The fledgling that has just been returned to the Washington Square Park was seen around 4th Street and Mercer most of the day. The earliest report I saw was 10 am and there was a report it roosted in a tree there tonight. It was on the ground briefly at 3 pm, which caused some alarm.
I arrived around 4 pm, and first saw the new male, and then the mother, on a building a between Broadway and Mercer about 20 stories up. Then some American Robins alerted me to where the fledgling was, on a street lamp, tucked inside a tree. After about an hour the fledgling started branching on the tree to a more comfortable spot. By then both adults were nowhere to be seen.
The fledgling found in a light well behind 15 Washington Place, was returned to Washington Square Park today. Bobby Horvath and Cathy St. Pierre took great care of it at WINORR. It was banded on the right leg. (The previously released bird was banded on the left leg.)
The released bird was very energetic, moving quickly from branch to branch, before changing trees. It then flew a full block south to 3rd Street. I had to leave the park around 1:30.
The Rogerpaw.com blog has coverage of what happened later in the day. It will be interesting to see how things work out over the next few days.
I looked for the Washington Square Park fledgling near where it was last seen on Wednesday. I didn't find the fledgling but saw an adult circling a building at Greenwich Avenue and Bank Street. The hawk perched on a few buildings before landing on the roof with prey. I jumped out of view and I could not relocate it. The hawk looked similar to the new male, but didn't have any missing wing feathers. So, I left more confused then when I arrived. Not what I was hoping for! In the cell phone photos, the hawk is by the center pipe in the rear of the roof.
While I didn't see it on Tuesday, it appeared that the Washington Square Park fledgling was somewhere near Sixth Avenue and 8th Street. The new adult male was going between a building on the park and the Jefferson Market Library. On Wednesday, the woman behind the Rogerpaw.com blog found the fledgling two blocks further NW on the site of the old St. Vincent's hospital.
The Washington Square Park fledgling that was found on the sidewalk at Bond and Broadway, was returned to Washington Square Park by WINORR on Sunday. Bobby Horvath removed the bird from the carrier and Cathy St. Pierre put the bird in a tree located in the southeast corner of the park. It branched and gained height with ease.
After about 30 minutes, the new adult male came in and chased the fledgling to Washington Square North. The fledgling got caught in some netting, but freed itself without issue. The bird stayed at the construction site for a few hours, with the male checking in occasionally. It had some fun interactions with a squirrel. At some point the bird went west, ending up on a tree at Fifth Avenue and Washington Square North. It moved trees, and then went to window ledges of Two Fifth Avenue.
At some point the fledgling moved to a balcony of Two Fifth. The new adult male was on top of One Fifth at this point being bothered by an American Kestrel. After about 20 minutes, the male came down quickly from One Fifth, pushing the fledgling from the balcony railing to the terrace and fought with the fledgling. I then saw the new adult male go up to the balcony railing. I could not relocate the fledgling after this.
I didn't see the mother at any time in the afternoon.
Later that day, another one of the Washington Square Park fledgling was rescued from a light shaft behind 15 Washington Place. Photographs are on the WINORR Facebook page. So, we now have two birds with rehabbers, since there is still a bird, that was found on the sidewalk in front of 10 Washington Place, at the Wild Bird Fund.
I was walking down Mercer and at 3rd Street heard Bluejays calling at Broadway and walked over. I ran into the woman behind the Rogerpaw.com blog, who had seen an adult high on a building. I then saw the new male on a streetlamp down Broadway. We then saw a crowd in front of the Face Gym. There was a fledgling on the ground. While the woman behind the Rogerpaw.com blog called Bobby Horvath, I called Ranger Sargent Rob Mastrianni. Both of them gave us the same advice. Put the fledgling in a cardboard box and wait for help.
I trash picked and found a box. The bird was placed in the box and we waited. While we waited, both adults kept watch, changing perches every so often. The mother had prey.
Ranger Rob arrived, transferred the bird to an animal carrier, and took the bird off to be examined.
An exciting day. I gave up drinking for June, but I think I'm having a martini tonight.
This means two of the three fledglings are in rehabilitation with one fledgling still in the greater Washington Square Park area.
