It looks as though Pale Male and Lima are encouraging their offspring to begin hunting on their own. Reports are the fledgling's endless begging for food was being ignored by their parents today. As I was leaving the park, one flew over to the Ramble. A possible sign the youngster was taking the hint!
Many of the former webcam watchers of the Washington Square nest meet up on Sunday mornings to watch Pip. Today, they got lucky and found her perched on top of an antenna next to the water tank for 2 Washington Square Village.
Ironically, this building is one of my pet peeves about New York University. The four buildings regularly put out their garbage in plastic trash bags, rather than dumpsters and their gardens are full of rodents and cockroaches. Rather than improve this situation by improving sanitation practices, N.Y.U. puts out poisons that put hawks at risk.
The N.Y.U. hawk webcam was sponsored by the university's sustainability department. Unfortunately, it looks like this group isn't interested in studying the impacts of the university's own practices on hawks in the area. I guess basic sanitation, reducing poison usage, and evaluating the types of poisons being used, isn't as trendy as reducing bottled water usage.
The Fifth Avenue fledglings continue to delight those who visit them. At this point they are very, very easy to watch. This afternoon and early evening they hung around in low branches and one of them had a rat for dinner.
They're a perfect antidote for Pip watching downtown, where one has to be happy with one sighting a week!
Tonight, the male of the Washington Square pair, Bobby, was seen hunting in Washington Square Park in the early evening, and most likely was seen on top of the W of the W Union Square Hotel at sunset.
I was only able to get pictures in Union Square from far away, so I'm not 100% sure of my I.D.
I received some odd emails about Pip's movement from Washington Square to Union Square. It has nothing to do Pip's reaction to hawk watchers or what park Pip likes the best. It is just the normal turn of events.
After fledgling, all Red-tailed fledglings roam, settling down somewhere for a week, then exploring another location, and yet another. This is important, since the area near the nest may not be the best area to grow up or to hunt in. Fledglings will end up exploring all of their parent's territory, and in some cases end up going beyond it before they leave home.
Bobby and Violet had a view of Union Square from the flagpoles they loved to perch on so much in Washington Square. Like the parents at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which call Morningside Park and the Northern portion of Central Park their home, the Washington Square Park pair claim more than one park.
It's great to observe that Red-tails can think "outside the box". City park too small? Claim more than one.
Proof once again of how adaptable Red-tailed Hawks can be when it comes to city life!
Tonight, lots of Washington Square hawk watchers got to see Pip and Bobby around Union Square Park.
Pip, the Washington Square fledgling was eating on the theater which currently hosts performances of Fuerza Bruta, when I first saw her. After she finished her meal, she flew to a section of the roof were we couldn't see her from the park.
So, we went in search of Bobby, who was found with good eyes and the help of an alarmed American Robin. He was enjoying looking at rats and squirrels who were amazingly bold with him nearby!
After about fifteen minutes, Pip called and Bobby went over to the theater. He then flew south. Pip then came out of hiding and they both ended up on a building a few blocks north of the theater. Within minutes, they both went north out of sight, but then Pip flew and perched high on a corner of the W hotel at 17th and Park Avenue South. She continued flying and may have perched on the rear fire escape of 215 Park Avenue South.
(Generally, I wouldn't give out such exact locations, but since the birds were so high off the ground, I doubt there is any harm.)
Nice night after a drought of Pip sightings! For more video, see the Roger Paw blog.
Hawk watchers in the late afternoon and early evening in Central Park were able to see rats being consumed by both Fifth Avenue fledglings, the offspring of Pale Male and Lima. The meals were eaten in trees, although one fledgling finished eating on the ground after dropping dinner.
The video from today is twenty minutes long and contains a great deal of footage of the meals being eaten. Watch it only if you don't mind seeing rodents being torn up and eaten.
I'm facintated by the way rodents being eaten by hawks, since there seems to be an order in which Red-tailed Hawks eat their prey. They consume the organs first, then the rest of the animal including the bones, and generally eat the tail last. It seems they eat the most nutritious parts first, and that they need to eat the bones to get enough calcium.
I received two emails on Thursday, about young hawks sightings near Washington Square the previous day on Wednesday the 20th.
Sean Morgan reported a sighting at 55 5th Avenue which is between 12th and 13th Streets. The bird was on the 18th floor and its marking matched Pip's, the Washington Square fledgling.
I also got a report from Lisa Buddenhagen about a fledgling perched at 215 Park Avenue South, which is at 18th Street. This bird could easily have been Pip, but there wasn't any clear field mark that was definative. However, my guess is the bird has an 80% chance of being Pip. Nothing ruled the bird out and I know of no other nearby nests.
I'm not surprised by the sightings. Pip and her parents hadn't been seen in Washington Square Park for a few days, so they have to be exploring other areas.
There had been many reports of Bobby being seen in Union Square in additon to Washington Square by birders earlier in the year. Do the adults claim multiple small parks to make up their territory? Could they control Union Square and possibly Gramercy Park, in addition to Washington Square?
And do they need a park at all? The male of the Central Park South hawks, used to kill pigeons that roosted below a water tank, atop a twelve story building with a Starbucks at Broadway and 60th Street. So, it's possible Pip doesn't even need a park!
Pip may turn out to be the most urban of all recent NYC Red-tail fledglings, if this behavior continues!
Thanks for the reports Sean and Lisa.
After having been away for two weeks in Alaska, I finally was able to get to see the newly fledged Fifth Avenue youngsters. Both look to be enjoying Cedar Hill, which is a few blocks north of the nest and one block west.
One had caught a young robin before I arrived, which may have been its first kill (or close to it).
For me it was exciting, since I started birding after the fertility problems at Fifth Avenue. So these were the first Fifth Avenue youngsters I've ever seen!