Today while watching a feeding, a nice gentleman came up to me to watch and said "those hawks are why we have rats in Washington Square Park". I was taken aback at first but realized it was a chance to educate him about rats in the park.
I told him that the rodent population issues in the park were more complicated than simply a ban on poisons. It's too simplistic to say the rats are there because the use of poisons have been restricted. I informed him that snare traps can be just as effective as poisons when used properly and managed.
I went on to say that I thought the real cause of the rat problem in the park was the failure of the parks department to take preventative measures to control the rodent population. The park simply encourages them due to:
It's important for the hawk watching community to prevent a backlash against the restrictions on poisons in the park. We'll need to work with the new Washington Square Park Conservancy to educate them about the complexity of this issue.
It will also mean a reduction of animal feeding in the park which would be very unpopular with the pigeon and squirrel constituencies. This may be the hardest battle.
(...and before anyone says it. A family of hawks will never control the rodent population of Greenwich Village.)
Sometimes a visit to Washington Square has lots of dull moments, but this evening there were visits by Bobby to the park, Rosie going off to eat, and lots of feedings. Plus it was a very nice day, sunny and in the sixties.
The Kestrel was back giving Bobby a hard time. I suspect both pairs of raptors have nestlings.
I made yet another visit to Washington Square Park this evening. (It's close to my office and my workday ran long.) Things continue to look great and it looks like the adults are getting used to having kids.
Rosie only took a quick break and Bobby was around the park but didn't spend much time in view.
The Washington Square nest has two hatched eyasses and an unhatched egg as of this morning. I was able to capture a few minutes of the NYU webcam video of a feeding.
The chat room as named them Kiku and Archie. Kiku after a member of the chat room who passed away, and Archie for the Washington Square Arch.
The third egg hatched at 12:45 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 15th. It has been named Judson.
An eleven minute clip from the Washington Square web camera of Rosie taking a little break Sunday morning.
The second egg hatched on the Washington Square nest today. While the web camera watchers got a show, there wasn't much to see from the ground in the afternoon. Bobby visited the nest and there were two feedings.
Rosie and Bobby in Washington Square are close to their hatch date, so I decided to make a trip and see how things are doing. It was quiet at first. Then Bobby appeared on top of 2 Fifth. A nest exchange took place and Rosie did some high flying. She settled down on the west side of the park, before dropping down to some low tree branches to look for rodents.
Eventually, see went to the north side of the park where it looks like she caught a pigeon. (It was out of view, so there is a possibility she just picked up a pigeon Bobby cached for her.) She eat a good deal of it, then flew of towards the nest. Even before she got back to the eggs, Bobby had left the nest to eat the leftovers!
The wait is over. The new URL is www.livestream.com/nyu_hawkcam
Rosie and Bobby are nesting again. Rosie is sitting on the nest and it looks like she's rolling at least one egg.
The New York Times has withdrawn from sponsoring the web camera, so hawk watchers may need to come to the park in person if they want a live view of the hawks this year.
Update: 3/13/13, News comes from one of the chat moderators that NYU will be hosting a camera on their own this year. The camera will be installed in a few weeks.
The adult female of Washington Square was hunting in the park this afternoon. The park had lots of downed tree limbs and construction debris that came off of 2 Fifth Avenue. The park is still closed to the public, but park employees were working hard to clean up the mess. The area is still without power.
I started my day exploring Central Park without any luck, then Washington Square without any luck and finally found two hawks in Union Square. For those unfamiliar with New York City Parks, Union Square is about eight blocks north of Washington Square and can be seen from that park's nest.
In Union Square, I first spotted Rosie, the adult female, between the W and U of the W Union Sq sign, at Park Avenue South and 17th Street. I then saw a young hawk hunting around the Square's main lawn. It was most likely Boo. It caught a small rodent. The hawk looked very healthy and has its mother's enthusiasm for hunting, making at least ten passes at squirrels.
Red-tail Hawk fledglings wonder farther from home base as the summer progresses. Hawks from the Washington Square family have been seen in Father Demo Square (southwest) and Union Square (north) this week.
So, I was surprised to find one one of the fledglings back in a familiar spot, the west side of Washington Square Park. The fledgling was doing some haphazard hunting, moving at least forty Rock Pigeons over and over again.
Tonight the two fledglings were calm after the thunderstorms. One was in a tree on the east side of the park, and the other on a building on the SW corner of the park. One of the parents arrived with a Rock Pigeon and the juvenile in the park joined the mother and took the pigeon from her.
Other than this not much happened.
I arrived in the park to find the two fledglings playing around a plastic bag. I discovered it had trapped water and the young hawks were using it too cool off.
The hawks and their mother perched in trees for a long time in the hot weather as well. A thunderstorm came through and I exited the park.
The fledglings continue to delight park visitors. If you haven't seen the fledglings in a while, try to make a visit this weekend. They're at a delightful, playful age.
I love when watching Red-tailed Hawks, you end up seeing a Peregrine Falcon and an American Kestrel have a territorial battles with the hawks. One raptor gets you two more. This happened this evening around Washington Square.
Bobby kept an eye on the Peregrine Falcon and Rosie got buzzed by the American Kestrel.
Both fledglings were hard to find until dusk. One was spotted going between trees in the east side of the park, before going up to a building. The other fedgling flew to the the Silver building from the library. They're getting used to maneuvering in trees, and are doing very well at gaining altitude and flying long distances.
The Fledglings seem to get more comfortable flying and landing each day. The both appeared on the building east of the park this evening. They put on a nice show.
Both appeared to roost in trees this evening. Rosie has been spending a great deal of time hunting in the area around the fledglings. It will be interesting to see if this year, the fledglings spend more time in the park than Pip did last year.
Viewers of the webcam got to see one of the fledglings return to the nest and get fed. Returning to the nest by a fledgling doesn't happen that often, as the nest is primarily a nursery rather than a home for Red-tailed Hawks. But when it does, it's fun to watch.
I saw both a fledgling and the mother, Rosie on the nest in the evening. Highlights of the night included a miscalculated landing on the library by a fledgling. It though it could land on a window ledge, but there wasn't really a ledge, so it floated down to a ledge on the second floor of the library. Luckily, it looked much more dangerous than it turned out to be.
The fledglings ventured into the trees, and it is possible that one may have roosted in a tree for the evening but it was hard to tell for sure.