Below are some photos of the female Chinatown hawk who passed away in the early hours of March 31. I only spent about a month observing her and her mate, but quickly grew attached. Their youthful energy was so engaging and I was fascinated watching them go through their mating and nesting rituals. They were a joy to experience.
March 13: I found her hanging out in a ball court on Eldridge Street.
She was interested in a trash pile, which was worrying. I couldn't see if there were rodents hidden behind the fence, but the hawk tried several times to grab at what ever was in there.
You can see she had bright yellowish-amber eyes and a distinctive tail. The outer feathers had dark brown barring, which made her easy to identify.
March 18: Both hawks took sticks from Columbus Park to an a/c on the city administrative building on Baxter Street. They would visit nearly every a/c in the area.
The female took a piece of bark to an open window on the Baxter side of the Criminal Court Building.
Both hawks spent a great deal of time in Collect Pond Park. Here, the female looks at me while her mate eyes some pigeons.
She had a patch of ruffled feathers on the underside of her right wing which also aided in identifying her.
March 19: She gathers sticks in Collect Pond Park. The hawks ended up favoring an a/c on the Leonard Street side of Department of Health building for their nest.
March 21: Flying with a stick over Hogan Place in the early morning.
March 25: Mating right above the entrance to the Criminal Court Building. At the time, I thought this was hilarious.
March 30: Late in the evening, the hawks mated for one last time in Collect Pond Park, then sat together for a few minutes (he is on the left, she's on the right). This was the last time I saw the pair together like this. He ended up flying off to roost in Columbus Park, while she remained in the tree.
Update: The male was seen taking sticks to an a/c across the street from Collect Pond Park today, so he is still in the area and appears to still be in nest-building mode.
As far as I know, there is no plan to stop baiting for rats in the area. Rodenticide is a public health issue. Please email Council Member Margaret Chin (email@example.com) and demand the city use alternative methods of pest control in our public parks.