I caught up with one of the Washington Square Park fledglings at 3rd Street and Broadway with the help of some American Robins, who were not happy to have a predator in their neighborhood. Their alarm calls helped me find the youngster on Hayden Hall.
The fledgling I saw looked well fed, and was doing a good job of maneuvering between various building locations.
The map below details sightings for the day:
Hayden Hall window sills and a nearby tree at 3rd Street and Broadway
A ledge across 3rd Street
Hayden Hall's Roof
Education Building Flagpole (mother) and roof (new male)
Building on Mercer Street and Washington Place, where a fledgling was sighted earlier in the day and where the mother perched
Air conditioner where mother first brought a pigeon and then used as a perch
For context, N. is the nest location and P. the Pless Building roof.
The aggressive behavior of the new male has been a concern since two of the fledglings were pushed of the Washington Square Park nest. Having arrived at the nest very late in the nesting period, the new male seems to view the young hawks as competitors rather than young to protect and raise. So the behavior I saw today was comforting. For the most part he left they eyasses along, except when they were brought food by the mother. Then from what I saw, he would got close to a fledgling, but the mother would intervene and he would back off.
So, while not ideal, his confusion does not look like it is putting the fledglings at risk right now. That's comforting. While I'd like to be an impartial observer and let nature take its course, I really would like to see fledglings to do well this season.
I visited Washington Square Park twice, once in the early afternoon and once in the late afternoon until dark.
In the early afternoon, I saw one of the fledglings on the western side of the park in a London Plane tree. It was most likely the second fledgling. She looked healthy and made soft cries, something you would expect from a fledgling at this age. The male was initially on 2 Fifth Avenue with the mother on 1 Fifth Avenue. Later he joined her on 1 Fifth Avenue.
In the late afternoon, I couldn't relocate the fledgling who had been the London Plane. (This is fairly normal. During normal years, where both parents survive, you commonly only get to find only one or two of the fledglings on a visit to the park.)
After feeling like I wasn't going to see a fledgling in the afternoon, the mother was spotted bringing a pigeon to a fledgling on the Shimkin building. It is the same corner as the Library where the nest is and also shares the corner with Goddard Hall, one of the buildings where two of the fledglings have been using the roofs.
The fledgling got to eat alone and in peace for a long period of time. After it was done eating, the male was aggressive twice. The mother intervened, and everything was fine.
The mother eat some of the leftover pigeon, and brought it to the Pless roof, where we think it was given to another fledgling. (We had heard one cry from the roof, when the first one was brought the pigeon initially.)
Shimkin's windows have fishing line at the window ledges to prevent pigeons from perching on the building. One year a fledgling got caught in the for about half an hour. Luckily, this fledgling did not get caught in them today. If you have a high resolution monitor you'll see them in the video.
So for now, it looks like the confused behavior of the male, which right now only seems to be triggered when he sees a fledgling with food, appears that it will not prevent the fledglings from getting fed. While not ideal, it looks like the situation will be manageable by the mother.
I came to the park to look for the third Washington Square Park fledgling this morning. Without my knowing, the woman behind the excellent RogerPaw.com blog had already canvased the staff of the buildings along the southern side of the park, and found that the fledgling who was on a terrace of the Kimmel building. She arranged for the WINORR rehabber, Bobby Horvath to come move it to a better location. Kudos to them both. The fledgling had ended up on a two foot wide ledge with a glass terrace wall on one side and the wall of the Catholic Center on the other side. The bird was relocated to a roof on the west side of the park, near where the first fledgling was seen late on Sunday night.
The third fledgling was examined by Bobby Horvath, and checked out just fine. Photographs and video of the rescue are on the WINORR facebook page.
I saw the tail end of the rescue, when an attempt was made to also capture, examine and relocate the second fledgling who was nearby on another Kimmel terrace. This fledgling managed to escape capture and made a nice flight into the park.
So, every hawk has been seen within the last 24 hours. My photographs are of the second fledgling and the adults.
With all three off the nest, the adults shared a pigeon on the roof of the Pless Annex, were seen soaring together and in the early evening perched together on a building on Washington Square West.
