Release of a female Hawk in Washington Square Park - January 13th, 2015

Since Rosie hasn't been seen in Washington Square Park for months (I personally have not seen her since September 15th), it has been fair to surmise that she may not ever return. 

Whether she has passed away or found a new mate elsewhere is anyone's guess. Of course I and everyone I know hopes there's still a chance she'll return but the odds of that happening becomes increasingly slimmer.

Bobby is quite the eligible bachelor now and I've been hoping to see a new female in the park so that they might have a brood this spring but so far there have been no visiting females.

As luck would have it, the Horvaths of WINORR (Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation) had been taking care of an injured city female Red-tailed Hawk the last few weeks. 

She was ready to be released back into the city today and Washington Square Park looked like a great option on several levels; she would be released back into her familiar environs (the city) and there would be no harm in seeing if perhaps she and Bobby might take a liking to each other. And if Rosie was indeed still around and drove her out of the park, there'd be no harm in that either.

And so it was that with great care she was released into the park today:

Bobby Horvath of WINORR holding a Red-tailed Hawk in his arms

She was a beautiful dark-headed bird and had a strong personality (as Bobby Horvath could attest throughout his care of her):


Close-up of female Red-tailed Hawk

Cathy brought the female to the northwestern tree line and let her go:

Cathy Horvath of WINORR holding a Hawk before release

Cathy Horvath of WINORR releasing Hawk into the air


She flew straight to the trees:



She hopped around from branch to branch and tree to tree for two minutes before flying north out of the park:


Bobby was nowhere to be seen during the release. 

He appeared circling above the southeastern corner of the park ten minutes after she had flown north. All of a sudden we heard him calling out loudly and then saw a second Hawk (who we assumed was the female) flying right above the tree line.

They flew near each other for five minutes until Bobby headed northeast and out of sight. We couldn't see where the female had gone.

Bobby then returned and landed on his favorite One Fifth Avenue perch three minutes later. The female's whereabouts were still unknown.

The Horvaths and Park Rangers left around this time. A fellow Hawk-watcher and I stayed on to see what would happen next.

Bobby flew off his One Fifth perch forty minutes later and got into a brief fight with the other Hawk (who appeared out of nowhere). They did not touch each other but one of the Hawks did turn upside down in a defensive way in order to kick off an attack. They then both flew northeast and out of the park.

Bobby then returned to One Fifth after a minute. We did not see where the female had gone.

He only stayed on his perch another couple of minutes before flying further northeast. He then swooped back around and sat on One Fifth for another fifty-five minutes before he flew behind his building.

We looked for him and waited at his evening roost to see if he might fly there for the night but he did not come.

It will be fascinating to see what, if anything, will transpire between Bobby and this new female if he did not fully drive her out of the park today. She has a silver-colored band on her right leg which should help us identify her in the future.

Many thanks to the Horvaths for their endless dedication to wildlife!