Multiple nest switches, Vultures, and twigging - March 22nd, 2015

There was lots of Hawk action during my 2 ½ hour visit to Washington Square Park today.

Bobby was on One Fifth Avenue when I arrived: 


Sadie was on the nest:


She got up to change position a couple of times while Bobby kept watch over her and the park:


He flew off of his perch and to the trees after an hour:




He hopped from tree to tree. He was "twigging", or gathering twigs for the nest.

It took several attempts but he managed to snap a good piece off and brought it to the nest:


Bobby began to incorporate the twig into the nest. Sadie stood up from the nest bowl, grabbed a piece of food, and took it with her to eat elsewhere:


It turned out to be the hind leg of a pigeon:




A few of us searched for her northeast from the park but couldn't find where she took her meal.

A couple of us saw a Hawk fly over the park 8 minutes after we had begun our search so we rushed back, thinking it was Sadie. Lo and behold, it happened to be a juvenile!


It flew over the library and continued southward.

Bobby stood up off the nest 20 minutes later:


He then surprised me by jumping out of the nest without having a proper nest switch with Sadie:


My companion alerted me that Sadie happened to be circling right above us:


Bobby joined her in her circling:


They both flew eastward out of the park (as far as Broadway).

Sadie then returned to the nest so all told, the nest had been abandoned for only 3 minutes:




Four Turkey Vultures/Buzzards appeared, flying low over the library/nest a few minutes later. They had approached the park from the south, from behind the library.

They circled above the southeastern corner of the park. 

One of them:


Three more Vultures then appeared but they circled directly over the library and started to circle lower and lower. 

It was a bit unnerving for us to watch since the Vultures were above Sadie as she sat in the nest (although they couldn't have seen her).

The Vultures moved on after a couple of minutes, continuing eastward.

Bobby then reappeared, flying low among the tree line, hopping from tree to tree again.

He then made his way back to the nest:



He flew to the nest and stood over Sadie for a minute:



My companions and I discussed his visit and wondered if he flew to her to check in on her in the wake of the Vultures' presence. However, it's possible the Vultures had been attracted to the smells of the Hawks' food drops around the park. 

Take heart because as the great resource All About Birds says, "Unlike their Black Vulture relatives, Turkey Vultures almost never attack living prey."

Bobby eventually gathered a stick and brought it to the nest:






Sadie got up from the nest as Bobby stepped behind her and took her place:



Bobby looking up at her from the nest bowl:



Sadie circled above the park square then flew to the roof of NYU's Shimkin Hall, a building neighboring the library:




She pulled at one of the wires mounted along the roof (perhaps for nesting material?):


She wasn't able to pull the wire much further and she flew off the building after 5 minutes:


She flew far north of the park. The last I saw of her was when she flew west over 5th Avenue at 10th Street. 

My fellow Hawk-watchers and I then left the park for the day.