Monday, November 24, 2014

Back in the spotlight

In my previous hawk post, I accused Christo of hogging the spotlight.  He's in and around Tompkins Square so often, it's almost impossible to not encounter him.  Dora is more mysterious and tends to keep more distance between us, so I was really happy last Saturday to catch her spending some time in the park.

I first saw her atop the Christodora apartment building on Avenue B and 9th Street.

Dora atop the Christodora

This is, of course, where the hawk pair had their nest last spring and the building for which they were named.  Almost exactly a year ago (November 29, 2013), I took my first photo (below) of the pair atop the building as they scouted out the neighborhood.  It would be another month or so before they claimed the park as their territory.

On top of the Christodora
Christo on the left, Dora on the right.

 Dora took off from the rooftop and headed east, returning a short time later with a pigeon.

Dora with a pigeon

Then she did something I've never seen her do.  She flew all around the park with the pigeon as if she were looking for someone.  She started in a tree along Avenue B, then went to the popular feeding tree near the temperance fountain, to the big tree in the middle of the lawn, then over to this fire escape on Avenue B and 7th Street.

Dora with a pigeon

She didn't call out and I lost track of her around E 8th Street, so I don't know if she ate the pigeon, stashed it, or gave it to someone else.  As far as I know, Christo and Dora's offspring are all gone, but I have seen the two of them flying around with a juvenile recently.  This photo is from November 14, with the juvenile on the left.

Hawk chase over Tompkins Square

It doesn't seem likely Dora would be feeding a juvenile hawk at this time, so I am just speculating.

Meanwhile, plenty of other action has been taking place in the skies over the area.  On November 16, I caught both hawks engaging a kestrel over the Most Holy Redeemer church on 3rd Street and Avenue A.  Dora sat on the cross while Christo flew round and round the dome with the kestrel.  I tried getting a photo, but I was so far away, the kestrel came out as a blur.  This photo was taken at the same time with a plane substituting for the kestrel.  That's Christo flying and Dora is on the cross.

A plane, Christo and Dora

And I just can't resist posting a couple more photos of Christo because...well, he makes it so easy.




See more hawk photos on my Flickr page.


  1. That Most Holy Redeemer photograph is a stunner - the sky, church, Christo and the plane, the colors, sharpness of detail. Looks like a Dutch painting. Wow!

  2. Thanks! That photo was taken from 5 blocks away. Ooo, if I only had a longer lens!