Those of you who follow this blog know about my interest in a pair of Red-Tailed Hawks, Bobby and Rosie, whose turf is New York City’s Washington Square Park. For reasons unknown to their fans, NYU, which sponsored their webcam, decided to shut it down last spring. Did Rosie miss her worldwide audience? She’s not talking — we’ll never know. What we do know is that this fine haggard has not been seen in the park since last September.
We’re not sure what’s become of her. Hawks mate for life, and her absence may mean that she perished in an accident. January is nest-building/renovating season for hawks, so no doubt Mother Nature will provide Bobby with a new female companion soon.
Rosie and Bobby were the parents of three delightful broods: Boo and Scout (2012), Kiku, Archie and Judson (2013) and Orla and Silver (2014).
Here is a poem for Rosie:
Bless Rosie, vanished now,
proud haggard of Washington Square,
matriarch of springtime, three nests full,
her young clumped under her wing —
bless the infinite strangeness of who she is,
a living wilderness, gliding across cities.
Bless Bobby, her mate, who’d mount the axis of her body,
wings outstretched, as if she were the whole earth bending toward the sun,
who waits on a lone branch for the length of days
to bring her home.
And if she does not return,
a solitary hawk will come to him,
to the small park, where they will bend the sky
into each other.
There will be young in a new nest
who will one day vanish, as Rosie did,
as if she had never come, or never left.
© Carole Giangrande