Monday, December 20, 2021

Checking in with Christo and Amelia in Tompkins Square

Checking in with Tompkins Square Red-Tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, we find them doing well.

Christo struck a pose at dusk the other day as he hunted for dinner in the park.

We've been observing him for eight years now and have to wonder if he recognizes us. It's nice to think so.

It's too early for the hawks to be nest-building, but in the meantime, a Mourning Dove checks out the vacant real estate. The hawk nest has held up surprisingly well over the last several months and it will be interesting to see if the hawks choose to use this site again.

We've been seeing the pair atop the Christodora a lot recently. Below, Amelia is on the left and Christo is on the right.


She takes off and we lose track of her for a while.

Christo stares us down from the cross of St Nicholas of Myra church on Avenue A. He's fluffed up and looking kind of chunky in the cold.

Something catches his attention and he takes off and disappears over 10th Street.

Amelia reappears atop her corner of the Christodora roof.

Then Christo turns up again as well.

Christo takes off:

He lands on a contraption on the south side of the building.

While Christo was on the building, Amelia caught herself a pigeon for dinner. By this time, it was almost dark.

After eating most of the pigeon, she flew it to another tree where Christo joined her and ate the leftovers. She then flew to a spot where she posed in front of the moon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Walking in Staten

We don't get over to Staten Island very often, but when we do, it's a memorable experience. After not visiting for over a year because of the pandemic, we made a trek earlier this month to see if we could find any interesting wildlife.

To our amazement, we came across a flock of over forty wild turkeys foraging in the leaf litter by the side of a busy road.

The sun was just about to set, so we scrambled to get a few photos before it became completely dark.

A few birds made our day by walking in front of a perfect backdrop.

As the sun went down, the turkeys started flying, one by one, up into the trees to roost.

In the span of about ten minutes, the entire flock was up in the trees and we could barely see them in the dark.

Being city people, we thought seeing this many turkeys was pretty unique and special, but this is apparently just another day on Staten Island. Local residents walked/jogged/biked past the turkeys without giving them a second glance. The turkeys, in turn, ignored the human activity.

And so it was with great amusement to discover native Staten Islander, Pete Davidson, made this ode to his home borough for Saturday Night Live. Wild turkeys (possibly this very same flock!), are featured at the 2:03 mark.

After making sure the turkeys were tucked in for the night, we popped over to Snug Harbor for the NYC Winter Lantern Festival. It's a fun event and a good way to lift the spirits.

The Lantern Festival runs through the first week of January and, if visiting the Snug Harbor location, there's a good chance of running into some wild turkeys.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Recent hawks around town

There isn't much to report on local East Village Red-Tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, just yet. We saw them both today in the neighborhood as they visited a few of their favorite perches, but nothing really exciting has been going on with them recently. 

That isn't to say there aren't other hawks around - we've seen many Red-Tails, Cooper's and Red-Shouldered hawks around the city over the last few weeks.

This immature Red-Tail flew low over our heads one cloudy afternoon in Queens.

Yesterday, we caught sight of another immature Red-Tail soaring with gulls high over Brooklyn.

A crow went after the hawk, diving at it and nipping at its wings.

Yet another immature Red-Tail endured bullying from a crow.

The hawk tried chasing after the crow a few times.

But, the tables kept turning and the crow was more agile and able to chase the hawk.

The crow had a buddy who joined in on the action. The remarkable thing was none of the birds made a sound. The entire altercation took place in silence.

We don't encounter Red-Shouldered hawks too often in the city, so it was exciting to find this adult chilling in the Bronx.

Finally, this immature Cooper's hawk greeted us as we entered Central Park on Thanksgiving Day. We are thankful, indeed!