Monday, June 30, 2014

Dinner drop

As we continue to wait for the youngest Tompkins Square hawk to leave the nest, parents Christo and Dora are feeding the older two fledglings in the immediate area.

The roof of CHARAS seems to be a convenient feeding spot.  Here, dad Christo takes a pigeon up to one of the fledglings.

Food drop

Food drop

Food drop

Food drop

Mmm, tasty pigeon leg!

Food drop

Meanwhile, the other fledgling perches directly across the street.

Shaft, the red-tail fledgling

The entire hawk family has been spending time on top of the CHARAS building, so be sure and check the rooftop as you pass by.  You might see more than one flying object...

It's a bird, it's a plane!

See more hawk photos on my Flickr page:

City hawks 3
City hawks 2
City hawks 1

Previous hawk posts.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hawk squabble

Back-tracking just a bit, this was an incident that happened last Saturday, two days before Shaft left the nest.  I can only speculate about what actually happened, but this is what it looked like to me...

Dad Christo flew some lunch up to the nest, but he withheld the food from the older two kids, intending to feed only the youngest (below on the left).

Family spat 

One of the older siblings (could be Shaft, but I'm not sure) threw a tantrum.

Family spat 

It screamed and held out its talons.

Family spat 

Christo responded by showing who's boss.

Family spat

They exchanged words...

Family spat

...and played chicken...

Christo stands his ground

The feisty youngster really wanted what Christo had in his talons.

Family spat 

In the end, the kid backed down, then went into the corner and seemed to pout as Christo fed the youngest.  I'm guessing Christo had his reasons for wanting that one particular chick fed exclusively...or maybe he just likes that one best!

See more hawk photos on my Flickr page:

City hawks 3
City hawks 2
City hawks 1

Previous hawk posts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fledgling update

As of this evening, there is still one hawk left in the nest at the Christodora.  I'm wondering if it's happy to have the place to itself - room to stretch out, no sharing food, peace and quiet...

There was some concern last night over the second fledgling as it seemingly disappeared atop CHARAS on 9th Street.  However, neighbor Jessica sent in this photo of the young hawk dozing on her air-conditioner nearby.



And early this morning, wide-awake...





Late this afternoon, I found Shaft in a tree in the park.

Shaft, the red tail fledgling

A short while later,

ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Shaft naps in a tree

Meanwhile, the fledgling from the air-conditioner took a stab at exploring the trees near the nest.

2nd TSP fledgling discovers a tree

But, ended up frolicking atop the familiar CHARAS.

2nd TSP fledgling atop CHARAS

Two down, one to go!


See more hawk photos on my Flickr page:

City hawks 3
City hawks 2
City hawks 1

Previous hawk posts.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shaft!

Who's the hawk who won't cop out when there's danger all about?

Shaft!

Ok, it seems the name 'Shaft' has stuck to the first of the Tompkins Square hawk fledglings.  I found it hilarious to enter the park today and hear people using his name -

Have you seen Shaft?

I saw Shaft fly over there.

Shaft is up in that tree!

I hope Shaft is ok.

Shaft is badass!

Hahaha. 

So, the second hawk sibling fledged this afternoon around 3pm.  I wasn't there to see it, but word on the street was it flew straight across 9th Street where it landed on a roof and hung out for a while.  Shaft, who'd been in the park, joined his sibling up on the buildings.  I'm not exactly sure what happened next, but the second hawk ended up on the roof of CHARAS and I think eventually went up onto a window on the Christodora.

While the 2nd hawk was on CHARAS, I caught Shaft doing some exploring on the rooftops over E 8th Street:

'Shaft' - the red tail fledgling

'Shaft' - the red tail fledgling

'Shaft' - the red tail fledgling

'Shaft' - the red tail fledgling

Shaft took off and seemed to want to attempt to return to the nest on the Christodora (I'm speculating).  He flew right at it, but missed and went into the park where he rested in a tree.

'Shaft' - the red tail fledgling

So, there's just one more hawk in the nest and it's due to fly out at any time.   

See more hawk photos on my Flickr page:

City hawks 3
City hawks 2
City hawks 1

Previous hawk posts.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday hawk drama

I had a big hawk update planned for today as I spent the weekend taking a ton of photos of the Tompkins Square nest and Christo and Dora in flight over the city.  But that will have to wait as there was some late-breaking drama today.

Documenting the hawks over the last few months has really worn me out, so I decided to sleep in today.  While lazily listening to Simon & Garfunkel and brushing my teeth, I got the call that the first hawk had fledged at 10:49 am - and I'd missed it!  So, I ran over to the nest, where I witnesses told me the young hawk had flown (glided) over to the buildings across 9th Street and hadn't been seen since.

A few other hawk-watchers and I went looking for it from the rooftops and the ground, circling the block and asking residents if they'd seen the bird.  Nothing.  I waited and waited, hoping to see Christo or Dora make a food drop to it, or hear it cry out - anything to give me a clue to its location.  But the day wore on without any sign of the fledgling.

Around 6:15 pm, after persistent searching, a resident of 9th Street found the hawk in an air shaft between buildings.  The cavalry was called and a rescue commenced...

