For the second time this year I went poking around after dark looking for rats in Tompkins Square Park. I found a few but compared to what it was like three years ago, I would call the population under control.
Videos I shot in August 2011.
Back then the rats were running rampant in daylight. Today they keep themselves well hidden until after dark. I’ve not seen a rat in daylight at all this year, except for the few I’ve seen in the talons of the hawks. And the Parks Department is not using poison bait in the park because of our protected, nesting Red-tailed Hawks. I can only conclude that the hawks seem to be doing an excellent job of rat control.
I used the flash on my camera and a flashlight to poke into spaces all along the perimeter of the park and near the garbage cans around the park office and I saw a total of 7 rats, between the hours of 9 and 10:30. The most rats I saw were along Avenue A at the Avenue A playground.
I also saw a couple near the Paderewski Red Oak tree at the southwest corner of the park. I can’t really correlate these rat holes around its base to it, but this tree is doing poorly this year.
I have about a hundred flash shots trying to catch the rats unaware, but I was just not seeing any in 95% of the shots. These are all very ugly Blair Witch looking shots so I’m not showing any of them, but I think this is a fairly good way to take a census.