About 20-30 minutes after the last fledge, the second bird to fledge, who had hung out in the same limb of the Ginkgo tree it landed in the day before, finally flew off. It landed in a bush, branched very well to a conifer and then to a London Plane. It slept for a bit and then flew across Washington Square South (4th Street) and landed in a tree across from the Skirball Center box office.
The new adult male forced the remaining eyass to fledge today at Washington Square Park.
The mother brought food to the nest, dropped it off, and left. The male went to the nest, and the mother returned to make sure the eyass could eat. The new male then went quickly to the Pless roof, at a speed that made it look like it was being aggressive to the first fledgling, who was out of sight but could be heard occasionally. When the mother went to Pless to intervine, the new adult male went back to the nest.
I had just arrived at the park, but was able to get my camera out in time to photograph the fledge.
This morning, the second of three eyasses left the Washington Square Park nest. It may have been knocked off the nest by the new adult male. The fledgling tried to land on Pless, but did what is common for a fledgling and misjudged the glass and ledges and ended upside down in a Ginkgo Tree. It took a long time for it to figure out how to right itself, but it managed. The "first day of school" is hard! For hours it didn't move much but by the end of the day it was alert and started to explore the branch it was on. We've seen this type of hard first day before.
The first fledgling was not seen or heard from during the day. The park was full of people and the noise was incredible. We won't have heard the fledgling if we wanted to. Although the first fledgling had a run in with the new adult male on its first day off the nest, chances are it was just hiding somewhere on the set of connected roofs of either Pless or Goddard. In years past, we've lost track of a new fledgling on theses roofs for a day or two.
The new adult male continued to be aggressive and made multiple visits to the nest. It gave the remaining eyass a very hard time on a few occasions. We're all trying to figure out what's going on from a behavioral standpoint. At one point, he tried to take the food of the eyass on the nest, and the mother had to chase the male away and fed the eyass to make sure it ate.
I love fledge days. Washington Square Park had an eyass become a fledgling sometime early in on Friday morning. I slept in, so I don't know exactly when! I got down to the nest in the early afternoon. Thanks to a report from a building engineer, the fledgling was discovered on the roof of the Goddard Building. It was on set of stairs to an equipment room which has been a favorite spot for fledglings in past years. It looked great and seems to have made its first trip without any issue.
The two remaining eyasses stayed on the nest but certainly were interested in looking at what was going on "down below".
What was really interesting is that the new adult male who has been in territory this week, and whom the female has becoming more tolerant of, charged the fledgling in the late afternoon. Could it be possible that the new male is responding to the fledgling as a competitor rather than a child to help raise?
(The fledgling was no worse for wear by the way. The adult male's behavior reminded me of fledglings who fight over food or sticks.)
I thought we'd be in for some surprises but this isn't what I was expecting. I thought we might see the new male bring food to the fledgling, as a way of bonding with the female on on fledge day. But instead we saw some aggressive behavior.
I will be interesting to see what happens when the fledgling starts crying for food. Will this trigger some switch in behavior by the male?
I'm so excited to see how this turns out. I'm enjoying the front row seat Washington Square Park and the NYU Webcam is giving us to watch hawk behavior.
I spent a few hours in Washington Square Park this afternoon. The new male was still hanging around and the female was still annoyed by him. He flew around her when she was on the Education Building flag pole and she fluffed up when he came near. She was near him on One Fifth, but never let him be too close.
(In the pictures, he's the lighter and smaller adult.)
I would caution anyone not to rush to any judgements about this new male hawk. It isn't at all clear he is going to be accepted by the female. I'm surprised that self-appointed experts have already declared the pair bonded and calculated the age of the hawk based on no first hand observations. It reminds me of the first year for this nest, when "experts" predicted how the fledge was going to occur and got almost everything wrong.
This year, the NYU nest grants us an extraordinary opportunity to watch the behavior of an adult female who has lost her mate while her eyasses were still on the nest. We have a camera feed to watch and a territory that is fairly easy to monitor. Let's do our best to observe something that isn't in any book. Let's stop spending energy waiting to ask questions of an "expert" or rush to conclusions based on our own romantic ideas of love. And let's stop generalizing from the limited examples we have with how hawks replace lost mates and applying them to this nest. If we insist on having answers to our questions prematurely, we then stop observing. How sad is that!