'Ranger Rob', who previously handled the rescue and release of a fledgling in Washington Square Park retrieved our hawk from the air shaft and brought him (we think it's a male) out safe and sound.

Tompkins Square hawk rescue

Tompkins Square hawk rescue

Check out those talons.

Tompkins Square hawk rescue

Tompkins Square hawk rescue

Tompkins Square hawk rescue

After being checked out and determining the hawk was healthy and in good shape, he met his first tree in Tompkins Square Park.

Tompkins Square hawk rescue

After being born and raised on an air-conditioner, I have to wonder what the hawk thought of all this.

Tompkins Square hawk rescue

As the fledgling rested, both parents landed in a nearby tree and watched the activity.  I expect the hawk will be fine, and I'm hoping the remaining two siblings watched and learned something today.

Maybe we should name this one Shaft??

Many thanks to all the neighbors who helped look for the hawk today and especially the resident of 9th Street who kept on looking.  Many thanks also to our hero, Rob, who responded quickly and saved the day!

See more hawk photos here.

Previous hawk posts.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fasten your seatbelts...

And stow your carrion as we prepare for take-off!

Look at me!

The Tompkins Square hawk babies are not so little anymore.

Hawklets #1, 2 & 3

That's the youngest on the right with the white head.  I've never been able to tell the older two apart (sorry, guys). 

They're now six weeks old and are ready to fledge in the next few days. 

Siblings

They've been busy taking turns strengthening their wings...

 Look at me!

Look at me!

...and practicing their jumps.

Catching some air

Christo and Dora have spent the last six weeks tirelessly feeding the hawklets in the nest.  Soon, they'll be teaching the young ones how to serve up their own meals.

Christo delivers a rat dinner 

Generally, hawks leave the nest around 42-46 days after hatching.  That puts our hawks at being due to fly as early as this weekend.  It's all up to them, though, so they will decide when the time is right.

Be on the lookout for the young hawks as they may be on the ground in and around the park.  If you see one in distress, send me an email and I will contact people who can help.  You can also call 311.

Happy flying!


See more hawk photos on my Flickr page:
City Hawks 3
City Hawks 2
City Hawks 1

Previous hawk posts.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ready, set...

Bow down before me, vermin!

Raaaaarrrr!

With each passing day, the Tompkins Square hawks seem to age a month.  The older two are getting tawny chest color and dark head feathers that look like mohawks (hawk 'hawks!).  The youngest is quickly catching up in size, and all three are doing a lot of jumping and flapping on the nest.

A lot of people have asked me what will happen when they fledge.  I really don't know...I'm hoping they fly out and land either on the rooftops across 9th Street, or in the trees of the park.  They'll likely be on the ground, though, so if anyone sees the birds seemingly lost on the ground, it's probably going to be ok.

The hawks at Washington Square are a bit older and have already had some adventures.  Check out their activity, excellently documented by Roger_Paw.

Uptown, at St John the Divine, Morningside Hawks has been following what has to be the most picturesque hawk nest in the city.   They, too, have had some excitement over the last few days.

Another great resource for seeing what's to come is the Cornell Lab hawk cam.  You can see the birds live and chat with volunteers who have done an amazing job answering every possible question and moderating the conversation.  I was thrilled to watch one of their hawks fledge this past week and follow it (via the web cam) as it explored the campus.

It's hard to believe this was just five weeks ago:


Above photo by Francois Portmann - see more nest cam photos at his website.


Previous hawk posts.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hawk family update

It's been just over a month since the Tompkins Square hawklings hatched and they're just a couple of weeks away from fledging.

You can really see differences between the older two chicks and the youngest, who still has downy feathers (on the left).

Siblings 3, 2 & 1

They've been taking turns flapping their wings and jumping up and down.

Siblings 1, 2 & 3

One of the older ones (I'm guessing this is #1, but am not positive) is now eating on its own when previously, one of the parents would tear up the food first.  That's Dora on the right, shading the other two siblings from the hot sun.

Chick eating on its own

Mom and dad are still spending time at the nest, but have been leaving the chicks on their own longer as they get bigger.

Dora, Christo and 2/3 chicks

I watched poor Dora sit for hours up on the nest over the weekend shading the chicks from the heat.  She's also been sheltering them during all the recent rain storms.  Christo flies in once in a while to drop off food, but doesn't seem to stay long.

Dora, Christo and 2/3 chicks

By the end of the month, we should see the youngsters hit the town...

Chicks 1, 2 &  3 

See more hawk photos here and here.

Previous hawk posts.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lunch, Christo-style

I was getting ready to sit down and have a sandwich in Tompkins Square the other day when Christo the hawk came out of nowhere and demanded my attention.  He had his own lunch: a pigeon.

Christo the hawk with a pigeon

Hawk-pigeon sandwich:

Hawk-pigeon sandwich

And, away!  He has such a dramatic flare...

Christo the hawk with a pigeon

And he can walk on air, of course.

Christo the hawk with a pigeon

Off to enjoy his lunch in the clouds...

Christo the hawk with a pigeon

See more hawk photos here.

Previous hawk posts.