Friday, February 19, 2021

A new nesting season is underway for red-tails Christo & Amelia in Tompkins Square

It's time!

Red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, began building their new 2021 nest in Tompkins Square the week of February 5. They're using the same locust tree as last season despite damage to the tree last August during Tropical Storm Isaias that destroyed their previous nest and took out several branches. Then again, the hawk pair successfully fledged three chicks from that nest, so we have to trust they know what they're doing.

Below, Amelia and Christo discuss the best placement of sticks in the nest.

Amelia and Christo building their nest

Both Christo and Amelia collect sticks and bring them to the nest, but Amelia does most of the furniture arranging.

Amelia working on her nest

This is Amelia selecting a stick.

Amelia collecting sticks

Getting the right angle while retaining balance can be tricky.

Amelia collecting sticks

This one looks perfect.

Amelia collecting sticks

Success!

Amelia with a stick

Amelia taking a stick back to the nest:

Amelia with a stick

At one point, she landed right above my head.

Amelia collecting sticks

Amelia collecting sticks

I observed Amelia working hard for over two hours. She cut sticks from trees all around the park before taking a break in the late afternoon.

Amelia

Amelia

Christo helped her for the first hour or so.

Christo

Here he is snapping a stick.

Christo cutting a stick

Sometimes, they really have to stretch to get the one they want.

Christo cutting a stick

Amelia:

Amelia

Christo looking victorious at the end of a busy day:

Christo

The pair have also begun mating this last week, which is right on schedule for them. We can look forward to watching them continue building their nest and bonding over the next could of weeks. If all goes well, we should expect eggs in early-mid March.

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