Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Sexy time for Tompkins Square hawks

Tompkins Square red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, are moving right along with nest preparations. I spent some quality time with the pair this last weekend and lucked out with some beautiful weather.

Below, Christo perches on top of the nest in the locust tree. It's much deeper than the one he shared with Dora in 2017, and it will be interesting to see how much of it we'll be able to see once the leaves grow in on the trees.

Christo atop his creation

Amelia arranges bark in the nest. You can get an idea of the size of the nest as the two hawks fit in it comfortably.

Amelia arranges bark in the nest

A short while later, Amelia perched in a different locust tree and Christo approached her from the side.

Christo approaches Amelia

We know what's coming!

Christo lands on Amelia

Christo lands on top of her and they do their thing.

Christo and Amelia mating

Red-tails Christo and Amelia mating

The whole event takes about five seconds.

Red-tailed hawks Christo and Amelia mating

It's interesting to note the position of Christo's talons as he balances on Amelia's back. He keeps his back toe folded into his foot, so he's not digging his claws into her.

Close-up of talon position

Note both of his feet below:

Christo and Amelia mating in Tompkins Square

Rather than having a good grip, Christo is balancing on curled feet, a feat in itself!

Close-up of talon position while mating

Three seconds later:

Christo & Amelia hanging out in Tompkins Square

Another day, another angle.

Tompkins Square hawks Christo and Amelia mating

I love how these two hang out together afterwards.

Red-tailed hawk pair Christo & Amelia

But time is limited and there's still nest-work to do, so Christo takes off to resume his chores while Amelia preens.

Christo takes off 

Stay tuned...

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