Juvie Settles In

The youngster in Washington Square Park seems to have settled in and the adults on the territory are getting used to it being around.  At least for now! 

This afternoon the youngster caught a squirrel near the bathrooms.  The adults both hunted nearby.  Bobby had a pigeon on top of Dr. Sexton's apartment roof, and we saw the female go after something but couldn't find her afterwards.


20151018RTHA01

20151018RTHA02

20151018RTHA03

20151018RTHA04

20151018RTHA05

20151018RTHA06

20151018RTHA07

20151018RTHA08

20151018RTHA09

20151018RTHA10

20151018RTHA11

20151018RTHA12

20151018RTHA13

20151018RTHA14

20151018RTHA15

20151018RTHA16

20151018RTHA17

20151018RTHA18


Youngster Continues In Washington Square Park

The young hawk in Washington Square Park seems to be settling in around the large-dog dog run.  It was there this evening.  I found it thanks to a young child in a playground who yelled to his mother, "Look an owl".  Reports are that the adult pair seem to be tolerating it more. 

It went to roost in a tree just inside the park at Sullivan and Washington Square South.


20151015RTHA01

20151015RTHA02

20151015RTHA03

20151015RTHA04

20151015RTHA05

20151015RTHA06

20151015RTHA07


Washington Square Park

The juvenile that's been spending time in Washington Square Park spent a large part of the morning on a lawn, prompting some concerns.  All was good however, as the bird was seen eating a rat in the afternoon.

I saw it for about a minute this evening by the larger-sized dog, dog run (the park has two, one for large dogs and one for small dogs), but I lost track of it as I was setting up my equipment.

Then after sunset, both adults were soaring around One University Place and suddenly a hawk speeds down to a tree.  We see another hawk move slightly in the same tree.  We ran to the tree and find the youngster, who gets attacked again by Bobby, who was only a few feet above. I don't think any contact got made between the two.  It was more of a warning shot, then anything else.

We then found the adult female perched on the Silver Building.  Fun evening.


20151012RTHA01

20151012RTHA02

20151012RTHA03

20151012RTHA04

20151012RTHA05

20151012RTHA06


Kid vs Adult, Day 2

The battle between the young hawk and Bobby, the male adult of Washington Square continues.  After the young hawk eat a rodent, Bobby chased the youngster all around the park, before giving up at nightfall.  The youngster then roosted near the Washington Square Arch.

(General conscience is that the youngster is most likely a migrant on its way south.)


20151008RTHA01

20151008RTHA02

20151008RTHA03

20151008RTHA04

20151008RTHA05

20151008RTHA06

20151008RTHA07

20151008RTHA08

20151008RTHA09

20151008RTHA10


Go Away Kid

I went to Washington Square Park this evening not expecting to see much, but ended up with a wonderful show.  A juvenile Red-tailed hawk was being chased by an adult hawk in the park.  Eventually, the adult left leaving the youngster to catch two small rodents and chase squirrels. 

I have no idea who the youngster was.  Was it this year's fledgling returning to the park or a migrant on its way through New York City?  Who knows?


20151007RTHA01

20151007RTHA02

20151007RTHA03

20151007RTHA04

20151007RTHA05

20151007RTHA06

20151007RTHA07

20151007RTHA08

20151007RTHA09

20151007RTHA10

20151007RTHA11

20151007RTHA12

20151007RTHA13

20151007RTHA14

20151007RTHA15

20151007RTHA16

20151007RTHA17

20151007RTHA18

20151007RTHA19

20151007RTHA20

20151007RTHA21

20151007RTHA22

20151007RTHA24

20151007RTHA25

20151007RTHA26

20151007RTHA27

20151007RTHA28

20151007RTHA29

20151007RTHA30

20151007RTHA31

20151007RTHA32

20151007RTHA33

20151007RTHA34

20151007RTHA35

20151007RTHA36

20151007RTHA37

20151007RTHA38

20151007RTHA39


Mercer and Washington

The Washington Square Fledglings have been hanging out on water tanks on Mercer street buildings this week. 

I caught up with one fledgling on a small water tank.  The parents were seen briefly flying high overhead together towards Union Square.


20150630RTHA01

20150630RTHA02

20150630RTHA03

20150630RTHA04

20150630RTHA05


Bolder Youngster

Our reluctant fledgling at Washington Square Park is getting more active, jumping around the three windows and being much more confident.  It had two rats for meals today.  At this rate it should be finally off the ledge on Monday or Tuesday.

The active fledgling was above the reluctant one on the roof of Pless for much of the afternoon, but eluded being photographed.  Both parents kept an eye on the two youngsters and late in the day the mother flew frequently over Pless, as though to say to the reluctant one, it is time to go.

(Word comes from Fifth Avenue, that all three have fledged.)

Monday update: The fledgling left the Pless building almost a week after it arrived, going to the Silver Building and back to Pless.  By the evening it was nowhere in sight, most likely enjoying a rooftop perch nearby.


20150621RTHA01

20150621RTHA02

20150621RTHA03

20150621RTHA04

20150621RTHA05

20150621RTHA06

20150621RTHA07

20150621RTHA08

20150621RTHA09

20150621RTHA10

20150621RTHA11

20150621RTHA12

20150621RTHA13


Keep Calm and Carrion

At Washington Square we have a rare but not unusual event happening.  A fledgling has decided it fledged too early and is staying put on a window ledge.  This is seen by rehabilitators from time to time. 

In this instance a number of rehabbers have been consulted and each agree that since:

  1. The bird is healthy
  2. The bird is being fed by its parents
  3. and it's in a safe location (with NYU security guards looking after it)

that the best course of action is to let nature take its course.  At some point the youngster will mature mentally and start flying.

