Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cooper's Hawk in Tompkins Square

On Friday, I saw a juvenile Cooper' Hawk perched near the Krishna tree in Tompkins Square.

Cooper's Hawk in Tompkins Square

It's not unusual to see Cooper's hawks here in winter, but the odd thing about this one is it perched about sixty feet away from Christo, the resident red-tailed hawk, and he didn't seem to care.  They lioked at each other, but Christo didn't move or make a sound.

Cooper's Hawk in Tompkins Square

In the past, Christo (or Dora) has always chased the Cooper's hawks away, as they compete for food.  Almost exactly a year ago, Christo and Dora stole the lunch of a Cooper's who'd been hunting in their territory.

Cooper's Hawk in Tompkins Square

To see Christo be so lenient with the Cooper's for so long made me wonder what was going on.  Have the red-tails grown tolerant?  Are they not bothered by this particular hawk?  Was Christo tired out from nest-building all day?  I really don't know.

The Cooper's remained perched for several minutes before flying to the SE corner of the park.

Cooper's Hawk in Tompkins Square

Cooper's Hawk in Tompkins Square

The hawk was immediately confronted by a squirrel.

Squirrel has a face-off with a Cooper's Hawk

But the energetic hawk showed it who's boss.

Cooper's Hawk goes after a squirrel

Cooper's Hawk goes after a squirrel

Cooper's Hawk goes after a squirrel

The squirrel escaped.  I don't think the hawk was actually trying to catch the squirrel, but just enjoyed intimidating it. 

Cooper's Hawk in Tompkins Square 

After that bit of drama, the hawk circled around Avenue B and 7th Street a few times before flying NE.  I didn't see it again this day, but I think I saw it in the park again Saturday evening when it buzzed past Christo as he was hunting along Avenue A.