Bobby takes a rat - December 19th, 2016

Bobby Hawk flew over my sidewalk as I walked along the northern border of Washington Square Park today. It was a nice way to start my Hawk outing.

He landed on Judson Memorial Church cross then flew to the western trees by the time I caught up with him.

It was quite chilly and the park was pretty empty during my Hawk visit so not too many people noticed him.

Some criss-crossing in his tail feathers:



He hopscotched on a few branches before moving to a new tree to hunt from:



He left this tree after 20 minutes:





He surveyed the lawns for 6 minutes before diving toward prey:


He caught a rat in a little fenced-in area of the lawn:




Scrunch and spring:




He ate it so fast, he was already done by the time I walked to his new tree:


He hopped to a fresh branch to wipe up on:



He soon returned to the little cluster of trees from which he hunted:



A couple of squirrels were calling and responding their Hawk warning cry (which sounds like a creaky door opening and closing). This fellah was making the bigger racket:


Bobby didn't pay the squirrels any mind. He flew just south of the park after 15 minutes. It looked like he was chasing something that was at the buildings lining the southwestern corner of the park but I never saw what he was after. 



He rose high up and circled above the block south of the park:


He rose even higher then dove quickly further south. I lost sight of him so I walked around the few blocks around the area to look for him. I saw a Hawk on the Con Ed tower (which is several blocks northeast of the park) but I couldn't tell which Hawk it was.

The heat waves from buildings' chimneys made it difficult to lock focus on the bird:


I was about to leave for the day when all of a sudden I saw Bobby back on the cross!


I think the Hawk on the tower might have been Bobby because there was no Hawk there when I watched Bobby on the cross. He had had enough time to fly from the tower to the cross without my seeing him (about 10 seconds' worth of flight time on average).

He preened for a few minutes then landed on the southwest corner building:



He left his perch almost immediately afterward and disappeared so I left for the day.

***

I saw what I am pretty sure was a young Turkey Buzzard circling the northern area of the park while Bobby was in the trees but I never got a great photo of it to study. 

A Cooper's Hawk flew from southwest of the park to east of the park which was pretty nice. It was a raptor-filled day.

In other news, a fellow Hawk-watcher has seen both Bobby and Sadie over the last few days and Bobby roosting at the Red Roost Inn regularly so all seems well with the Hawks.