Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday hawklights

I've still not confirmed whether or not Dora (I'm going to start using names) laid an egg yesterday, but the hawks' behavior today is consistent with that possibility.

Both of them spent a lot of time on the nest.

Christo and Dora on the nest

Christo continued to bring nest material up for Dora's approval.  Here, he shows her something furry (and rather nasty):

A furry offering

She rejects it and he carries it away.

Christo takes away his rejected gift

He has a go at collecting some bark.  You can see by the condition of the tree that he's done this many times before.

Male red tail rips bark from tree in Tompins Square

While he was out gathering sticks, Christo was dive-bombed by a blue jay bully.

Blue jay dive-bombs red-tailed hawk

Meanwhile, Dora stands guard at the nest.

Dora on the nest 

To be continued...

See more hawk photos here and here.

See some hawk videos here.

Previous hawk posts.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Happy news?

I'm not 100% certain, but I think Dora, our female hawk of Tompkins Square, laid an egg today.  She entered the nest just after 1pm and did a bit of housekeeping before sitting very still in the position below for 15-20 minutes.

She's on the nest!

Afterwards, she moved around a bit, then hunkered down in the nest where I could no longer see her.   It's possible she did *not* lay an egg, but it's the right time and her behavior seemed to suggest it.  We'll know for sure in the next few days.

Leading up to this, the hawk pair spent a lot of time together.  They really look like they enjoy each other's company, so I hope this leads to a successful family.

They've done plenty of mating...

Red tails mating in Tompins Square

And hanging around together...

Red tail Pair in Tompkins Square

Even in the rain.

Lovebirds on the rain

The male (Chris or Christo) has been very industrious, building the nest, hunting for both of them, and cleaning trash out of the park trees...

Male red tail with plastic bag in Tompkins Square

Not to mention clearing the park of vermin.

Male red tail with mouse in Tompkins Square

And I can't get enough of watching them fly.

Leaving the nest on the Christodora

Leaving the nest on the Christodora

Leaving the nest on the Christodora

Stay tuned!

See more hawk photos here and here.

Previous hawk posts.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday, Monday, so good to me

Oh, who am I kidding?  Let's just turn this into a hawk blog for a while...

Late this afternoon, I met up with the Tompkins Square hawks, who were hunting for dinner.  The male caught a pigeon and screamed to the female to come and get it.

Dinnnnnnerrrrrrr tiiiiiiiiiiime!

I saved you a foot!

Male red tail with pigeon in Tompkins Square

He continued to scream as he ate the pigeon, but the female didn't respond, so he eventually devoured it all himself.

Male red tail with pigeon in Tompkins Square

Off to clean the feathers off his beak and talons...

Male red tail in Tompkins Square

And here sits the Queen, looking content as the sun goes down.

Female red tail in Tompkins Square

I just have to throw this in here as I've spent nearly a year looking for this kestrel on the Lower East Side.  Today was finally my lucky day as I caught her sitting high on a pole.  She briefly posed before taking off for parts unknown.

Female kestrel

See more hawk photos here and here.

Previous hawk posts.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Just can't get enough

The sexy times continue for the hawks of Tompkins Square.  As we await the arrival of an egg, the birds keep busy hunting, mating and putting the finishing touches on their nest.

This afternoon, the male caught a starling and called to the female to come have some lunch.

Male red tail with starling

She didn't respond, so he flew it over to her and she almost reluctantly nibbled at it.  The male ended up eating it and then got things going...

Hawk sex

Hawk sex

Hawk sex

Hawk sex 

Here's some video of Saturday's session which features some lovely bongo drum accompaniment.

Birdie style:

Later, the pair chilled out together on top of one of the water towers of the Village View apartments on First Avenue, where they smoked cigarettes could still keep an eye on the park.

Red tail pair atop Village View Apartments

Watch more hawk videos here.

See more hawk photos here and here.

Previous hawk posts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Staple Street in Tribeca is one of my favorite little alleys where I can feel lost in time...

Staple Street

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Frisky business

If you've been in Tompkins Square in the last several days, you may have seen/heard the resident hawk pair mating.

