Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Games hawks play

The red-tailed hawk fledglings of Tompkins Square Park continue to stick together, even as they begin to explore the world outside the park. I've found it really remarkable this season how these youngsters seem to really enjoy each other's company. I've witnessed very little aggression at meal times, and have seen the hawks play together more often than in previous seasons.

This fledgling demonstrated a lovely flamenco dance on the main lawn on a recent morning.

Fledgling flamenco on the grass

Lost something while picnicking in the park last weekend? It may now be in the hawks' toy box. One of the hawks found a discarded sock in the grass and played with it for quite some time.

Red-tail fledgling playing with a sock

If you can't find the hawks flying around or in the trees, try looking in the ground cover...

Two red-tail siblings playing games

All three siblings gathered the other day to play in a shady area of the park.

A third red-tail sibling joins the fun

One hawk stayed low in the greenery while the other two took turns poking it...

Three Red-tail siblings playing games in the grass

...and pulling on its feathers. Could they be playing a catch-and-pluck-prey game?

Red-tail siblings playing got-your-wing

Or, maybe the one hawk just wanted to relax a while and take in the world from a rodent's perspective.

Red-tail lurking in the ground cover

One of the other siblings opted for a higher vantage point and perched on a lamp post, as dad Christo often does.

Fledgling red-tail on a lamp post

The following day, I found two of the fledglings exploring some rooftops together.

Fledglings exploring rooftops together

One of them ventured a couple of blocks out of the park and introduced itself to the neighbors.

Pigeon and red-tail eyeing each other

The hawks seek out the highest perches, and this ladder was the highest point on the block.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling hops to a fire escape

All three are soaring like champs.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling soaring

The young hawks are still kids, though, and they beg for food when ever mom or dad is in sight. This fledgling was perched on the cross of St Nicholas of Myra on Avenue A, and let out a shriek as Christo flew by.


Red-tail fledgling screams at dad Christo


Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling stretching on a church cross

I love the wide-eyed look the young hawks have as they take in everything new and exciting.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling flying like a pro

Although the fledglings are exploring the neighborhood, they are still very present in the park. The last few days have been very hot and humid, so the birds spend much of the day hidden away in the shade of the trees, but the whole hawk family is still here and is doing extremely well.

Tompkins Square red-tail fledgling cruising through the park

More to come...

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