On a recent sunny afternoon, I caught red-tailed Christo having a bath in the, uh, bird bath behind the park offices in Tompkins Square. He didn't seem to mind people wandering around very near him.
Could you pass the soap?
I saw him take a few gulps of water, something I've only seen once or twice before. Hawks get all the water they need from the food they eat.
Speaking of food, Christo lept from the bath to nab a rat a just a few feet away. In the photo below, you can just barely make out the giant rat hole inside the fence, just behind Christo's tail.
(The rat is no longer alive in these photos)
And it's off to the big tree, just north of the bird bath, where Christo can often be found having dinner.
It's what's for dinner.
Post-meal, Christo pauses, his crop bulging.
I expected him to take it easy the rest of the evening after eating such a big meal, but he only rested a few minutes before flying off to cut sticks for the nest. Christo is all business.
See more photos here.