Hunting Tompkins Square Park Hawk, WSP drone - November 27th, 2015

I was walking about the Lower East Side of Manhattan this morning when I spotted one of the Tompkins Square Park Hawks hunting pigeons. I followed it as it flew around the few blocks near Katz's Deli.

It landed on an apartment building between 1st Avenue and Avenue A:

I'm pretty sure it was Dora since she was a darker Hawk. Her mate Christo is much paler in color.

Dora's building was directly across the street from Katz's.

Her corner was under the word "Yoga" (center of image) and you can see Katz's at the bottom of the screenshot below:

Looking south toward Katz's:

She flew off and circled lower to the ground after 10 minutes:

She made her way closer to Tompkins Square Park, disappearing from my view.


I reached Washington Square Park about 15 minutes later. 

One of the Paris terror attacks memorials was updated:

A man was flying a drone in the park, which is prohibited by the Parks Department:

A copy of the rule is linked to here.
§1-04 Prohibited Uses

e. Aviation

No person shall voluntarily bring, land or cause to alight within or upon any park, any airplane, balloon, parachute, hang glider, or other aerial device, except that certain areas may be designated appropriate landing places for medical evacuation helicopters. For the purposes of this subdivision (e), voluntarily shall mean anything other than a forced landing caused by mechanical or structural failure of the aircraft or other aerial device.


I had considered approaching him to let him know drone-flying was not allowed (and that Hawks are around and could get hurt by the blades) but I had approached someone with the same info several weeks ago and the person summarily dismissed me and said something like, 'I'm just testing it out'. So I found a Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officer who spoke to and made the person comply. 

Hawks have been known to attack drones and could get very hurt. The president of the Brooklyn Bird Club watched the resident Prospect Park Hawks fly in fight position around a drone on November 18th. Luckily the drone was landed before the Hawks could get hurt. 

I went to the park's office next to the bathrooms to look for the PEP officers but there were none there. Park workers near the office told me they didn't know where PEP were and that I should go look for them. I did look for them further around the park but did not see them anywhere so I called the Central Command PEP number for assistance. They took my report and said they'd dispatch PEP but the drone flyer left the park 20 minutes later (before PEP could arrive).

If you are a park visitor and see someone flying a drone and don't want to speak with the drone owner, try to find a PEP officer to handle the situation. If no officer can be found, call the PEP number 646.613.1200 to file a report and hopefully a PEP officer will be dispatched to assist.

I did not see the Washington Square Park Hawks during my two hour visit so I took some snaps of some of the balloons stuck in trees around the park:

Despicable Me's Dave:

Spider Man:

A park regular brought his Cockatoo out:

A yelling Kestrel flew over the eastern side of the park at one point but I didn't see what was stressing it out. It flew to its territory south of the park: