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

Yesterday at the Park (Photos)

Two Squirrels enjoy the "Hanging Elm" NW Quadrant

Cleaning Up Chess Plaza - Work Resumed ?

Plants Arrive SW Quadrant

Arch Still Barricaded Off

??

Chalked Plaza -- Occupy Washington Square Park

Fall Colors or Another Fountain Tree Dying?

The squirrels in the park were in fine form yesterday … enjoying visitors and regulars, and, of course, the park’s trees — pictured at top is the famous and very old “Hanging Elm” in the North West Quadrant. …

Work appears to have resumed somewhat on construction on Phase II-B – South West Quadrant/Chess Plaza  – signs that someone was there appeared in the form of potted plants and a wheel barrow. …

The Arch is still mysteriously barricaded off. It’s hard to know what to make of that. (Think of the “poor tourists” and visitors wanting to get their pictures taken in front of the Arch! Kidding, sort of.) …

Occupy Washington Square chalked the plaza to announce the location of their meeting the other night. Next meeting is on Wednesday (tomorrow), October 26th at 7 p.m. and the community is invited! …

It’s hard to say if the remaining 3 – living – trees around the fountain — the ones that remain — are now exhibiting fall colors or are dying.

Photos: Cathryn

Squirrel Meet Hawk

Violet or Bobby? Probably Not Pip

Bird's Eye View?

That’s a squirrel box in the Park (erected by the Parks Department) and, yes, there’s a squirrel in there! Who, apparently, survived — at least, that day.

Last week, I posted commenter Drew’s thoughts as to how to help the Washington Square Park squirrels. He wrote:

I entered WSP again today shortly after 2pm and immediately came upon one of the hawks, just west of the arch. The hawk was sitting directly on top of one of the squirrel houses. Just inside the squirrel house was one terrified occupant. The hawk sat there for quite some time, at least 20 minutes, before finally flying off.

It seems like the squirrels are easy pickings for the hawks. Perhaps the Parks Department might consider a modification of the squirrel houses (to make the tops less like attractive as a perch) and/or a relocation of some of the houses.

The hawks are a sight to behold – but it would be a shame to lose the playful squirrels that have been a fixture of the park for, well, ever.

The hawks are going to eat squirrels or rats or pigeons but we don’t have to make it quite so easy! It seems like modifying the top of the boxes would be the easier thing to do and contemplating better locations.

Roger_Paw Blog has been documenting newest Red-tailed Hawk Pip’s exploration of Washington Square Park with some amazing footage. Pip is still being assisted with food from parents Bobby and Violet and Bobby is still looking out for her around the Park.

One of the hawk blogs said, within a few days of fledging (leaving the nest), Pip would be on her own and she might not make it if she didn’t figure how to survive quickly. But, like a lot I’ve read about the hawks that seems to be stated as fact and then seems to be a bit off, she is still acting like a young bird who needs her parents.

Pip isn’t quite in killing mode yet it seems. Here is footage of Pip taunting and being taunted by the squirrels. If this was Bobby or Violet tho’, this would not be the case!

More on Violet, Bobby and Pip on WSP Blog.

Previous WSP Blog Post: With 3 Hawks in the hood, Can we give the Washington Square Park squirrels a little assistance?

Photo: Drew O.

A reader’s query: With 3 Hawks in the Hood, Can We give the Washington Square Park Squirrels a Little Assistance?


hawk, squirrel & tree-Wash Sq Pk

Commenter Drewo wrote in the other day with concern about the beloved Washington Square Park squirrels and their fate with the arrival of red-tailed hawks Violet, Bobby, and now Pip.

From Drewo:

I found your WSP blog on the internet. As a long-time visitor to the park, I am concerned the squirrel population will be annihilated by the hawks that now reside around the park. Much attention has been paid by the media (particularly the NY Times) to the nesting hawks – I guess the fate of the squirrels does not require as much attention.

I was in the park on Wednesday (7/6) and found a hawk perched directly atop a squirrel house – with one terrorized squirrel crouching inside the house. The hawk was just waiting for it’s food. No hunting required – easy pickings in a squirrel house.

I took pictures and posted this note to the latest NY Times City Room article about the NYU hawks:

I may have partially answered my own question (#6). I entered WSP again today shortly after 2pm and immediately came upon one of the hawks, just west of the arch. The hawk was sitting directly on top of one of the squirrel houses. Just inside the squirrel house was one terrified occupant. The hawk sat there for quite some time, at least 20 minutes, before finally flying off.

It seems like the squirrels are easy pickings for the hawks. Perhaps the Parks Department might consider a modification of the squirrel houses (to make the tops less like attractive as a perch) and/or a relocation of some of the houses.

The hawks are a sight to behold – but it would be a shame to lose the playful squirrels that have been a fixture of the park for, well, ever.

I responded:

I did see your comment (at the Times) and I thought it was really on target. It’s a really good idea. Love the squirrels at Washington Square and I know they have many fans. I’ll definitely run a post with your comment in it on Monday Tuesday.

Maybe we could start a campaign? Ask the Parks Department? Perhaps the NY Times would run something. The hawks have to eat something so it’s going to be a squirrel or a pigeon or a rat but I suppose we don’t have to make it so easy for them. Poor little squirrel you witnessed!

I don’t know how easy it is to move a squirrel box or modify or get them to use another one… That would be interesting to know.

Cathryn.
WSP Blog

What do you think?

Note: this photo an encounter of a hawk and squirrel at the Park was from a few years ago (pre-Violet, Bobby and Pip).

Fourth of July at Washington Square

Black Squirrel Strikes a Pose

More coming…

The Squirrels of Washington Square Park have Many Fans But Now also a Killer in their Midst

WSP Squirrel on the Old Benches

Keeping on a protect wildlife theme, the squirrels at Washington Square Park have many fans but not all people are fans. Tragically, there is a woman who is allowing her dog to attack and, in many instances, kill the WSP squirrels. This has been going on for at least a month, if not longer.

As first reported on The New York Squirrel Blog:

We just heard that there is a woman who allows her dog (a German Shepherd mix) to hunt and kill squirrels in Washington Square Park on the NE side. Quite a few squirrels; five that our informants know of in the past few weeks. The dog enjoys killing and they think she does too.

They just discovered this a few days ago and sent a complaint to the current Park Manager. Then yesterday as they were walking through the park, they came upon people gathered around a dying young squirrel. Some of the chess players there saw the dog attack. The woman and dog had just left the park.

Another squirrel was located at the base of the Hangman’s Tree that night. He has two broken legs, which have been set by a vet. With luck, he’ll have use of at least three, but is going to have a hard recovery. It’s not known if he was chased by the same dog, but it’s likely.

There are people watching out for her now, and working on getting more information. She appears in the park around 8 am, and then around 5 pm. Yesterday she varied her routine. She’s young, medium height, slim, w/long dark shiny hair. She wears sunglasses.

Her age has since been reported as close to forty.

According to WSP activist and squirrel nurturer Suzan Goren, the last known dog-squirrel encounter ending in the squirrel being mauled and killed occurred last Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. It is said that this woman allows this on purpose, letting her dog escape out of the dog run, feigning innocence about it, alternating with outrage if questioned.

This story was exposed further in Saturday’s New York Daily News.

If you witness this, The New York Squirrel blog asks people to “call the Parks Office at 212.387.7676 if she’s seen. They want her apprehended for animal abuse.”

It’s sad all the way around – for this woman, the dog, and obviously the squirrels. I was in Madison Square Park recently and was a bit appalled at the number of people who allow their dogs to chase squirrels and laugh about it. It becomes a form of the dog’s play activity and also seems to amuse the owner-guardians of the dog but I’m sure they can find other activities that do both. It’s likely that the Madison Square squirrels do not have as active a squirrel protectors’ community as the ones living in Washington Square Park.

Photo: Cathryn

Squirrels Against Privatization of our Parks

sign-please-stop-privatizing-my-park-vertical-72-dpi
Photo: Miriam West, one of the wonderful street artist vendors at Union Square Park