Monday, January 11, 2021

Mulchfest 2021 with bonus hawks

After surviving 2020, there's nothing more cathartic than watching Christmas trees get fed through a woodchipper.

Welcome to Mulchfest 2021 in Tompkins Square Park! This was my 12th year attending this event and I look forward all year to the fresh aroma of mulched evergreen that fills the park as the chipper transforms piles of discarded trees into heavenly scented potpourri.

Mulchfest 2021

Here is some video of the chipper in action:

Mulchfest 2021

Mulchfest 2021

Mulchfest 2021

After park workers converted all the trees to mulch, they dumped it into a pile on the sacred spot where the beloved Bendy Tree once stood.

Mulchfest 2021

So fresh!

Mulchfest 2021

Kids wasted no time conquering Mulch Mountain - gotta enjoy it before the dogs pee on it!

Mulchfest 2021

See previous Mulchfest posts here.

Check out photos of Mulchfest from years past here.

See more Mulchfest videos here.


Mulchfest in Tompkins Square wouldn't be complete without a hawk sighting, and our local hawks didn't let us down. When the chipper was turned off, I heard a commotion and looked up to see an immature red-tailed hawk flying over the park.

The young hawk was joined by our resident pair, Christo and Amelia, and the three chased each other around before disappearing over St Brigid's church on Avenue B. In the photo below, Amelia is on the left, Christo is in the center, and the immature intruder is on the right.

At one pass through the park, the immature hawk had a pigeon in its talons. When Christo reappeared in the park after all three hawks went behind the church, he had a pigeon, which he quickly ate in front of the restrooms. Who caught the pigeon? I don't know, but someone definitely had their lunch stolen.

Meanwhile, not far away, an adult Cooper's hawk perched in a tree, staying out of all the drama. The hawk stood up when Amelia flew by, but relaxed when it saw she wasn't going to force it to leave.

Over the years, I've noticed the red-tails show a fairly high tolerance for Cooper's hawks in their territory. Even these competing species can make room for each other.

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