Mating on the ConEd tower, stick delivery, new perches - March 12th, 2018

The Washington Square Hawks were in fine form today. I watched them perch and briefly mate on the ConEd tower (my only time seeing them mate this season). Others have seen them mate all over the park several times!

Bobby then flew to the park and broke off a stick for the nest. He returned to the ConEd tower and perched on areas of the tower I'd never seen him on before. It was quite the amount of action packed into an hour and 15 minutes. 

As evening fell I watched Bobby tidy the nest then fly off to his evening roost hours later (video further below).

Both Hawks on the tower:

One of the Hawks flew off then returned to the tower:

I figured out that that Hawk was Sadie because Bobby then flew off the tower, circled around, then mated with Sadie:

Bobby flying to the nest:

He flew directly to the western trees:

He pulled at the tree bark. It looks like that tree has endured a lot of bark-peeling. This may be the very tree the Hawks get some of their soft nest material from:

He snapped off a fresh twig:

He circled around the eastern side of the park before swooping into the nest with the new stick:

He tucked into a dive and headed back to the ConEd tower:

I anticipated him landing on the top of the tower but he descended to a lower part of the base instead:

Sadie was seated at the top of the tower herself:

I saw that he was gone and by sheer luck spotted him on the corner of the building when looking at my photos when I was home. The heat waves from chimneys interfered with the sharpness:

I watched the live Hawk cam when I was back home and watched as Bobby tidied the nest before flying out and flying east on West 4th Street to his evening roost. Be sure to watch until the end to see him fly toward the buildings then travel down the street (traversing the boulevards as we humans do):

I have noticed the Hawks using the streets as paths at roosting time before. There have been occasions when Bobby has flown to the Red Roost Inn while flying low above the street, following the grid rather than flying high above in the sky. It leads me to speculate that these city Hawks sometimes uses the streetlamps to help navigate in the low light since Hawks have night vision similar to humans. I enjoyed this explanation about Hawks' night vision I saw online from wildlife rehabilitator Stefan Pociask.