Friday, July 12, 2024

Tompkins Square hawks make their own cooling center

As the city continues to experience an extended heat wave, the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings have been seen making use of the park sprinklers to cool off. 

This was the scene on a recent muggy evening:

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

These video clips show the hawk hop, flap, and roll around in the water.



Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

In addition to flapping around in the sprinkles, the hawk got down in the puddle water to wet its underside.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

The fanned tail reveals this to be our funky-tailed individual.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

After the bath, it's time to go to a higher perch to dry off.

Tompkins Square hawk fledgling cools off in a sprinkler.

It's been nice to see the majority of people in the park giving these hawks their space as they learn to hunt and take care of themselves. 
 
However, it's important to stay vigilant and speak up if someone gets too close. It's tempting to walk up to the hawks as they perch on the fences, but they are not tame, and have talons that are designed to shred flesh. These hawks are beloved by our community and we want to see them continue to thrive. If you see anyone harassing the hawks, please call 311 and report them the Park Police or the Urban Park Rangers. Red-tailed hawks (and nearly all the other birds in the park) are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, with violators being subject to fines and/or jail time.


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Tompkins Square hawk fledglings explore scaffolding and fire escapes

The Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings continue to expand their world as they explore the further reaches of the park as well as the surrounding streets.

Fledgling hawk perches on a fence.

Fledgling hawk perches on a fence.

Early one morning, one of the fledglings decided to climb around on the scaffolding that currently encases the park bathrooms.

Fledgling hawk perches on scaffolding.

Fledgling hawk perches on scaffolding.

Fledgling hawk perches on scaffolding.

It was quickly joined by a Blue Jay who loudly disapproved of the hawk's presence.

Fledgling hawk meets a Blue Jay.

Fledgling hawk meets a Blue Jay.

After harassing the hawk for several minutes, the Blue Jay took off.

Fledgling hawk meets a Blue Jay.

Late on an evening earlier in the week, one of the other fledglings tried out the view from the scaffolding at The Earth School on Avenue B. A resident Mockingbird let let the hawk know it was not welcome.

Fledgling hawk meets a Mockingbird.

Meanwhile, that same evening, another fledgling investigated a fire escape on E 8th Street.

Fledgling hawk perches on a fire escape.

After taking in the view of the street for a few minutes, the hawk took off and returned to the park.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

Note the tail - this is the fledgling who has a missing/stunted tail feather on its left side, making it easy to identify this individual.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

By morning, all three young hawks were back in the park practicing their swooping skills.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

You can see this is the funky-tailed individual.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling.

Hawk parents, Amelia and Christo, are always nearby keeping eyes on their kids. Below, the pair watches the fledgling activity from the cross of St Brigid's church.

Amelia and Christo atop St Brigid's church.

More to come...

Monday, July 8, 2024

Hawk cools off in sprinkler to beat summer heat

Just like people, the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk fledglings like to cool off in summer by playing and bathing in sprinklers. As we've had some sweltering days already this summer, I've seen two of the three juvenile hawks taking advantage of the park sprinklers. 

Check out the videos at the end of the post to see the hawk in action.








Playing with some bath toys:



This hawk really gets down in the water to get a good soak.









Note the tail on this fledgling. This one is distinctive because it appears to have a missing or stunted tail feather on the left side of the tail. This feature makes it easy to identify this individual.



In these videos, one of the other fledglings has a go at drinking and bathing in the sprinkler.