When the Riverside Park eyasses were on the nest, hawk watching was relaxed. There wasn't much we could do that would bother the hawks.
But now that they're off the nest, we need to be responsible bird watchers. This means doing what we can to reduce the stress on these young hawks and keep them safe.
It also means that those of us who are experienced bird watchers must act as role models for all the new hawk watchers this year. Please politely reach out to those who get too close, encircle the hawks when they are on the ground or draw too big a crowd.
I know it's hard for New Yorkers to be diplomatic but each of us can easily influence a few people. Simple statements can get great responses, like "Did you know this is the fledgling's first week of flying. We really should stay on the path. Do you want to use my binoculars?" or "Aren't these hawks wonderful. You know if we don't stay still and relatively quiet, they'll fly away. Do you know their history?".