Thursday, April 19, 2018

Christo and Amelia highlights from this week

There's no real update on the Tompkins Square hawks this week other than to say Christo and Amelia are still working on the nest, mating and hanging out together.  As of today, there are still no signs of eggs.

This is Amelia, chilling in the last light of the day on Wednesday.

Amelia

Christo, performing a fly-by.

Christo performs a fly-by

Christo shows off his powerful legs...

He's got legs, and he knows how to use them

...which he uses to catch prey like this pigeon.

Christo with prey

And this rat.

Christo with a rat

Wednesday evening, Christo caught four rats in a row, which he took back to Amelia who waited on a branch near the Krishna Tree.  Below, Christo is on the left, Amelia is on the right, and a rat is in the middle.

Are you going to eat that?

Are you going to eat that?

Amelia takes the rat.

Amelia takes a rat gift from Christo

She ate it, but discarded the stomach.  The hawks don't eat this part and they will kick it over the side of the perch - one reason never to stand beneath them while they eat.

Rat stomach

The NYPD later parked their cruiser right on top of the stomach.

Christo (below, right) finishes off the last rat drumstick.

Christo offers Amelia a leg-o-rat

Dinner over, sexy time!

Christo and Amelia mating

Christo and Amelia mating

Amelia gazes up at Christo atop the cross at St Nicholas of Myra on Avenue A and 10th Street.

Isn't he just dreamy?

Amelia and Christo


You can see more recent photos of the hawks on my Flickr page.




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Immature red-tail visits East River Park

As the Tompkins Square hawks have been stealing the spotlight lately, I haven't had a chance to post about other hawks in the area.  As it's migration time, many hawks have been passing through the city and I caught up with this young (immature) red-tail who appeared to be enjoying itself out at the running track at East River Park.

Immature red-tail

The track is currently being renovated, so it's fenced-off and full of construction materials.

Immature red-tail

Immature red-tail

Immature red-tail

Immature red-tail

Immature red-tail

Immature red-tail

Immature red-tail

The hawk seemed to be very interested in the squirrels that were running around the area, although I didn't see it catch any prey.  When I see a hawk in a location like this, I do worry about rodenticide, which is a real threat to hawks in the city.

Immature red-tail

A lot of immature red-tails have been spotted in the neighborhood recently.  A quick way to tell if a hawk is a young bird is by the eye color (immatures have yellow eyes, as seen above, and adults have brown) and by their tails (immatures have brown tails and adults have red).






Sunday, April 15, 2018

March for Science 2018

Below are some photos from the March from Science 2018 rally held in Washington Square Park on Saturday, April 14.

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

March for Science 2018

See more photos from the rally here.

Previously.




Thursday, April 12, 2018

Christo and Amelia getting along well, still working on nest

It's been a week since Dora left Tompkins Square Park to rest and recover at WINORR.  She had x-rays taken that revealed no broken bones, but she will remain in rehab for as long as necessary.  You can read more about that over at EV Grieve.

In the last few days, Christo and his new mate, Amelia, have been getting along well.  They've been working on the nest together and getting comfortable with each other.  Below, Amelia is on the left and Christo is on the right.  Note the difference in size and the color of their heads.

Amelia and Christo

Amelia and Christo soaring together:

Amelia and Christo

Christo continues to be so industrious, breaking bark off dead branches to take back to the nest.

Christo takes bark from a branch

Christo takes bark from a branch

Christo takes off with Amelia in the background:

Christo

The hawk pair continues to mate several times a day.  So far, it doesn't look like Amelia has laid any eggs.

Christo and Amelia

Christo and Amelia mating

Christo and Amelia mating

Christo and Amelia mating

Christo and Amelia mating

Amelia and Christo

Amelia and Christo perch atop the Christodora building:

Amelia and Christo atop the Christodora

You can see more photos and video of this pair over at Urban Hawks.




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A visual comparison of the Tompkins Square hawks

With so many red-tailed hawks around Tompkins Square recently, it can be difficult to tell them apart.  How do we know who is who?

Starting with Christo, he is distinguishable by his shape and coloring.  He has a sleek and slender body with a squarish golden-brown head and white throat.  His chest is mostly white and he has a light brown belly band.  His thighs (not visible in the photo below) have light brown barring.  He is the one who perches on the flagpole in the park (no other hawk does that) and he is the one we see most often hunting and catching rats.


Below, Christo is on the left and Dora is on the right.  She is larger, with a broader chest and often looks kind of disheveled.  She has very 'swishy' feathers in the front that remind me of a 1920s flapper.  Her head and wings are a dark chocolate brown and her belly band is darker.  Her thighs have no markings on them.  Most recently, she's had a drooping left wing that made her easy to identify while perched.  Dora's eyes are dark brown.


This is Amelia.  While Christo and Dora look quite different from each other, Amelia can easily be mistaken for Christo when they are flying around.  She is larger than him and her head is darker than his, but her brown coloring is not as dark as Dora's.  She has a distinctive white patch between her eyes and the brown of her head extends down on the sides of her chest. It's not clear in this photo, but she has pronounced golden "eyebrows".  Her eye color is a medium brown and you can easily see her pupils.  I don't know how old she is, but if Amelia is young, her eye color could darken as she gets older.


Barucha/Nora is a very colorful hawk, with a lot of rusty brown across her chest and along her flanks.  She has a thick dark belly band and striking gray "eyeliner" feathers beneath her eyes.  She's also a very large hawk.  I don't know the exact weights and measurements of all the hawks, but I would say Barucha/Nora appears to be the largest.


In flight, Christo displays a lot of white.  His head is light and square, his throat is visibly white, and the tips of his wings don't have much color at all.  His body is slim and a bit rectangular.


Dora shows more contrasting colors in flight, with her dark browns being clearly prominent.  Her head and belly band are much darker than Christo's and the tips of her wings are dark.  Her body is broad and somewhat bulky.


Amelia looks similar to Dora in this photo, but her overall color is lighter.  Her belly band is more sparsely colored than Dora's, but her wing coverts are more brown.  You can see a light brown barred pattern on her legs.


Barucha/Nora is much more colorful in flight and her wing tips are very dark.  This photo doesn't do her justice, but you can really see the reds in her body as she flies.


At this time, Dora is being cared for at WINORR, so she is not in the neighborhood.  I'm not sure where Barucha/Nora is, but I suspect she is still on the Lower East Side.  I hope to find out more about her whereabouts.