You would think Tompkins Square Park would be quiet in early December, but the resident Red-tailed pair has had to deal with visiting Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's Hawks and Peregrine Falcons. It's a great show and made it a fun visit to the park.
It was a very windy afternoon on Friday. When I arrived the two adults were escorting a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk out of their territory. We lost track of the adult female, but the male came into the park and made two loops around the park and made a trip to the top of the Chritodora House. It's amazing to watch hawks maneuver in high winds. They move very fast with incredible control.
With thunderstorms expected on Thursday and the end of Daylight Saving Time this Sunday, today was the last day I could go birding after work until the spring. So, I went to Tompkins Square Park and watched Christo (and Dora briefly) hunt in the park. He caught a small rodent but didn't really get a great meal.
I've been away at a conference for a week in Las Vegas. I returned to the city last night and went down to Tompkins Square Park this afternoon.
Christo, the male of the pair that resides in the park, fly into a tree next to me within minutes of my arrival at the park. He then went hunting and caught a rodent. He then ended up into a tree where he roosted for the night. As I was leaving, I saw an Eastern Red Bat.
What a nice homecoming back to New York City.
The temperatures are dropping and Red-tailed Hawk pairs are returning to their old hunts. Both hawks were in Tompkins Square Park this evening. Nice to see them enjoying the park.
The Tompkins Square Park adults on the Most Holy Redeemer church near 4th Street and Avenue A on Tuesday evening.
Mid-August can be a frustrating time to watch hawks. Juveniles are becoming harder to find as they expand their range, and for some precocious ones, begun to migrate. So, for the last week I've had to be content to find some adult hawks in both Washington and Tompkins Square Parks.
It was too hot to stay too long watching the Tompkins Square Hawks. Plus the punk bands celebrating the TSP riot, were a little too loud. But I did get to see two fledglings and Dora. There was a funny squirrel/hawk standoff too. A squirrel climbed a small tree that the hawk was in, and then realized it wasn't a good idea. Luckily, no one was hurt.
I didn't spend much time in Tompkins Square Park this evening, but saw a fledgling near Avenue A, two young hawks soaring over the Lower East Side and Dora on a church cross.
Tonight, Christo acted almost like it was late fall. He spend the evening in the park, casting a pellet, visited the flag pole and did some hunting. It was nice to spend time with him. One of the fledglings was also in the park and on nearby buildings. A nice evening, finally with some normal temperatures too.
This evening, a fledgling caught another Rock Pigeon and had a meal of it. While it was eating both parents, arrived and Christo, the male gave Dora a pigeon to eat. Humorously, the fledgling who had just eaten a whole pigeon, stole the pigeon from Dora.
Today we watched a fledgling do at least fifteen hunting runs before finally catching a Rock Pigeon in Tompkins Square Park. It was exciting to watch and may have been one of the fledglings first kills.
The hawk's sibling hunted a different way. It stole the pigeon leftovers from its sibling!
It looks like the fledglings at Tompkins Square Park are growing up and venturing farther and farther from the park. They've been venturing down to 4th Street and Avenue A, on churches and public housing. They've also been on the top of the Christodora Apartments frequently.
But there has still be at least one fledgling near the pool each day. But this might not last long. As July turns into August, the fledglings are going to get harder and harder to find.
The three fledglings in Tompkins Square Park were having a great time on Sunday afternoon. They were very active and played on the ground chasing sticks, one had a meal, and another ended up bathing in a playground fountain. Just like any youngster, it's so fun to watch them learn through play.
The fledglings in Tompkins Square Park are still being feed by their father. This evening one of them got a pigeon. The fledglings have begun to explore beyond the park as well, with the abandoned school on 9th Street becoming a common destination.
Tompkins Square Park continues to be lots of fun with fledglings enjoying the park and the fenced in lawns. Friday afternoon had two enjoying the east side of the park.
We found two of the youngsters and their father in the park this evening. One was playing on the roof of the Men's room, playing hide and seek with a squirrel and then taking a bath. The other was in a nearby tree and their father was hunting near a dumpster.
After a vacation, I had a chance to hawk watch in Tompkins Square Park this evening. All three fledglings ended up in the same tree with both parents close by and one fledgling even tried to catch a squirrel. Lots of action which was lots of fun.
Not much happened at Tompkins Square Park in the early evening. The young hawks were back on the nest and the parents were enjoying the wind.
At Tompkins Square Park, at least two hawks have fledged, but they were all back on the nest Sunday afternoon. Dora, the adult female had brought food, so they all ended up on the nest. We've see this at other nests, where the nest becomes a feeding station, but it is unusual. It will be interesting to see how things progress over the next few days.
