Learning to Pounce

I found two of the fledglings in the Cherry Grove. I can’t tell them apart at this point but I suspect the one we see the most in this video is the youngest, only because it is still pretty clumsy. It came down from its branch chasing a rat, but ended up tossing clumps of dirt and branches.

Rats Under Control?

Rats Under Control?
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.

Rats Under 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.
Paderewski Red Oak
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.

Rats Under Control?
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.

Hawk's Dinner

Ready, Set, Stay

The youngest hawk is still in the nest, about a week past when it was expected to fledge. Dad and one of the fledglings pays a visit. We hope it is OK in the summer heat.

Christo and the Youngest
Christo visits the nest to eat dinner with the unfledged young hawk.

Siblings Reunited
One of the fledglings visits the unfledged sibling in the nest. This is supposedly rare, though these East Village hawks don’t seem willing to follow any of the rules.