Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday hawks and a surprise visitor

I was met by Christo and Dora as soon as I entered Tompkins Square this afternoon.

Dora is on the left, Christo on the right.

Dora and Christo

I got the feeling I was interrupting a quiet moment.  For the first time I can recall, Dora paid me a lot of attention.  She usually gives me a glance, but today, she kept staring and seemed to react to the sound of my camera.

She took off first, so I followed her as I don't get to see her up close that often.  She proceeded to lead me all over the park, making me run repeatedly back and forth between Avenues A & B.  Forget the gym, Dora is my new personal trainer!

She finally settled down atop the Boys Club on Avenue A & 10th Street, but didn't seem very interested in all the pigeons flying around.

Dora ignores the crowd

After a time, she took off soaring and I noticed both hawks were circling around a third bird that was passing over the park.

A raven!

Raven over Tompkins Square

The hawks escorted the raven out of the park, west towards Broadway where it made a sharp right turn and seemed to dive towards Union Square.  I've only ever seen one other raven in the neighborhood, so I was really excited to see this.

A while later, the hawk pair reunited atop the Christodora building.  Dora is on the left, Christo on the right.

Dora and Christo atop the Christodora

Christo twists his head all the way upside-down to watch Dora fly by.  I don't think any amount of yoga could enable me to do this.

Christo turns his head upside down

After four hours of flying around the park, Christo caught a pigeon and proceeded to eat it in the big tree near Avenue A &7th Street, where they'd been sitting when I arrived.  Dora sat patiently on an upper branch and watched him intently. When he was apparently done with half the meal, she swooped in and ate the rest.  I never saw her attempt to hunt herself.  If she is my personal trainer, then maybe Christo is her personal chef.

Dinner over, Christo took to a fire escape on Avenue A above Ray's Candy.

Christo roosting above Ray's Candy

It looked to me like he was settling in to roost.

Christo roosting above Ray's Candy

I had such a hard time walking away from him at this point, but the sun had gone behind the buildings and my hands were frozen. 

Christo roosting above Ray's Candy 

As I left him there, Dora perched three blocks up the street atop the cross of St Nicholas of Myra.

See more hawk photos on my Flickr page.

Previous hawk posts.


  1. Fantastic, as usual. You are the Boswell of TSP.

  2. Who would win a raven-hawk fight? (Asking for a friend)

  3. So glad you asked as this prompted me to look up hawk-raven rumbles on Youtube!

    This (slo-mo!) video shows a raven repeatedly diving at a hawk:

    And this one shows a raven reading the riot act to a juvenile hawk. You can see how the two are very close in size.

    I guess they compete for food an territory. From what I've seen, the hawks get bullied by every other creature in existence and they have incredible patience and tolerance.

  4. When I first started walking my Scottish Fold kitten in the park last spring, people warned me about the hawks! I kept a really close eye on my baby though.

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