Red-Tailed Hawks from Washington Square now in Tompkins Square

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I think it was about two years ago when I first saw a hawk in Manhattan. It was in Washington Square park, the one where I Am Legend was filmed. There are NYU buildings surrounding the park and two hawks had turned a window sill on one of those buildings into a nest. The NYU administration did a good thing by leaving the nest in place and then went one step further by sharing the hatching and growing-up process with the world via a web cam live feed.

Life is busy and I didn’t keep up with the hawks and I’d all but forgotten about them until last week. I was walking through Tompkins Square park, which is a few blocks away from Washington Square, when I saw a hawk land on a railing nearby. After a few minutes I realized there were two hawks in the park. They were hanging out together, generally. We watched one try to catch a squirrel, but the squirrel fought back and the hawk dropped him. I was amused to see the squirrel proudly stand on the end of a branch, as if he was daring the hawk to come back and try again.

It’s really neat to see wildlife in the city. Anything to get a little green in the middle of all this concrete. Hopefully the birds don’t start taking and eating rich people’s small dogs, though.

Washington Square Park

My mother’s side of the family has lived in New York City since my great-grandmother immigrated here from Spain (via Puerto Rico) in 1930.  Ever since I was a kid, I came here to visit family every summer and then, about every 2 to 3 years.  My family has always lived in the East Village and I remember when I used to step out on the streets in the morning and see used syringes in the cracks, but I don’t recall that I’ve ever been to Washington Square Park before last Wednesday.

Arch at Washington Square

It’s possible.  They’ve renovated it a lot recently.  In fact, they were still doing renovations on about half the park when I went through there last week, but I’m pretty sure I’d remember that big arch at the entrance.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is a really nice, quiet, classy type of area.  It’s surrounded by NYU buildings so the crowd is diverse but generally classy.  It’s the type of place I’d want to go for an afternoon of reading or people watching.  I wish I had more time for that, but lately I’m always so busy.