It's that time of year when we begin looking for signs of nesting raptors across the city.
For Tompkins Square red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, it's about time for them to start gathering sticks for a new nest. Their previous nest was destroyed by Hurricane Isaias last July, so it will be interesting to see where the pair decide to build this year. Will they return to the same locust tree, go back to the ginkgo that has served well in previous years, or will they choose a completely new location?
In the mean time, I met up with the hawks in the park yesterday as Christo was eating a pigeon and Amelia perched in a nearby tree.
It was a very windy afternoon and Amelia had to crouch down to stay balanced on the branch.
At some point, something caught her attention and she took off and circled over me a few times.
After a few minutes, Christo joined her and they both disappeared to the east. I tried following, but wasn't able to locate them again.
It feels like an eternity, but a year ago, we observed Christo and Amelia nest-building by the end of January. They ended up having their most successful season together - fledging three chicks - and I hope they achieve the same success this year. Throughout the nightmare that was 2020, these hawks kept me together mentally and emotionally, and I am so grateful they allow us in their lives.