Monday, February 8, 2016

Christo to rats: It's just business

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.

Christo in the bird bath

Could you pass the soap?

Christo in the bird bath

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. 

Christo

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. 

Christo catches a rat

(The rat is no longer alive in these photos)

Christo catches a rat

Christo catches a rat

And it's off to the big tree, just north of the bird bath, where Christo can often be found having dinner.

Christo catches a rat

Christo catches a rat

Christo catches a rat

Christo catches a rat

Christo catches a rat

Rat. 

It's what's for dinner.

Christo swallows a rat

Post-meal, Christo pauses, his crop bulging.

Christo 

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.