7/4, Picnicking Hawks

Saturday evening at J. Hood Wright Park in Washington Heights, two of the red-tailed hawk fledglings decided to participate in the Independence Day picnicking happening around the park's central lawn. Lots of people came home from the park with hawk pictures, as the birds got right down with the people.

The first fledgling to be found was perched in a tree near the park's recreation center.

J. Hood Wright Fledgling - 4207

J. Hood Wright Fledgling - 4211

Something to the north catches his attention.

J. Hood Wright Fledgling - 4237

Very much has his attention. It's time to fly.

Gonna Fly Now  - 4240

He flew north one tree, but was barely there before zoom, he and a second fledgling were flying to the other side of the lawn. And I could see movement at the top of a tree over there, too. Maybe an adult up there.

I located one of the fledglings perched low.

JHW Hawk Fledgling - 4245

But he took off moments later, circled around and landed somewhere higher up and out of sight.

A minute or two later, one of the fledglings dropped down out of the sky and onto the ground.

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Looking for something?

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Maybe a slightly higher vantage point would help.

Ready for the Picnic - 4265

Human picnickers began to gather. Who'd ever seen a hawk so close before?

Ready for the Picnic - 4268

Probably a good thing he doesn't know how to use that knife.

Ready for the Picnic - 4271

Or the tongs.

Ready for the Picnic - 4277

Too many people were edging in to take pix with their iPhones, and the fledge took off, heading for the trees over by the basketball courts.

But what about the other fledge, and what about the adult we saw?

JHW Hawk Mama - 4282

There's mama at the very top of a tree.

JHW Hawk Mama - 4285

The other fledge was trying to ease out onto the same clump of foliage as mama. She decided she wasn't having any of that and took off, heading east.

The fledging perched on the leaves for a few moments, and then did a parachute drop.

Parachute Drop - 4307

Pulling out of it just a few feet from the ground and then flying off toward the playground.

JHW Hawk Fledgling - 4319

Took off again a few moments later and I lost track of him.

But wait, there's going to be more picnic action.

A couple minutes later, one of the fledglings landed on the lawn and started looking around.

Playing Find-the-Pigeon - 4322

What could he be looking for? Perhaps a pigeon that mama had dropped?

Found the Pigeon - 4324

Right next to where a family was trying to enjoy their holiday meal.

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The fledgling seemed to think it would be okay if he started to eat there, too.

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But again, people started to close in to take pictures. Four or five bites and the fledgling began to think dinner might be better enjoyed with some privacy.

Picnic Crasher - 2761

And zip, into the air and across the lawn, into the tree where I had first spotted one of the fledglings a half hour earlier.

Dinner Time - 4343

Not entirely private up there, but certainly better than a moment ago.

JHW Hawk Fledgling - 4346

Time for some chow.

Dinner Time - 4374

Dinner Time - 4378

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The hawk fledgling's dinner was a good one, lasting well in excess of 20 minutes.

Nearing the end, he tried to gulp one of the largest remaining pieces.

Never Eat Anything Bigger than Your Face - 4404

Well, that wasn't going to work. Might as well spend a little more time on the meal.

Posted 7/04/2015 11:49:00 PM by Robert

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