Thursday, December 29, 2016

Holiday hawklights

I don't have any new hawk news, but I did spend quite a bit of time with Christo and Dora over the holidays.  They are keeping busy fending off intruders (other red-tails) in their East Village territory, and have been spotted making adjustments to their latest nest near the ping pong table.  It's still about a month away from breeding time, so we won't know what their nest plans are until later in the winter.

On December 23, I found Dora enjoying the sunshine from atop the cross of St Nicholas of Myra church at Avenue A and 10th Street.

Dora

Dora

On the 24th, Christo made an appearance in Tompkins Square.

Christo

Christo

He flew around a lot and briefly settled on this cellphone transmitter at Avenue A and St Mark's Place.  This is normally a big pigeon hang-out.

Christo

A while later, he took in the view from St Nicholas.

Christo

As the sun went down, Christo returned to the park and seemed to be on the hunt for dinner.

Christo

Christo

However, he opted to have leftovers for Christmas Eve rather than go for something fresh.  This squirrel didn't seem to like Christo's choice of dining location.

Christo is confronted by a squirrel

The dinner was a long-dead pigeon that he scooped up from the grass near the chess tables.  It appeared to me to be not much more than a pile of feathers.

Christo eating feathers

The hawks don't waste food, so even this little scrap was cached.

Christo

On Christmas day, the hawks were not very cooperative posing for photos, but I did get this one of Dora being distracted by a squirrel.

Dora is confronted by a squirrel

On December 27, both hawks spent most of the afternoon on the scaffolding on top of the Christodora building.  I looked up just in time to see a young Cooper's hawk zipping past Dora.  It happened so fast, I didn't have time to focus the camera.

A Cooper's hawk approaches Dora

Christo soon joined her.

Christo & Dora

The two of them hung out up there until the sun set.  They are probably the only residents of the Christodora who will be sad when the scaffolding eventually comes down.

Christo & Dora

That evening, Dora went to roost in a tree in the SE corner of the park and Christo scouted out possible roosting spots along 7th Street.

Christo scouts out a roosting location

He finally settled on a fire escape near Avenue B.  After sunset, he was all but invisible in this sheltered location.

Christo goes to roost 

The following day, Dora roosted in the park while Christo chose a tree along 7th Street.