Young Hawk visits Washington Square Park, gets chased out by Sadie - November 20th, 2017

The park was full of Woodpeckers today. I wasn't finding any Hawks for the first hour of my visit so I was a little worried I wouldn't have much to share today.


I spotted Bobby circling over the eastern side of the park but didn't see where he went. After a few minutes I saw the western pigeon flock go crazy in their trees and heard Blue Jays yelling so I rushed over and eventually saw a Hawk land in a tree near me. 

Its head was turned away from me at first so I thought it was Bobby but its chest feathers looked different. I got closer and wow, it was a young Red-tail!


It was excited, bobbing its head around as it looked at the pigeons flying erratically.

Its eyes were still light in color but its tail feathers were already red so it's a very young adult.


It settled down and preened. It'd study prey from time to time but took time out to stretch and relax.









I had been watching it for about an hour and ten minutes when I finally saw one of the Washington Square adults again as it flew to the church cross:


It was Sadie:


The youngster saw her and watched her with interest but it didn't move:


I thought for sure Sadie would see it and chase it out of the park. I was disappointed when I saw her leave her perch 3 minutes later and fly out of the park. I was hoping to see an exciting turf war.






Another 55 minutes passed before I saw Bobby and Sadie circle over the park square. Surely now they'd see the youngster and interact with it!



Instead, Sadie flew overhead and landed on her southwestern building perch:


I was disturbed to see a drone over the northern border of the park for a few seconds. Drones are illegal in almost all of NYC (except for sanctioned parks in the outer boroughs). They are dangerous for the Hawks too.




The young Hawk flew to the 'pigeon tree' almost 15 minutes after I last saw Sadie:





It was within seconds that I heard Sadie's familiar voice screaming as she circled above us. Finally! Either she saw the visitor earlier and tolerated it or saw it for the first time as it flew to its new tree (pretty much under her nose). In either case, she was expressing her displeasure and the youngster stared at her:


The youngster immediately flew out of its tree and over the park square (scaring the pigeons from their arch perch):




Sadie flew higher than the little Hawk and continued to scream.

They met up high in the sky and circled together:


Sadie chased it further and further north and away from the park:


It was a little sad to have to say goodbye to the beautiful Hawk but it was quite exciting to see Sadie defend her territory so ferociously.

I really didn't expect to spend four hours in the park today but I'm glad I did. I almost gave up Hawking after the first hour!