Each year, nature shows me something about Red-tailed Hawk behavior I had never noticed before or had a chance to watch. For me this is what is so exciting about watching Red-tailed Hawks. They keep revealing more and more about themselves to me as I keep watching them. That's one of the joys of behavioral science.
The new adult male in Washington Square Park made visits to a number of buildings on all four sides of the park, including the Education Building, Silver Building, 1 Fifth Avenue (while the adult female was there, he's on the left), 2 Fifth Avenue, Lipton Hall, Kimmel Center and at dusk the nest briefly.
So, he may end up being Bobby's replacement. The female didn't exactly welcome him, but she tolerated him today.
The eyasses look close to fledging. The first could leave the nest any day now. One slipped and had to work to to stay on the ledge this afternoon.
It would be great if the male settles in and helps with post-fledging feedings and hunting lessons later in the summer.
I went to see the three eyasses on the nest at Washington Square Park and got a surprise. Two adult hawks were in the park. One I hadn't seen before on the Education Building (rusted beam next to the hawk) and the Adult Female on One Fifth Avenue. They both flew around and the Adult female didn't seem happy with the intruder.
The three eyasses could start fledging later this week. The photographs always show two, but there was often one hiding in either corner of the nest.
With the death of the male, the Washington Square Park nest has a single adult female and three eyasses. The mother is keeping up with the extra duties and the eyasses are growing at a normal pace. Today, I caught up with the family. I saw the mother preening and then just perching most of the time on the southwest corner of the Silver Building a block from the nest. In the early afternoon, the mother fed they eyasses.
Bobby, the male of the Washington Square Park nest hasn't been seen for six days. It is likely that he died. I first saw him in 2010, when he tried to build a nest on 1 Fifth Avenue. At the time I worked on the 20th floor of the Flatiron Building and had a view of 1 Fifth.
The next year in 2011, he built a nest with his mate on NYU's Bobst library. He and his first mate got NYU inspired nicknames, Bobby and Violet. Bobby for Bobst and Violet for the color of the NYU flag. That year, the New York Times was incubating digital media ideas and as an experiment installed a camera in Dr. Sexton, the president of NYU's, office. There were three eggs and only one hatched. The eyass was nicknamed Pip. Because of the media exposure, these three hawks became a viral sensation, long before we used the phrase, "gone viral" in everyday speech.
That winter, Violet, who had a leg injury died after surgery. Bobby would go on to have two other mates. The nest continued to be successful, although the number of eyasses varied year to year.
Bobby brought great joy to many people. He will be missed.
I visited the nest on Saturday. When I arrived the adult female was feeding the three eyasses. After she was done, she went to the rooftop of Pless and then the flagpole of the Education Building. There she got bombarded by a pair of Blue Jays.
It will be interesting to see how things turn out. The female seems to be able to feed herself and the three eyasses. They will need more food as they grow older. so hunting will get harder. Females usually leave the care and feeding of the fledglings to the males. So, she will need to do this as well. Let's hope she can be a good single mother. The good news is that there are many examples of single mothers being able to see things through, so we will just have to watch and see what happens.
Some hawks quickly find another mate in situations like this. Hawk watcher have seen suitors testing the waters. But at this point the female doesn't seem interested.
Bobby, the adult male, hasn't been seen at the nest since Monday, raising concern that he may be injured or dead. I visited the nest this afternoon to find the female feeding the eyasses, and then saw her make a loop around the park and then down LaGuardia Place.
It will be interesting to see how well the female does being a single mom.
I arrived just at the right time to see the Washington Square pair fly off together and then copulate before the female returned to the nest to continue incubating her eggs. There are currently two eggs in the nest, with the possibility of one more in the next day or two.
I visited the Washington Square Park nest in January and February, but my timing was bad each time and I only saw a few glimpses of the hawks. I had much better luck today with the female on One Fifth Avenue, with a fly-by by the male who had a rat. He shared it on the Student Center building and they both made a few visits to the nest. Then they both went east and I lost track of them over the Law School. Both they and the nest look great and I expect we'll see eggs in a few weeks.