I love fledge days. After days of waiting and watching, mostly at a nest, a greater adventure begins both for the young hawks and the hawk watchers. Today was like so many other fledge days. It included lots of enthusiasts sharing the joy of watching a creature enjoy flight for the first time.
At 8:08 p.m. this evening we had the first fledge. The eyass made its way to the highest branch of the tree on the west side of the tree, and made a good flight west. It explored one tree for about fifteen minutes before flying to another tree. They were good flights with good landings.
The Tompkins Square Park eyasses are full of energy jumping from branch to branch around the nest. It's a sure sign that they'll be fledgling soon. I can't wait to see how they fledge and do they gravitate to the tall trees of the park or the buildings around the park the first few days off the nest?
My visit to the Tompkins Square Park nest coincided with the Memorial Day Punk Event. The hawks didn't seem to mind the concert at all. The eyasses don't seem ready to branch or fledge yet. After two years of air conditioner nests, it will be fun to watch this batch of youngsters branch this year.
The Tompkins Square Park hawks look fantastic. They're doing well in their tree nest after two years on air conditioners. All three youngsters look healthy and well fed.
The three eyasses at Tompkins Square Park and their parents were all seen this evening. As the young ones get bigger their parents are leaving the nest unattended more often and feedings are less frequent. They're getting grayer and less white with their primary feathers starting to be visible. It's great to see the family doing so well.
I was thrilled to see three eyasses being fed by their mother and then their father at Tompkins Square Park this evening. So were many school children who got a look at the young ones having a meal by looking at my camera screen.
If you have a spotting scope, there is a great spot to look at the nest in front of a restaurant at Avenue B just south of 7th Street.
I was thrilled to see the little head of an eyass feeding at Tompkins Square Park this evening. It's best seen by very carefully watching the parents feeding the eyass on the video. This is going to be one tough nest to watch, but I'm happy they aren't on an air conditioner this year!
The hawks in Tompkins Square Park, copulated, rested and copulated again within an hour today. They didn't even bother to fly to another branch. Spring really is in the air.
Reports are coming in about how nests are doing around Manhattan...
- There is a pair hanging out in Chinatown around Canal Street and the Manhattan Bridge, but no nest has been found as of yet.
- There is a new nest at 116th and Riverside Drive, possibly the pair that abandoned a fledgling at Grant's Tomb last year. (Update 3/18/16. Grant's Tomb and the 116th Street might both be active this year.)
- The Sheep Meadow nest blew down over the winter and the pair has been seen bringing twigs to a number of buildings on or near Central Park South including Trump Parc, The Plaza and the Crown Building.
- The pair that tried to nest on the Beresford last year, as been seen bringing twigs to both the San Remo and the Beresford this winter.
It should be a fun year, and hawk watching will get easier after we change to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday.
I returned to the park on Sunday, and caught two behaviors I had missed on Saturday, copulation and eating. Looks like all systems are go for the Spring.
The Tompkins Square Park pair were very active today. They copulated frequently and worked on their nest. This year they've decided to be traditionalists and are working on a nest in a tree, after two years of using air conditioners.
They both roosted for the evening on different fire escapes. The roost were about a third of a block apart, and both had clear views of the new nest.
I got to see both Tompkins Square Hawks tonight, but was only able to photograph one on a church cross. I'll be away next week and then we'll soon be back on standard time, so hawk watching will become a weekend activity soon.
The Red-tails of Tompkins Square Park have been building a nest this past week in a tree. For a pair that's had two air conditioner nests, it's been a surprise. I didn't get to see any nest building tonight, but did see the female work her way around the park and go to roost. She took 50 minutes from when she went to roost to shutting her eyes. This was much longer than I expected.
I saw both parents today on a chimney, then saw Dora on a church cross on Avenue B. She's molting, so she looks a little "rough" right now. No sign of the youngsters who have been difficult to find.
In July, I was very busy with work and then on vacation, so I didn't have much time to hawk watch. I finally had some free time and was able to visit Avenue A and Fifth Avenue this afternoon.
Hawk Watching can be frustrating. Most fledgings have learned to hunt and are going further and further away from their home base. And they're becoming more independent, venturing away from siblings and parents.
So, I wasn't surprised when I only saw one fledgling briefly on the Most Holy Redeemer Church today. That's normal for August.
The whole Avenue A family, the parents and the three fledglings were on the Most Holy Redeemer Church on Third Street this evening. It was great to see all three fledglings at once.
