Thursday, April 21, 2022

Hatch time for Christo & Amelia, and a new live hawk cam at Columbia University

Happy Earth Day! Tompkins Square red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, have welcomed at least one youngster to the world this week. Hatching activity was first observed on Easter Sunday, and the parents have been seen feeding several times a day since. It's still too early to see the chick(s), or to know how many there are, so we look forward to being surprised over the next couple of weeks.
On Monday, we caught Christo as he brought a headless rat to the nest where Amelia was tucked in.

Christo delivers a headless rat to the nest

After some coaxing, she got up. We've noted she's an extremely dedicated stay-at-nest mom and will not leave her eggs or chicks easily, even if Christo shows up with food or to relieve her.

Amelia gets up after brooding

In this video, you can see both parents doing some feeding. Christo is on the left and Amelia is on the right. Perhaps this indicates there are two chicks?

On Wednesday, we arrived just as Christo showed up with lunch (rat).

Christo at the nest while Amelia lays down inside

Amelia didn't want to get up just yet.

Amelia knows all...

It was only after Christo took the rat away to eat himself that Amelia got up to feed the young some food that had been stashed in the nest. At the time, the park was full of people at the time who were celebrating 420 Day.

Amelia has to reach far into the nest to feed chicks

In this video, Amelia feeds the hatchling(s), who are hidden just behind the edge of the nest. Note how far she has to bend into the nest to reach the chicks. 

The music in the background of the video is a live performance by the inimitable Pinc Louds.

Claudi of Pinc Louds
Later, we tried a different camera angle as Christo and Amelia served dinner. It will be several days before we can see anything more than this, especially as the tree blooms and the leaves block the view. This will provide shade for the hawks, though, as summer heats things up. 
The presence of flies is a good indicator there is food being stored in the nest.

On Thursday, we arrived to find Amelia taking a break from brooding to stretch and preen. In doing so, she revealed her brood patch, which looks like a hole in the feathers on her chest.

Amelia shows us her brood patch

Amelia stretches her wings

After a few yoga stretches, Amelia took off for a short flight around the park to stretch her wings. She returned to the nest about two minutes later.

Amelia takes off for a short break

Amelia leaves the nest

Although we cannot see into this nest which is high in a tree, you can observe the activities at another Manhattan red-tailed hawk nest on this new live camera at Columbia University. You can read more about the details of this nest site, which is on a fire escape, and learn more about the lucky student who is playing host to this hawk family, here.

In more eggciting hawk news, Cornell's Big Red and Arthur have four eggs, two of which are in the process of hatching at the time of this post. If all goes well, there will be four little hawklets to watch on the Cornell Hawk cam in Ithaca, New York.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

In celebration of ospreys

Ospreys are making their way north from their wintering grounds in the Gulf of Mexico and are settling into their nesting territories around NYC. It's always exciting to see them arrive in the area and put on spectacular flying displays as they go fishing in and around Jamaica Bay.

We love their long, lanky wings and beautiful black and white coloring. The eyes of the adults are bright, piercing yellow.

Each year, we also like to tune in to the Hellgate Osprey cam, located in Missoula, Montana. The cam features a female osprey named Iris, who is now the oldest known osprey in the world at approximately 25 years old. She's an amazing creature and each April, when she returns to her nest along the Clark Fork River, it's an emotional experience. You can get an overview of her history here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Quick Tompkins Square hawk update

Red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, continue to brood in Tompkins Square Park. Things seem to be calm with them, which is good news. 

They're going about their business as usual, which includes switching egg-warming duties. We caught them performing a nest-switch the other evening, which you can see in the video below. Christo takes over brooding while Amelia takes a break to stretch her wings.

Later, Christo perched atop the flagpole to do a little hunting.

Christo the red-tailed hawk perches on his flagpole in Tompkins Square Park

He has a good view of all the rats and other prey from up there. Perhaps he enjoys observing all the human activity in the park as well.