Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Summer fun with the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings

It's July 1, summer is in full swing, and the Tompkins Square Park red-tailed hawk fledglings are three months old.

This photo was taken May 1:

Tompkins red-tail nestling

Two months later, the chicks are all grown up!

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

I've been happy to see the three siblings spending so much time in the park this season. They seem to be in no hurry to go anywhere, and appear healthy and content. Parents, Christo and Amelia, will continue to look after them as long as is necessary.

There's still a lot for the fledglings to learn, including catching their own prey.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

I love that all three siblings are spending so much time together. When I look back on the previous seasons, I don't recall any of the fledglings being so interested in each other. There may have been a few weeks after leaving the nest that the young hawks stayed in close proximity for food, or because they were not yet accustomed to being on their own, but I don't remember any who spent so much time playing and hanging out with each other as these guys have been doing.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledglings

It's been a privilege to be able to observe them so closely.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

On a recent morning, these two were swooping around the park, finally settling together on the grass.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledglings

Tompkins Square red-tail fledglings

Tompkins Square red-tail fledglings

Maybe they were inspired by robins, as the hawk on the left began pulling earthworms from the ground as the one on the right watched.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledglings

The third one had to join the fun!

Tompkins Square red-tail fledglings

I love that all three are extremely curious and sociable with one another. Except for one incident when two fledglings fought over breakfast, I haven't really seen any aggression between them. If anything, they've been doing a lot of playing together.

As it gets hotter, all the hawks need to cool off. We've often seen Christo chilling out in his birdbath spa, Amelia taking a dip in the gutter of St Brigid's church, and fledglings of the past cooling off in the park sprinklers. This summer is no exception, and I caught a couple of the hawk kids finding relief from the heat this last week by taking runs through one of the water features when no one was around.

Red-tail fledgling playing in a sprinkler

Red-tail fledgling playing in a sprinkler

Red-tail fledgling playing in a sprinkler

Red-tail fledgling playing in a sprinkler

Red-tail fledgling playing in a sprinkler

Red-tail fledgling playing in a sprinkler

Red-tail fledgling playing in a sprinkler

Red-tail fledgling playing in a sprinkler

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

I mentioned in the last couple of posts that at least one fledgling has been spending some time outside the park. This is one of the kids exploring some rooftop transmitters along Avenue A.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

This is the same fledgling soaring over the park, just like mom and dad.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

I hope we can continue enjoying the antics of the fledglings in the park as long as possible. They've been responsible for lifting my spirits during an otherwise unbearable time, and I hope others are benefiting from their presence as well.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality

I attended the 2020 Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality this last Sunday which began with a rally at Foley Square, followed by a march up to Washington Square Park. It was a powerful showing of thousands of people who turned out in support of LGBTQ rights and in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM


Queer Liberation March/BLM

Queer Liberation March/BLM

This was the scene looking up 5th Avenue as the marchers entered Washington Square Park. My zoom lens makes the crowd look more compact than it was - throughout the event, I was always able to keep my distance from people and I never felt that people were too close at any time. The vast majority wore masks.

Queer Liberation March/BLM

The previous day, I joined a Black Lives Matter march from Washington Square Park to City Hall. This was a much smaller group, but powerful nonetheless. What the following photos do not show is the chanting of names - Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Layleen Polanco, Philando Castile - as we made our way through the streets of Soho. As the names of the victims of police brutality echoed through the canyons of empty storefronts, I was overcome with emotion.

Defund the police BLM march

Defund the police BLM march


For those interested in helping but cannot attend protests or rallies, here is a comprehensive list of organizations and funds where you can donate to support Black Lives Matter.


See more of my photos from the 2020 Queer Liberation March here.

See more of my photos from recent NYC protests here.