One of them has been getting him/herself into trouble over the last few days. Once it hung out low on Avenue A and had to be relocated to the park, and then two days later it flew into an air shaft. So, it was great to see all three flying around the church.
Dinner for one of the fledglings was a rat, which it stole from a sibling!
A store right below the Avenue A nest made the most out of the mess they endured while the eyasses were above. They created a great window display of the eggs and the eyasses. Worth a detour if you're on the Lower East Side. 45 Avenue A between 3rd and 4th Streets.
I went down to Avenue A to see how everyone was doing after the excitement on Wednesday, where one of the hawks got relocated to Tompkins Square Park.
I was able to find four of the hawks, but not the one who went to TSP. It had been last seen in the morning. (There were lots of robins attacking something at the top of a tree, near where the bird had been released so it might just have been too high to find.)
The four hawks were together on the Most Holy Redeemer Church.
- Adult Male
- Adult Female
Two of three eyasses fledged today. One to a bar and the other to a church and then a school. How Alphabet!
I went looking to see if the Avenue A nest had fledged on Friday, to find all three eyasses still on the nest. I was a day to early. One fledged on Saturday morning! But they were fun to watch as there last day as an air conditioner trio.
The nest on Avenue A continues to do well. It's a little crowded on the air conditioner, but they're managing. The parents spent most of the evening across the street on the church, with the mother making one brief visit.
The adult male brought food to the nest and the three eyasses ate on their own, a sign they're growing up and will be fledging in a few weeks. The eyasses can be aggressive in going after the food, and one was today, quickly taking it from their father.
It began to rain, so I had to pack up my camera, but I still watched the nest. After about twenty minutes of letting the eyasses work on the food by themselves, the mother came in to help them finish their meal.
The trio at Avenue A and Third Street are doing well, however their window could use some cleaning after they leave! It's going to be a little tight on that nest once jump/flapping starts.
We might have a repeat of last year, where one of the hawks fledges much later than its siblings!
The Avenue A & 3rd Street nest hatched about a week ago. There are three eyasses. Tonight I arrived just as their mother return to the nest and fed them. The father was on top of a cross on a nearby church.
After visiting Washington Square it was off to Avenue A, and the new location of the Tompkins Square Park nest. This location is going to be hard to photograph. But the apartment owners have set up a camera, Avenue A Camera, so it should be a fun nest to follow.
My first stop on Sunday was Washington Square Park, where the pair was copulating on 1 Fifth Avenue when I arrived in the park. With the high winds, they seemed to be in no mood to move, so I went off to Tompkins Square Park.
The Tompkins Square Park nest has moved to Avenue A between 3rd and 4th Street on the north side of the avenue on a top floor air conditioner. The hawks brought twigs to the nest while I was there.
On early Sunday afternoon, I arrived at Tompkins Square Park to find the two adults circling just east of the park. They circled and circled, getting higher and higher until they joined at least two other Red-tailed Hawks and what looked like another species of raptor. The Red-tailed Hawks escorted out the intruder.
When it was over the two Tompkins Square Park hawks returned and they seemed to be escorting a pair of Red-tailed Hawks to move further north. My interpretation of the events was that the pair of hawks seen frequently in Stuyvesant Town may have been chasing an intruder, gotten support from the TSP Pair, but once the intruder was safely escorted out of both pairs territories, the Stuyvesant Town hawks had to be chased back to their territory.
After hearing two very upset hawks and watching workers try to install a piece of plexiglass (which seems to be a very bad idea), we ran into a member of the Christodora Co-op Board who explained what was happening at the Christodora House.
The building is starting a two year facade renovation which will require surrounding the building with a protective screen so all the brickwork can be replaced. If you've seen the top of the Christodora, which has mesh on top of almost the entire top floor to prevent brickwork from falling, you know this is an urgent and necessary project.
So, the buildings actions to remove the nest and discourage the hawks from reestablishing a nest are entirely justified. It's better to force the hawks to relocate, then to have them injured during the construction.
But you have to wonder about two things:
1) How naïve the building's board and management company must be not to have had a press release ready to explain their actions? The Christodora House nest did get huge coverage in the NYC tabloids. It was big news. Didn't the board know about the problems at Pale Male's nest and the recent fines levied against a construction crew on Central Park West?
2) What the heck are they doing with that sheet of plexiglass? Imagine what would happen if one of the adult hawks flies into the plexiglass and is injured? Looks like the Christodora House needs some adult supervision.