Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas day in Tompkins Square

I had an unexpected Christmas present this year, courtesy of the Tompkins Square Park hawk and three of her friends.  The four of them put on a spectacular show, battling in the treetops over territory.  The resident queen chased the younger visitors across the park, down Avenue B and back again before taking a rest in a tree on Avenue A.

Here is one of the youngsters:

Tompkins Square

Tompkins Square

I returned the following day and another hawk was putting on a show.  I'm not sure if it's one of the younger ones form the day before, but he (I think) was flying quite low and getting a good look at everyone on the ground.  Seemingly oblivious to danger, a fat rat and an even fatter squirrel frolicked in the leaves below, eating loaves of bread someone had tossed over the fence.  Squirrels continued to taunt the hawk, chasing it from tree to tree until I lost it.

Young red-tail

All the action drew quite a crowd, including Mosaic Man and Bobby Williams, who always catches the best shots. 

Shooting the birds

Thanks to Bobby and friends for keeping track of all the birds and pointing them out when I couldn't see.  What a fun afternoon!

See more hawk photos here.


  1. Goggla - I saw a hawk attack a sparrow in Prospect Park this fall. Swooped down, grabbed it from where it was hiding in some bushes, then took it up to a branch where it proceeded to rip the little bird to shreds. Damn! Funnily enough a lot of sparrows didn't seem to realize the dangers and kept hopping around on the ground.


  2. Great photographs - I love seeing the light catching their eyes! A long time ago I worked with a falconer & trained a kestrel. I also got to handle all kinds of hawks & eagles. Incredible time.

  3. Goggla..great day! non stop activity. I like your photos. Bobby Williams.