Patricia Gonzalez is an NYBG Visitor Services Attendant and avid wildlife photographer.
Rose the Red-tailed Hawk
One of my favorite things about working at The New York Botanical Garden is all the opportunities to see wild Red-tailed Hawks in action. Since my first close-up encounter with a hawk by the white pines back in February of 2009, I’ve been documenting them, both with my camera and in my notebook.
I’ve had the pleasure of photographing and filming these winged hunters as they soar overhead, hide quietly in the trees, and swoop down on unsuspecting prey. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve encountered one of them as soon as I enter the Garden grounds, or at the end of my day right before I exit. During my early treks, I learned that the adults nested nearby at Fordham University. The Botanical Garden, Fordham Campus, and the Bronx Zoo are all parts of their overall hunting ground.
But for sheer variety, the Garden is the equivalent of a raptor smorgasbord. Squirrels, chipmunks, white-footed mice, short-tailed shrews, garter snakes, and cotton-tailed rabbits are but a few of the inhabitants that call the Garden their home. They provide the hawks with sustenance all year round.
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