Sunday at the Square — Trees Recycled; Kites Fly; Hawks Swoop In; Squirrels and Pigeons Hold Their Ground; Park Remains Under Construction

The Arch Amidst Tree Recycling Event

A Tree Arrives for the Chipper

Girl Gathers Mulch Amidst Mulch Hilltop

First Sighting of One Hawk On NYU Library

Woman flies Kite around the Fountain

Gaining Speed ...

Bobby and New Gal in WSP Tree

Pigeons and Friends Pre-Hawks Arrival

Pigeons Take Flight; People Actually Duck

Wondrous Pigeons in Flight

Sparrows Camouflaged in Tree

I first noticed this squirrel chattering... (to left of sign)

Moments before running up the tree female hawk was now in

Gal Hawk and Black Squirrel Taunt Each Other (look closely in brown box)

Note: this was quite nerve wracking; it occurred on the southern end of the park behind fencing. It took awhile but, at last, the hawk – the new female who has a very distinctive red tail – flew to another branch and the squirrel was safe!

New Gal (Alternately called Noelle or Rosie)

SW Quadrant Remains Under Construction

Trees were Dropped off -- after Event had Ended

The Tree at the Arch Remains Lit

Photos: Cathryn

Birdman of Washington Square

This is a really sweet and interesting interview by Colin Jones with Paul, a fixture at the park you’ve likely encountered, who proclaims himself “The Birdman of Washington Square.” It’s true, as he says, that, for children raised in an urban environment, sometimes the only form of ‘nature’ and wildlife they’ll experience are pigeons, and that interaction actually becomes very important.

Pigeons are such interesting, smart birds who have developed a bad reputation. It wasn’t until I encountered an injured one on a wintry day about 12 years ago outside a meatpacking plant on Greenwich Street that I even took notice of them, for the most part. The workers there that morning noticed my concern – imagine, they handled raw carcasses all day and yet they cared enough to bring out a box and help move the bird into it. Ever since then, I’ve noticed the pigeons of New York City, amazed at how they survive, co-existing with humans and other birds. A really nice thing about Washington Square is that pretty much all the wildlife is appreciated by people who inhabit the park.

Video: Colin Jones