Monday, June 24, 2019

Christo and Amelia build a frustration nest in Tompkins Square

We have not yet received an update from the Department of Environmental Conservation on the cause of death of the Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk chicks. We'll post any information here as soon as we get it.

In the mean time, parents Christo and Amelia can still be found in and around the park.

Christo and Amelia

Christo and Amelia

Christo and Amelia

In a new development, they have built a "frustration" nest, or alternate nest, in the tree where Christo and Dora raised their tenth offspring in 2017.

Frustration nest

This is something I've seen ospreys do when they experience a nest failure, so it's interesting to see red-tailed hawks do it as well.

Frustration nest

Several people have asked me if this means the hawks will lay more eggs this year. Short answer: No. The breeding time for the hawks is generally February - May, so it is too late in the year to start again. The hawks undergo hormonal changes in the spring that lead up to egg-laying, and that time has passed.

However, nest-building is bonding activity, so it's a good sign. It shows Christo and Amelia are working together and maintaining their territory and partnership. Although I'm really sad not to have baby hawks playing in the park this summer, I'm happy to see the adults staying close to home and remaining visible.

Last evening, I found Amelia perched on the dome of Most Holy Redeemer church on E 3rd Street.

Amelia

And, this evening, she took in the last bit of sunlight from a high branch in the park.

Amelia 

It's been a challenge to see the hawks lately among the lush leaves of the park trees, but they can be found near both nest sites, on the east side of the park and near the Temperance Fountain.

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