Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hatch time at Tompkins Square?

Tuesday evening, Christo and Dora were acting suspiciously like they could have a hatchling up in their nest in Tompkins Square.  Hatching is due any time, so if it hasn't already happened, it surely will by the end of the week.

Since we can't see into the nest to see what is happening, we must pay attention to the behavior of the adults.  Christo and Dora's usual schedule is for Christo to bring food to a nearby tree, then swap places in the nest with Dora while she eats.  At 7pm last night, Christo showed up as usual with a dinner rat.  Rather than leaving it on a branch for Dora to retrieve, he hung on to it and waited on a branch a few feet from the nest.

Christo with a rat

After a few minutes, Christo flew the rat to the nest.  I waited for Dora to get up and take the rat, but she never did.  It's impossible to see her in the photo below, but she is in the nest on the right.  As more leaves bloom in the tree, it will be more difficult to see the nest.

Christo takes a rat to the 

After about ten minutes of both adults rustling around in the nest, Christo took the rat and flew out, leaving Dora behind.

Christo removes a rat from the nest

Christo removes a rat from the nest

Christo took the rat to a nearby tree and ate part of it before flying to another part of the park.  During this time, Dora moved around a lot, but all I could see was her back end sticking out (below). 

She spent 15-20 minutes moving around with her tail in the air, so I wondered if she could be feeding a chick.  Dora finally settled down in the nest at 7:30pm when the sun went down.

In past years, it's taken 35-40 days for eggs to hatch and Tuesday (April 18) would have been 35 days (assuming the first egg was laid March 14), so they are on schedule.

Meanwhile, the Washington Square hawks welcomed their second hatchling this morning. The screenshot below shows the two chicks and parents (and a rat lunch) this afternoon.

For those keeping score, Urban Hawks has a spreadsheet of all the known Manhattan hawk nests this year.  There are eight, down from twelve in 2016.