Now, this rare but not unusual event is worrying the Washington Square and NYU community.  Inexperienced viewers are worried that something is wrong with the bird.  They've been calling 911, 311, Animal Control, the NYS DEC and every rehabber they can find.  This is all well intentioned but not helpful.

So, when I'm at Washington Square I reassure everyone who talks to me that:

  1. Multiple professionals have been contacted and all agree that the bird should stay where it is since it is a safe place and the bird is being fed by its parents.
  2. The crying one hears is normal for any young Red-tailed Hawk fledgling.  It is a call for food, but young birds often do this even after just being fed.  In addition, the loud calling is a confirmation that the bird is healthy.
  3. The bird most likely fledged too early and every day it waits the stronger and more mature it will be when it does decide to fly.

(I also learned Friday, that landing on Pless was not a crash landing as previously reported to me.  It was a sloppy but gentle landing.)


20150619RTHA01

20150619RTHA02

20150619RTHA03

20150619RTHA04

20150619RTHA05

20150619RTHA06

20150619RTHA07


Reluctant Fledgling

Washington Square Park has one of its fledglings staying in basically the same place since it fledged.  Except for moving from a fourth floor ledge to a third floor ledge it's stayed in the same place since around Monday at 10 am.

It's being fed by its parents and doesn't have any apparent injuries.  Most likely it fledged too early or may have hit its head while fledging and needs some time to recover.

The other fledgling was having a meal on the Shimkin Building roof and both parents were keeping an eye on both fledglings.


20150618RTHA01

20150618RTHA02

20150618RTHA03

20150618RTHA04

20150618RTHA05

20150618RTHA06

20150618RTHA07

20150618RTHA08

20150618RTHA09

20150618RTHA10

20150618RTHA11

20150618RTHA12

20150618RTHA13

20150618RTHA14

20150618RTHA15

20150618RTHA16

20150618RTHA17

20150618RTHA18

20150618RTHA19


Washington Square

The two fledglings at Washington Square can't be any different.  One is very active and flying high up to the roofs of the Shimkin Hall and the Education Building.  The other is staying put on a fourth floor window ledge of the Pless Building.  Young hawks definitely show you their personalities after fledging. 

The parents were in view, and both kept a close eye on both fledglings.


20150616RTHA01

20150616RTHA02

20150616RTHA03

20150616RTHA04

20150616RTHA05

20150616RTHA06

20150616RTHA07

20150616RTHA08

20150616RTHA09

20150616RTHA10

20150616RTHA11

20150616RTHA12

20150616RTHA13

20150616RTHA14

20150616RTHA15

20150616RTHA16


One Off At Washington Square Park

One eyass fledged sometime over the last day at Washington Square Park.  I discovered it on the roof of the Bobst Library late this afternoon. It had fledged sometime in the last 24 hours, most likely Sunday morning.  I received word that after I left the park, the fledgling ended up on the Pless building for the night.

It's sibling is still on the nest and was fed by the parents, who seem in no rush to have it leave. Update: The second fledgling left the nest sometime before 10 am on Monday morning.  Both birds were seen safely on buildings to the east of the park.  One on Silver and one on Pless.


20150614RTHA01

20150614RTHA02

20150614RTHA03

20150614RTHA04

20150614RTHA05

20150614RTHA06

20150614RTHA07

20150614RTHA08

20150614RTHA09

20150614RTHA10

20150614RTHA11

20150614RTHA12

20150614RTHA13

20150614RTHA14

20150614RTHA15

20150614RTHA16

20150614RTHA17

20150614RTHA18

20150614RTHA19


Grown Up

After a visit to Cape Cod for a family wedding and a busy work week, I finally got to hawk watch on Wednesday.  The Washington Square hawks have really grown up, and look like they could fledge whenever they're ready.   They looked fantastic taking short flights on the window ledge.


20150610RTHAWSP01

20150610RTHAWSP02

20150610RTHAWSP03

20150610RTHAWSP04

20150610RTHAWSP05

20150610RTHAWSP06


That Was Fast

The little ones at Washington Square Park, aren't so little anymore.  I'm amazed at how fast they grow. They have some orange in there chests, are gaining a belly band, and have wing and tail feathers growing in.


20150525RTHA01

20150525RTHA02

20150525RTHA03

20150525RTHA04

20150525RTHA05

20150525RTHA06

20150525RTHA07


Washington Square Park Maturing

More gray than white now, you can see the eyasses' wing feathers start to grow in.  They've begun venturing out on the ledge to the right of the nest too.  It's a great time to watch them, although it helps to have a spotting scope rather than just binoculars at this stage. While I visited in the early afternoon, not much happened and the female took an extended trip off the nest.  I think I must have just missed a feeding.


20150517RTHA01

20150517RTHA02

20150517RTHA03

20150517RTHA04


Livestream Update

Today, I worked on testing my new live broadcasting setup.  The technology is maturing and I hope to be able to do weekly broadcasts.  My Livestream page is livestream.com/urbanhawks. Follow me to be notified of broadcasts.

This year my live broadcast technology stack includes:

  • Blackmagic Production Camera 4K EF
  • Røde Stereo Microphone
  • Various Canon Lenses and teleconverters, including a 600mm L II f/4 lens
  • ikan V-mount Batteries and Switronix Jetpack for Power
  • Teradek Vidiu Encoder with a SDI to HDMI converter
  • Teradek Live:Air iPad Production Suite running on an iPad Mini 3
  • iPhone 6 for LTE G4 connectivity and a mobile WiFi network

Think of all this as a mobile news van shrunk down to the size of a backpack.