Thursday, December 06, 2007


2002 January : Red Tailed Hawk in Tompkins Square Park...

Much has been made lately of the presence of hawks , especially immature Red Tailed Hawks , in our little neighborhood parks . Claims are made that this presence is something new : it is not , these young hawks have been in the parks in the fall and winter for many years . We have been watching the hawks come in the fall and go in the spring from Tompkins Square Park for at least 15 years .
Though the total population of Red Tailed Hawks ( Buteo jamaicensis borealis ) has clearly and happily increased in number in the last few years , the number of young but fully grown 8 to 10 month-old Red Tailed Hawks in Tompkins Square Park for each fall-to-spring season has remained the same at 1 to 3 young hawks per season .
Today there are more people in the parks for longer periods of time thus the hawks are more likely to be seen by more people : more total hawk sightings . With all the automated digital cameras in their hands this larger number of park visitors also quite easily and readily produce a bumper-crop of hawk pictures .
Unlike the bulk of this current wealth of hawk images the picture above is not a digital image but an image of an immature Red Tailed Hawk made with film , Kodak Tri-X , nearly 6 years ago in Tompkins Square Park .

Beautiful pictures! I've lived in the area all my life, and the Red Tail has always been one of my favorite birds. Taking hikes in upstate NY, it was always a huge treat to see them. I love that they're population has come back so much in the last 30 years that they can be seen in such an unlikely place as Tompkins Square park.

-- Brian
TSP is not such an unlikely place for these birds .... it is their natural habitat and rightful territory . They have never left our parks here in NYC . Since the founding of our city and through the creation of our parks the Red Tailed Hawk has been with us as a little-noticed neighbor .
Just seems like The Villager ripped you off yet again and they didn't do as good a job as you usual.
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