 42-46 days after hatching.

If all goes to plan, this spring's first egg should hatch between April 4th and 10th (28-35 days after being laid). Following that, the first baby should fledge between May 16th and 20th (42-46 days after hatching).

Doing this calculation then inspired me to look into my blog archives and online reports to calculate how long it took for the previous years' Washington Square Park babies to hatch then fledge.

I summarized the data in the table below. I discovered some interesting facts during my research.

For example, so far nearly all of the Washington Square Park babies have hatched at least two days past their expected 'due date'. Also, the first birds to fledge left the nest at least two days after they were expected to. It seems slight disparities between the estimates and the actual dates may be attributed in part to the nest location's latitude (as briefly mentioned in this linked Wikipedia article).

In 2011 Pip hatched 44 days after she was spotted (albeit in egg form) in Bobby and Violet's nest (nine days after she was expected to hatch). She fledged 48 days after hatching.

In 2012 the first baby hatched 38 days after the first egg was laid. The two birds were laid four days apart yet hatched a day apart. They fledged on the same day (May 28th), 49 days after the first hatching.

In 2013 the first egg was laid on March the 7th. The first hatching took place 36 days afterward. The first baby fledged 49 days after the first egg hatched. The appearance of the second and third eggs in the nest were reported by others on March 19th but it's not clear when they were actually laid (the Hawk cam was not yet on at the time so the laying was not seen by the public).

The 2014 column is still a mystery to be filled in as events unfold.

Click on the table below to see it full size.


(Update on March 17: I refined the table this morning so it is a different iteration from what I originally posted last night)

Egg(s)? Rosie and Bobby switching places in the nest - March 15th, 2014

It appears that there is now, at the very least, one egg in the Washington Square Park Hawk nest. 

Bobby and Rosie are now regularly taking turns sitting in their nest. A fellow Hawk-watcher informed me that she saw the nest-switching behavior quite clearly yesterday after I had already left the park for the day (I didn't blog about my visit yesterday because there wasn't much to report save for one time when Bobby brought what looked like a huge piece of paper to the nest). 

I was able to take video of Bobby and Rosie switching nest duty this morning. The footage below also includes scenes of Rosie eating and perching in various spots.

You can hear Rosie calling out starting at the 34 second mark.

I cut the audio in a couple of the clips in order to not distract the viewer from having to hear park noise that was occurring during the action.

I have been taking these videos with an older point-and-shoot camera because I won't be able to use my telephoto zoom lens and DSLR camera for another few weeks. The timing works out alright for me though because I'll be back to using my zoom lens well before any hatchlings start standing up and exploring the nest and ledge. :) In the meantime I'll be doing my best to improve my video-taking abilities with what I have now.


Bobby and Rosie mating, twigging, soaring - March 9th & 11th, 2014

Below is video footage I took when visiting Bobby and Rosie in Washington Square Park on March 9th and 11th. I used a handheld point-and-shoot I happened to have on me at the time.

In the footage you see Bobby twigging (gathering material for the nest), going to the nest, mating with Rosie on a rooftop terrace on the 11th, and Rosie moving from the terrace to the Judson Memorial Church cross.


Last day in Tasmania

As promised, at long last is my account of Day 6 of my Tasmania birding tour (a trip taken in November of 2012!).

The evening of Day 5 left me at Mountain Valley Wilderness Reserve where we got to see Tasmanian Devils eat fresh meat left for them on our cabin porches.

In the morning I awoke to the sight of a wild Tasmanian Native Hen family outside:








We soon set out for morning birding.

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo:



Strong-billed Honeyeater:



Male Satin Flycatcher:




Female Satin Flycatcher:







Red-bellied Pademelon:


Baby in her pouch:


Dusky Robin:


Eastern Spinebill:


Flame Robin:





Pellet in the morning dew:



We then hit the road for long drives to various locales.

Laughing Kookaburra:


The face of the extraordinarily shy and secretive (and unfortunately endangered) Australasian Bittern:






Black Swan:





Metres (not feet) of course.







The sand dunes of Waterhouse:









Australasian Grebe:



White-fronted Chat:


What I think was a Swamp Harrier:




White-faced Heron:




Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos:





We caught up with them flirting with each other in nearby trees:




Mating dance:




A brief kiss:




Lizard tracks:






Tawny-crowned Honeyeater:






Grass Trees:




A White-bellied Sea Eagle was sitting on rocks in the distance:




Pacific Gull:


Silver Gulls:


A small building across the water:



Sooty Oystercatcher: 


The White-bellied Sea Eagle eventually flew toward it:



I was afraid the Oystercatcher might have been a goner:


But it bravely chased the Sea Eagle away:










A Pacific Gull and Silver Gull:



We checked into new lodgings for the evening.

It was an early morning of connecting flights and then the long haul back to New York, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Tasmania Birding tour days 54, 3, 2, 1.