The Washington Square Hawks also claim Union Square as part of their territory and today one of them was on the Con Ed tower at 14th and Third Avenue. It was nice to catch up with one of them. The pair has been seen refurbishing their nest in the mornings and there are reports they have already begun copulating. Fantastic!
At least one of the fledglings has started to practice hunting in Washington Square Park. It made a few attempts at a squirrel while I was there this afternoon. Another was on the tower of Judson Church. This is a great stage to watch them. Unlike after they fledge were they seen to want to venture to the highest buildings, they're much closer to the ground and easier to watch.
All three fledglings were hanging out around the Catholic Center roof on the south side of the park this afternoon. There were occasional trips to the Judson Church, Furman Hall, and the Kimmel Student Center. It was good to see all three doing so well.
As typically happens after the Washington Square Hawks fledge, they start to explore the higher buildings to the east of the park on Mercer and Greene Streets. Today I saw two of them on a number of buildings including 16 Washington Place, Warren Weaver Hall, Shimkin Hall and 2 Washington Square Village.
With all three off the nest, I visited the park this afternoon to find two fledglings on Pless Hall and one on Weinstein Hall at 11 University Place. I also saw both parents. It was good to know everyone was settling down.
After I left, the fledgling at Weinstein Hall few into the NE corner of the park and then to Pless Hall to join its siblings. Their mother joined them on Pless and then one of the hawks flew to the library roof. I understand a hawk is spending the night on the nest, but can't be identified. I suspect the mystery of who it is will be figured out on Saturday morning.
One of the fledglings at Washington Square Park decided to go back to the nest today this morning. It was still on the nest this evening. Unusual but not unheard of behavior. The fledgling and the parents were tough to find today. In the evening, I found Bobby on the Judson Church tower and the fledgling on the Silver building. The fledgling soon went to roof of the library, just above the nest. So for a brief moment all three youngsters were together.
The mother flew into the nest some point in the evening, so the whole family was accounted for. We'll see what happens over the next few days!
The second hawk fledged this morning at Washington Square Park, leaving just one eyass on the nest. There was a fledgling in a tree opposite the Silver Building for the afternoon, and in the evening we saw a fledgling on the roof of Shimkin Hall. So, I think we saw both fledglings but can't be 100% certain. I'm sure we'll figure it out on Wednesday.
The situation on the second for the fledgling at Washington Square, was similar to its first day off the nest. The fledgling was exploring Pless and Goddard, and had a journey to Shimkin. Its siblings have decided to stay yet another day on the nest unless they fledge in the late evening.
The new fledgling spent most of the afternoon on the Goddard Hall, got feed there, and explored the roof. Before I left, it made a trip to Shimkin Hall. It did well at managing the wires set up to discourage Rock Pigeons.
After I left, it made a few more flights including visits to two trees.
Two eyasses on the nest stayed put and did not fledge today.
The Washington Square Park hawks spend most of the late afternoon and early evening huddled together in the cold weather. Fortunately, they did take a few breaks so I could watch them. They're looking good and should fledge in mid-June.
The eyasses are starting to roam out of the nest and onto the window ledge that supports the nest. They were fun to watch today. I was there in the early evening. I watched a food delivery, a feeding (with one eyass feeding itself), and some "jump flapping".
Washington Square Park had a Navy Band performing and its resident Red-tailed Hawks when I visited. The three eyasses look great and are now big enough to be visible from the park. Enjoy the hawks and the sounds of the concert.
I was about to give up on the hawks in Washington Square Park, when they both arrived at dusk tonight. The male visited the nest and the student center before copulating with the female on the Silver Building. (With the Judson Church Cross under repair, they've been copulating on 1 Fifth Avenue and new locations this season.) Hopefully, we'll have eggs in a few days.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Washington Square Park was full of birders after a beautiful male Kentucky Warbler this afternoon. After photographing the Kentucky, I watched the nest briefly. I saw my first wing flap from the eyass, a great sign of things to come.
This evening was windy (which resulted in some camera shake) but I was able to watch the parents and their eyass without any problems. The eyass has changed from white to gray over the last few days. It's growing up fast.
The Washington Square Eyass (young hawk) is finally old enough to be seen from the park. It takes a feeding or luck but the youngster is visible if you are patient. Tonight there was no late night visit from Bobby.
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.