Thursday, May 28, 2015

Christo and Dora: a photo exhibition

From the Shameless Self-Promotion Department...

There will be an exhibition of my photos of East Village hawks, Christo and Dora, on Saturday, June 13.

As I've been documenting Christo and Dora's daily lives here in the neighborhood for almost two years now, many people have asked me when I would put together some prints. The time has come!

Christo & Dora atop St Brigid's church

Crony Gallery
437 East 12 Street #26
New York NY 10009

Saturday, June 13, 2015, 4-7pm

For further information, please see the press release.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Flappity flap flap

Greetings from Avenue A!

Avenue A hawklets

Avenue A hawklets

As soon as I post a photo of a hawklet, it's immediately out of date as the birds are growing so fast.  They are now three and a half weeks old and are already practicing for their learner's permits.

Pin feathers on the wings and tail are clearly visible.

Avenue A hawklets

I took some video this evening of Dora with all three kids:

Here they are doing some flapping.  And at the 35" mark, you can see why it's a good idea to walk on the west side of Avenue A with an umbrella until the birds fledge...

In the mean time, Dora is still spending a lot of time at the nest.

Dora and baby

She seems to spend the majority of the morning and early afternoon shading the babies from the sun.  Once the shade falls on this side of the building around 3pm, she spends more time up on the cross at the Most Holy Redeemer church, or flying around.

Dora sitting pretty

Dora at Most Holy Redeemer

Christo is being a good dad and provider, catching meals in the park and delivering them to the nest.  He also brings food to Dora.  Here he is in Tompkins Square with a freshly caught starling.

Christo catches a starling 

Stay tuned...

See more hawk photos on my Flickr page.


Monday, May 25, 2015

And how was your Memorial Day?

Things started out calm enough, with this Great Egret and Turtle sunning themselves on a rock in the Meer at the north end of Central Park.

Great egret and turtle

But something was up...

Great egret and turtle

BAM!  The egret suddenly dove into the water and pulled up a carp.

Great egret catches a fish

Nice catch!

Great egret catches a fish

Turtle looks on as the egret heads back towards his rock with the fish...

Great egret catches a fish

Hang on, where is that giant black foot going to land?!?

Great egret stomps on a turtle

Aaa! Right on top of Turtle!

Great egret stomps on a turtle

Poor Turtle just can't catch a break.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Raptor this, raptor that

It's been nearly three weeks since the first of three hawk eggs hatched at the Ageloff nest site and the babies are getting bigger by the minute.

This is a screenshot taken today from the Ave A Nest Cam, which shows how leggy they're getting.

The other two nestlings are up against the window, out of frame, but you can see from this angle how small the nest is.  Windows on the building across the street are visible at the top of the image, and the white blob on the far left is a truck passing in the street down below.

Two Hawks has a really nice shot of two of the hawklets peeking over the edge of the nest.

And Urban Hawks has some video of Dora and all three kids (go to the 27:00" mark).

Meanwhile, Morningside Hawks has been keeping tabs on all the Manhattan hawk nests and has some updated stats here.

I've been following the Cornell hawk cam, which is a great source of information.  Their hawks are just a few days younger than ours on Avenue A, and they have reached what I consider their cutest phase - when they sit back on their rumps with their clown feet sticking out.

Look how pristine those baby clown talons are...

There was an interesting discussion on the Cornell site this week which talked about the birds' development and how the legs and talons grow first and fastest.  Once the legs are strong enough, the babies will be able to stand.  At the moment, they're still toddlers.

Another discussion focused on how hawks see.  How can they spot a rat from three blocks away, or maneuver through the trees while chasing a pigeon?  I found this informative video that has some great high-speed footage of birds grabbing a target in mid-air, as well as explaining how raptors perceive color.

Tired of hawks?

How about falcons?

Activity at the 55 Water Street falcon nest has increased since four babies recently hatched.  This screenshot shows mom, Adele, guarding her fuzzballs while gazing out over the FDR Drive.  The blob below and left of her is a pile of baby falcons.  They don't build a fancy nest like the hawks.

You can see all four falcon babies here as Adele feeds them lunch.  It looked like pigeon.

Lastly, I've been following the Berry College eagle nest for a couple of years now and have become pretty attached to their eaglets.  This year's sibling pair fledged the nest a few days ago, but I managed to get some screenshots of the youngest (I believe) making one last visit to the nest last Friday.

When you observe these birds hatch, grow, learn to feed themselves, then finally fly away, it's impossible not to get a little emotional.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dancing in the park

More dance are some highlights from Dance Fest in Tompkins Square Park, which took place immediately after the Dance Parade last Saturday.

Dance Fest 2015

Dance Fest 2015

Dance Fest 2015

Dance Fest 2015

I really loved these Michael Jackson tribute dancers.

See more photos on my Flickr page.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Little things

Catching up on hawks...

I've really been enjoying the live chat sessions over at the Cornell Labs hawk cam.  Each time I tune in, I learn something.  As their hawk family is just a few days younger than ours here in the East Village, it's nice to learn about the hawklets as they grow.

This is a screenshot of the Cornell kids getting fed by mom.  You can see by their sizes how much difference being born two days apart makes.  The oldest (left) hatched on May 4 and the youngest (middle) on May 6.

And on this day, I learned about hawk ears.  What do they look like?  You can only see them at this stage, before the feathers grow in and cover them up.  The ear is the fuzzy little tuft below the eye here on this napping bobblehead.

Here it is from a different angle.  It's the black dot to the left of the eye.

Meanwhile, East Village hawks Christo and Dora are doing well.  I haven't been able to count how many feedings there are in a day, but it seems to happen every hour or two.

The hawklets are not visible from the street yet, but mom and dad make regular trips between the nest and the cross at the Most Holy Redeemer church on E 3rd Street.  They have a clear view of the nest from there and it serves as both a resting/lookout spot as well as a dining table.

I caught them up there the other night with a squirrel tail dangling between them.

Christo & Dora

Here is Dora on Mother's Day, diligently watching over the kids.

Dora on Mother's Day

And yesterday, being her beautiful self.

Dora arriving at the nest

Christo helps out by clearing away some old food...

Christo removes food fro the nest

...and taking it over to the church for a late snack.

Christo at Most Holy Redeemer church

In other raptor news, it looks like the baby falcons at 55 Water Street have hatched.

I've put links to all the live web cams I mention here in the list of links over on the right-hand side of the page.

See more hawk photos on my Flickr page.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Dancing in the street

More entertainment from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party this last Saturday - street dancing.

With so much going on in the neighborhood/city/country/world to get down about, it was really uplifting to see so many happy people spontaneously sharing a good time.

Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party

Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party

Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party

Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party

Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party

Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party

Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party

Nuyorican Poets Cafe block party

More and more people kept joining in until there must have been over a hundred letting loose in the street.  In the video below, a woman comes in at the 1:10 mark who embodies the ecstatic feeling of the crowd.

See more photos of the block party on my Flickr page.