Washington Square Park

I made a brief visit to Washington Square Park this evening and found the fledgling on a building in the southwest corner of the park and the adult male on 1 Fifth Avenue.  Not much was happening so I went home.  Soon thereafter, I got some texts from a friend that the action started as soon as I left with the fledgling coming down into the trees in the western side of the park and getting a visit from its father. Oh, well!

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Washington Square Park

After a few days where the fledgling alluded hawk watchers, it was nice to get a text from a friend that she was quietly sitting in a tree on the west side of the park.  She moved around a bit while I was there and Bobby, her father came in to check on her.  But in general, it was a quiet afternoon.

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Washington Square Park

Today, I after a good deal of searching I was able to find the fledgling and the adults.  My first sighting was a parent going west off of the student center towards Washington Square West.  Then after about ten minutes both adults were on top of an apartment building on the NW corner of the park.  It's unusual to see them together at this spot, so I hoped the fledgling was nearby.  One of the parents kept flying to a building on the SW corner of the park, so I guessed the fledgling was on one of the western buildings.  But I couldn't find it, but could hear Blue Jays from the park.  So I went out to Sixth Avenue and from in front of the IFC movie theater could see the fledgling on a railing of the SW building on the park.  It was foggy, so the photographs aren't great.  But I felt like I had been a great detective to find the fledgling!

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Washington Square Park, Day 2

The fledgling's second day included trips back and forth from the Pless Building to trees on the east side of the park, and at the end of the day a journey to the top of the Silver Building.  The fledgling seems strong and confident.  A hawk that is late to fledge may be better prepared for life outside the nest, and this seems to be the case here.

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Washington Square Fledgling

The Washington Square Park eyass fledged early this morning.  As is my habit, I slept late on Saturday morning and didn't make it to the park until the afternoon.  When I arrived, the fledgling has already been found on top of a platform that used to support a water tank behind the Pless building.  It was cooperative and gave great view before flying to a nearby roof and out of view.  It then reappeared back on the same structure for about 45 minutes.  It then made a good strong flight north, and we could not find it.  I suspect it was on a roof of a building on Washington Square North.

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Washington Square Is Late

The Washington Square Eyass should have fledged a few days ago, but seems in no rush to leave.  It looks ready to go, except for two primary feathers (5 and 6) on the right wing.  This is similar to the retarded growth of a few feathers with last year's eyass.

It might take the parents to get this hawk to fledge by teasing it off the nest with food dropped not on the nest but nearby buildings.  We'll see what happens over the next few days.

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Washington Square After The Rain

Monday was rainy in New York City but it stopped in time for me to go to the park in the early evening.  Both parents were on the Silver Building, but were out of view from each other.  The female was on a high ledge on the southern corner and the male below a flagpole.  The eyass slept most of the time, but it did do a few jump-flaps.

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2017 Nest Update 5

Changes from the last report:

  • The 95th and Lexington nest has been abandoned
  • The J. Hood Wright Park nest has hatched according to observers
  • The Grant's Tomb has at least two eyasses
  • The Washington Square nest had an eyass die.  The current pair have had three nests.
    • In 2015 the nest produced 2 healthy fledglings
    • In 2016 there were two unhatched eggs and while one eyass fledged suscessfully, it had problems with late feather growth.
    • In 2017, there was one unhatched egg, one eyass that died in the first week and one hopefully healthy eyass.

The decline of the success rate for the Washington Square nest makes one question if there is a problem with the environment around the park.   We might be seeing the effects of low levels of rodenticides or some other agent.

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Washington Square

I got to watch two feedings from the female, and also got to see Bobby visit the nest and a few perches in Washington Square this evening.

It looks like the last egg will not be hatching at Washington Square.  While this is better than last year, when two eggs didn't hatch and the only eyass had issues with feather growth, it brings into question the health of the environment around NYU.  While the park has removed rodenticides, they are still used by the University and other building owners around the park.  While many of us has focused on hawk deaths due to secondary rodenticides, fertility problems are also a major problem with these poisons.  I'm afraid we might be seeing this issue at Washington Square Park.

Update 4-26-17: The youngest eyass on the nest died within the last 48 hours.  Cause of death unknown.

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Brood Patch

It was a nice spring evening in Washington Square Park.  Bobby, the male was on the Education Building flagpole when I arrived.  He went to the nest to give the female a break.  She went to a spanish roof at the southwestern side of the park where she preened for about an hour.  Her brood patch was visible at times when she faced the wind.  While watching her, there was a photogenic Palm Warbler in the park grass.

The female hawk returned to the nest and Bobby then went to the Pless building and appeared to take a chest bath.  After about fifteen minutes he few west and we lost him somewhere around the Judson church.

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Quick Glimpses

Tonight I only had quick glimpses of the female.  Once when the male came to visit and later when the male delivered a rodent.  Watching brooding hawks is a bit slow.  I can't wait until the forth week of April when we'll have lots of young hawks to watch!

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Washington Square Park Excitement

I was on my way to visit CCNY uptown when I saw an email on my phone with a report of a grounded hawk in Washington Square Park.  So, I switched subway trains and headed for the park.  When I got there I found a hawk in a tree looking a bit stunned, but otherwise fine.  It didn't look like either of the nesting adults, so I was confused.  Then the resident male, Booby appeared on the Judson church cross and I could see the female on the Ustream camera feed, so I knew for sure this was an intruder.

Bobby hunted nearby, caught a small rodent and ate it, before going off to roost in a favorite spot.  Only after Bobby had left did the intruder leave the park, flying down LaGuardia Place.

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