Monday, February 24, 2020

Rat: It's what's for dinner

I caught up with red-tailed hawk, Christo, as he was hunting for dinner in Tompkins Square Park. Just before sunset, he nabbed a huge rat behind the restrooms.

I like to think he took his catch to the birdbath to wash before eating, but he was likely just getting in a better position to fly.

Christo takes his rat to the bath

Look at the size of that rat! Christo usually goes for the smaller ones, but recently he's been catching meals big enough to share with his mate, Amelia.

Christo catches a huge rat

Christo took off with his heavy haul, zipping right past an observer.

Christo takes off with his rat

Posing with his trophy:

Pre-dinner photo-op

Christo catches a huge rat for dinner

I couldn't get over the size of the rat. I see young hawks go for big prey, only to realize they can't carry it far. As Christo has gotten older and more precise with his hunting, he usually goes for the smaller, easier to handle rats, so this was a surprise.

Christo catches a huge rat in Tompkins Square

Rat: it's what's for dinner

After eating his share, Christo took the rest to Amelia who waited in a tree on the other side of the park. They will share meals like this during the breeding season.

Christo at sunset 

More to come.

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