I was in the Lower East Side of Manhattan this morning when I noticed a flurry of pigeon feathers falling from a fire escape. The sight was so surprising and there were so many feathers I thought, 'That's not a preening, that's a plucking!'
I followed the feather path and saw a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk eating a pigeon:
The noisy and busy street below:
Feathers were piling up on the sidewalk:
I moved closer for a better look:
Lots of people stopped to watch and chat about the Hawk. Everyone was in a joyful mood (perhaps in part because today is Christmas Eve).
A couple of people mentioned seeing Hawks in the area before. I told them how the nearby adult Tompkins Square Park Hawks were regular sights (since we were standing in their territory) and fun to look out for.
The juvenile ate, rested, then ate again over the course of nearly two hours.
The building's superintendent was cleaning up outside and chatting about the Hawk as well. He didn't mind having to sweep away all the feathers and gory bits from the sidewalk thank goodness.
It began to rain so I packed up and left. I was hoping to see it fly away and follow where it wound up but perhaps I'll run into it again.