Thursday, June 22, 2023

Hawk lunchtime with Amelia and her kids

I spent my lunch on Wednesday in Tompkins Square where I found resident female red-tailed hawk, Amelia, perched on the cross of St Brigid's church.

She was being harassed by an American Kestrel.

Despite the annoying distraction, Amelia dove off the cross and caught a pigeon in the rain gutter on the roof of the church.

She quickly flew her catch into the park to a tree where one of her fledglings waited. The young hawk (below, left) grabbed the pigeon as soon as Amelia landed.

After prepping the meal (plucking feathers), Amelia fed her offspring (below, left) beak to beak.

Judging by size, this fledgling appeared to be one of the older two.

While this was going on, dad Christo was in another tree where he had dropped off food to another fledgling. The third fledgling decided to drop in on Amelia and its sibling for some tasty pigeon.

The newcomer inserted themselves between mom and sibling to try and get some bites.

The fledgling struck a comical yoga pose as it patiently waited for the first course to finish.

After the first fledgling had its fill, it hopped to a higher branch and the second fledgling had a turn being fed by Amelia. She also fed herself, so this one pigeon provided food for three hungry hawks.

I haven't seen the fledglings catch 'real' prey yet, but I have seen them catching and eating earthworms, as shown below.

All three fledglings have been doing great, learning to fly and navigate their way around the trees. Once they learn to catch food for themselves, they'll be ready to embark on their journey outside the park.

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