Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Hatch time for Amelia and Christo

Tompkins Square red-tailed hawks, Amelia and Christo, hatched their first egg a few days ago, but the chick(s) are not yet visible.

We've seen feedings taking place, as seen in this short video of Amelia taken on April 20. You can see her dipping her head into the nest, but the little one(s) are still too small for us to see.

How many chicks are there? 
Don't know! We'll just have to wait and be surprised. Meanwhile, here are some images taken over the last several weeks as the hawks were brooding their eggs.

Christo and Amelia:

Amelia and Christo:

Amelia and Christo:

Amelia coming in for a landing - you can see Christo's tail sticking out on the left side of the nest:

Amelia brooding:

Amelia confronting an intruding squirrel:

Amelia has done most of the brooding, staying on the nest for hours at a time. Every so often, Christo would bring her food and she's taken it away from the nest to eat and stretch her wings. Below, Amelia takes off with a rat, compliments of Christo.

In this video from March 16, the hawks perform a nest-switch. Amelia takes over brooding and Christo flies off.

On March 22, Christo took over brooding and Amelia flew off.

And this one from April 3 shows Amelia taking over brooding with Christo flying off.

Brood time is generally dull, but it's been interesting to see the leaves changing on the tree. This is Christo on March 24 and the buds of the ginkgo are just beginning to show.

Amelia on March 31:

Amelia on April 2:

The leaves are really becoming visible in this photo of Christo on April 12:

Amelia on April 13:

Amelia and Christo on April 20:

The leaves are still growing on the tree, as well as the surrounding trees, and my favorite vantage point has now been obliterated by leaves. As the hawks began building this nest last July/August when the tree was in full bloom, I can't help but wonder if they chose this particular place because it provided a lot of cover. Of all the nest locations they've had, this one seems to be the most difficult to observe despite being in plain sight. Perhaps this was by design...

Friday, April 14, 2023

2023 Spring Bird Migration - Part 1

Spring migration is underway, bringing us some new birds to observe across the city. Below are some highlights from early in the season.

Pine Warbler:

Although Song Sparrows are generally around all year, their song is a sign of Spring's arrival.

Dark-Eyed Juncos have been with us this winter, but are now moving north to their nesting grounds.

This is not really a migrant, but a very unusual visitor to the east coast. Several weeks ago, this Western Meadowlark appeared in Brooklyn and seems have settled in. They are normally found on the west coast, so it is a mystery how this one ended up here.

It looks very similar to the Eastern Meadowlark, but the prominent white outer tail feathers seen in flight are one distinguishing field mark.

Wading birds like this Snowy Egret are returning north after wintering in warmer areas.

Ducks that have over-wintered in our area are now moving out. This is probably the last sighting of Greater Scaup I'll have here until they return next fall.

Male and female:

Monday, April 3, 2023

Quick update on Christo and Amelia

Since Tompkins Square red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, have been brooding, there's not much to observe other than Christo hunting and delivering food to Amelia.

Below, Amelia (right) gets ready to take off with a rat snack delivered by Christo.

Christo and Amelia on their nest.

The pair trade nesting duties a few times a day, giving Amelia a chance to fly around, stretch her wings, and get something to eat.

Below, Christo takes off after Amelia returns from her break.

Christo takes off from the nest.

Christo dives off the nest.

Here, Amelia takes off with a scrap of food in her beak. She takes the food away from the nest to eat, keeping the nest clean.

Amelia takes off with a scrap of food.

Amelia takes off with a piece of food.

Amelia flies away with her snack.

Amelia flies towards us with her snack.

Amelia flies over us with her snack.

Another day, the pair inspect their eggs.

Christo and Amelia inspect their eggs.

Christo is on the left, Amelia is on the right.

Christo and Amelia on their nest.

This is Christo getting ready to deliver a fresh rat to Amelia.

Christo with a fresh rat.

Christo flies a rat to the nest.

Later, Amelia took a rest in the tree. She doesn't stray far from the nest when she's on break, usually staying inside or around the park.

Amelia resting in a tree.

Amelia looking ready to pounce.

Amelia takes off from a tree.

Here are just a few random photos of the hawks when they were away from the nest.


Christo doing a fly-by.

Christo landing on the cross of St Brigid's church:

Christo landing on the cross of St Brigid's church.


Amelia looking pretty.


Christo looking dapper.

Christo flying in the late afternoon.

Christo flying through a candy-colored sky.

So far, all seems to be well with the hawk pair.