Washington Square Park

It's looking more and more like only one egg out of three hatched at Washington Square Park.  I was at the nest this afternoon and through the twigs could see only one eyass eating (around the 2:30 mark on the video).

One of the lesser known issues with rodenticides is their effect on fertility in raptors.  We might be witnessing this here.  While the Parks Department has stopped using poisons in Washington Square Park, they are commonly used by NYU properties around the area.


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Washington Square Park Hatches

Thanks to a contact at NYU, news spread that the first of three eggs had hatched at Washington Square Park today.  I went down after work to find fascinated parents, feeding the newly hatched bird, but mostly looking at the youngster.  Great news on Earth Day.


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Washington Square Park

While hawks are incubating eggs, visits to a nest can be dull or exciting.  At Washington Square Park, it was exciting tonight with a nice rodent kill and some visits to the nest.  News from NYU is that there are three eggs this year.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.)


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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?


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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.


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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.


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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.)


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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.


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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.


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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.


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