Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This week with Dora

Helloooo, Dora!


I saw quite a bit of Dora this last weekend as she spent a lot of time with Christo in Tompkins Square.  Here she is in her favorite sycamore at the Avenue A & St Mark's entrance to the park.  If you see a lone hawk up in that tree, it's likely her.

Dora in her sycamore

I couldn't fit them both in the frame below, but Christo is on a lower branch eating a rat, while Dora looks down at him.

Dora watches Christo eat

Christo was there first, then Dora flew in and made a strange noise at him that sounded like a cat growling.  I've never heard her make this sound before, but I have heard Christo make similar noises in the past.  He's done it when he appeared annoyed, like when he was harassed by squirrels/birds, or failed in an attempt to catch prey.  I really don't know what the "growling" sound means, and I couldn't tell what kind of mood Dora was in.  I wondered if Christo might share his lunch with her, but he didn't offer.

The following day, I found Dora in the same tree, eating a mouse while being tormented by a mockingbird.

Dora being harassed by mockingbirds

Wolfing down the back end...

Dora choking down a mouse

After the last gulp, Dora shook it all out...

Fluffy Dora

...then took a minute to digest in the late afternoon sun.



Later, it was back to the sycamore where Dora perched up top while Christo gazed up at her.

Christo looks up at Dora

In related raptor news, I witnessed a hawk-kestrel battle over Eldridge and Delancey Tuesday morning.  Two red-tails, who I presume were Christo and Dora, circled over the intersection while flocks of pigeons and starlings scattered.  A kestrel zoomed in, taking dives at one of the hawks before all three flew towards Avenue A and Houston.  By the time I got my camera out, they were gone.

On Sunday, this Peregrine falcon flew over Tompkins, heading east over 9th Street.  I quickly snapped this photo before in went into a dive and was off like a rocket.

Christo and Dora spent the rest of the day flying around and vocalizing a lot, so I thought the falcon or another hawk was intruding on their territory, but I was never able to see the source of their agitation.

More to come...

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