I managed to catch the last couple of seconds of one quickie session:

Afterwards, the pair shared a snack in a nearby tree:

The male has been especially active gathering sticks and bark for the nest.  Here he is cutting twigs from a locust tree near Avenue B:

Male red tail collecting twigs in Tompkins Square

Male red tail collecting twigs in Tompkins Square

Male red tail collecting twigs in Tompkins Square

Here he is with a piece of bark.

Red tail collecting bark in Tompkins Square

And here he is tearing some material off a pipe on the roof of a building on Avenue A.

Male red tail tearing nest material off a pipe

He took the wad of (plastic?) and flew it over to the female who was waiting in a tree in the middle of the park.  She tore it up and threw it down on the grass.  Litterbug!

Meanwhile, we're still on egg-watch at the nest on the Christodora.


I guess we'll know there's an egg when the female sits in the nest.  I've heard the hawks may get protective once this happens, so leaning out the window might not be such a good idea.

See more hawk photos here and here.

Previous hawk posts.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Last night was deliciously warm and the streets of the Lower East Side strangely empty, so I took a walk around my favorite area under the Manhattan Bridge where I felt like I was the only one left on the island.  One can dream...

Mechanics Alley

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring forward

The Tompkins Square hawks are picking up speed building their nest on the Christodora.  I'm really hoping we'll get to see some chicks in the next few weeks.

If you look close, you can see the tail of one hawk sticking out of the nest while the other flies by to supervise the work.

Adult red tails at the Christodora nest site

Here the hawk brings in what appears to be a wad of plastic.  I hope it's not could just be something soft, like a discarded Santa beard.  Kidding!

Adult red tail landing at the Christodora nest site

Look out below!

Adult red tail leaving the Christodora nest site

Surveying her domain...

Adult red tail at the Christodora nest site

When they weren't taking sticks to the nest, the hawks kept busy tearing bark from trees, swooping around, mating in every other tree, and catching things to eat.  Over the last couple of weeks, I've seen the male catch pigeons, rats and mice and leave them in a tree for the female.  Today, the love offering was a sparrow...

Red tail with sparrow 

A sad day for sparrows.

See more hawk photos here and here.

Previous hawk posts.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Almost famous

Our pair of Tompkins Square hawks have earned a nice write-up at DNAinfo!  Check out the story here.

Since I caught them working on the nest last night at sundown, I took another pass through the park tonight at the same time and there they were, arranging sticks on the air-conditioner. 

Here's a brief video of some of the activity:

You can see how the nest has grown by comparing it to this video, which was shot on February 17:

Stay tuned!

See many more Tompkins Square hawk videos here.

Previous hawk posts.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quick hawk nest update

The hawk nest on the Christodora continues to grow, but I haven't seen much work being done on it and wonder if the hawks have multiple nests going.  I've seen the hawks in the park every day, and they cut and collect sticks, but they've been carrying them out of the park the last several days.

Tonight, I passed through the park just after sundown, when it was almost too dark to see.  Sure enough, the pair were there working on the nest!

This is the best photo I could get in low light...

So, there is still hope we might see baby birds at this location.

Previous hawk posts.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Conquering winter

Five months from now, when I'm complaining of heat and humidity, please remind me of my daily frigid slog across the lower Manhattan mountain ranges.

Behold, the majestic Alps of 6th Avenue!  The remains of Sullivan Street are in there somewhere...

The majestic Alps of 6th Avenue

Here we have the magnificent Rockies of Prince Street.  No paper delivery today.  Or any time soon.


And who can ever forget the brooding West Broadway Carpathians?


And so we remained till the red of the dawn began to fall through the snow gloom. I was desolate and afraid, and full of woe and terror. But when that beautiful sun began to climb the horizon life was to me again.

-- Bram Stoker, Dracula

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The foot-in-mouth award goes to...

Never mind putting your own foot in your about someone else's?

Foot in mouth...

Foot in mouth...

Foot in mouth... 

 Watch out for those toenails!

Foot in mouth... 

See more hawk photos here and here.

Previous hawk posts.