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.
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.
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!