Washington Square Misses Bobby

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.

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Washington Square

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.

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Washington Square

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.

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Washington Square

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.

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Con Ed Tower

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!

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Hunting and Exploring

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.

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Three Fledglings

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.

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Go East Young Hawks

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.

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Washington Square Park

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.

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Just Missed It At Washington Square Park

I had a dinner engagement and missed the last fledge by a few hours tonight.  I understand it was a good flight with a difficult landing on the Silver Building.

I did watch the nestling and the two fledglings this afternoon.  For the most part it was quiet until around 4:40 when both fledglings decided to play on both Goddard and Pless Halls.

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Unfledge At Washington Square Park

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!

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Second Fledge at Washington Square Park

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.

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Day 2 at Washington Square

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.

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Day 1 At Washington Square

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.

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Mellow Hawks On A Cold Day

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.

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Exploring The Ledge

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".

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Washington Square Park

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.

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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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