Juvenile Hawk and mellow WSP Hawkery - March 29th, 2015

A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk darted over my head as I approached Washington Square Park this morning:

It had come from the direction of the park and was flying toward Broadway.

I only spent about 45 minutes in the park today but during that time Bobby was having a mellow sun bath on One Fifth Avenue while Sadie incubated the eggs.

You could barely see the top of her head while she peeked up and looked toward the park:


A squirrel nibbled at the edge of its tree hole:

Bobby hunts the outskirts of the park, Sadie stays on the eggs - March 27th, 2015

I was in Washington Square Park for about 2 ½ hours today but didn't see much Hawk action since Bobby hunted along the outskirts of the park and Sadie stayed put in the nest. But really, it was an ideal visit in that they were carrying on normally and were safe and sound and doing well.

A woman feeding squirrels attracted many pigeons too, including the white beauty I first saw on the 21st.

Bobby flew over the park square and to a regular building at the northwest corner of the park: 

He leapt off the perch after 4 minutes:

He flew to NYU's Silver Center later:

He has an excellent view of the nest from Silver:

Circling above the eastern corner of the park:

Sadie got up and rolled the eggs a bit:

Bobby continuing to fly high in the sky:

There were 4 helicopters hovering over or close to the park for most of my visit.

It seemed they were around mostly because of yesterday's horrible building explosion and fire.

Bobby eventually disappeared when he traveled northeast so I took the opportunity to leave for the day.

[Updated] Two eggs in the nest (per NYU)

NYU confirmed on Wednesday that there was one egg in the nest. There's a chance more eggs could be laid over the next few days.

Update: I've been informed that there are two eggs in the nest now.

Bobby, Sadie, and a Tompkins Square Park Hawk - March 25th, 2015

I had camera settings problems while en route to Washington Square Park today so I missed photographing some action like one of the TSP (Tompkins Square Park) Hawks hunting pigeons over Bowery, one (or the same) TSP Hawk on a regular building perch, and Bobby on a new perch northeast of the park.

Thankfully I was able to correct my settings once I was in Washington Square Park.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was busy peeling tree bark to uncover grubby snacks:

A squirrel licked water from one of the last piles of snow remaining in the park:

Sadie was in the nest. She rose once and looked like she was rotating eggs:

I was afraid of getting caught in the rain so I left pretty quickly.

I walked eastward along East 4th Street and could see one of the Tompkins Square Park Hawks on a regular First Avenue building perch:

The red A in the Google Maps satellite view below shows where that building is in relation to Washington Square Park (due east from the park):

I then walked to Cooper Square (a couple of blocks north of 4th Street) to take pictures of the new perch I saw Bobby on earlier.

I had seen him sitting on the heat vent cover below (on 3rd Avenue between 9th & 10th Streets):

View of the busy street below that building:

That building is around the corner from Cooper Union art school:

To get another perspective, Washington Square Park is on the extreme left, the art school on the extreme right:

I had seen Bobby overlooking Cooper Square in the past but had never seen him actively hunt there until today.

I was photographing the buildings when all of a sudden I saw a big bird flying above them so I started to photograph it thinking, 'Hmmm, that kind of looks like a Falc- oh, it's Bobby!'

I recognized him from a current gap in the fifth main feather on his right wing and by the fact that he'd been seen in that vicinity a few times in the past.

He circled the pigeons who gather on the side of the art school and little Cooper Park:

He then tucked in and dove like a bullet toward 4th Street but I didn't get to see if he caught anything.

He and Rosie used to sit together on the top floor's railing of this building that runs along Broadway (I saw Bobby up there as recently as March 21st):

The building is so tall, it overlooks Cooper Square. Bobby and Rosie would dive toward the Cooper Square pigeons but I would miss seeing if they caught anything because of tall buildings blocking my view.

It began to rain so I high-tailed it out of the area for the day.

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.