Thursday, July 22, 2021

Summer playtime for a young hawk

As summer rolls on, the red-tailed hawk family of Tompkins Square Park is taking things easy. Parents, Christo and Amelia, have been watching over their lone offspring as the fledgling spends more time outside the park. The young one is flying and hunting well, but still spends time playing and exploring its environment.

Early one morning, we found the fledgling playing with a piece of wood on the main lawn.


The fledgling also practiced hopping and balancing on a fence. Look how the house sparrows line up to watch the spectacle.


Zipping along East 7th Street...

The young hawk still has a wide-eyed "baby" face look.

When the hawk preens, we get a good look at its tail. Note the white tips on the feathers.

We caught the fledgling looking more like a fierce adult as it dove after some food.

The youngster is a really beautiful and colorful hawk. Note the heavy dark belly band and the dark speckles on the legs which look like diamonds.

When the hawk stretches, we can see the dark markings extend all the way down its flanks.

The afternoon sun highlights the warm peachy chest.

This is the same hawk in the same tree, but the lighting conditions changed dramatically, giving us an entirely different photographic image.

As the young hawk becomes more self-sufficient and independent, it will venture further away from the park, eventually dispersing to parts unknown. Late July/August is usually when this happens, so we treasure all the time we can spend with the fledgling before it embarks on its next adventure.

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