Thursday, June 1, 2023

Tompkins Square hawk chicks practice catching some air

The Tompkins Square red-tailed hawk chicks have been practicing their wing flapping, building strength for taking their first flight, which will be soon.

This photo from May 30 shows the tail of the oldest chick, which is almost at full length. Note the banding and white tips on the feathers, which could aid in identifying this particular individual once it fledges.

As one of the chicks perches in the nest, dad Christo keeps watch from high atop a chimney on the Christodora building in the background (he's the brown blob on the left).

Looking at the feather development of the chicks, we can be confident in saying the photo below shows chicks #2, #1, and #3. The oldest has the most brown feathers on the head while the youngest is still mostly white.

There's not quite enough room to maneuver those large wings.

The chicks take turns exercising. When one is up and flapping, the other two often have the courtesy to lie down and give their sibling space.

These photos are from May 31. 

Catching some air!

Chicks #3, #1, and #2:

These two side-by-side show the difference in their head color. The elder of the two is on the left.

Those wings are looking great.

This photo was taken June 1, and I believe this is Chick #1.

Where are the parents? Now that the kids are big, mom and dad keep watch from outside the nest. The cross of St Brigid's church on Avenue B is one of their favorite perches, and gives them a line of sight to the nest.

Late the other evening, I caught Christo bring a headless rat to the cross, and briefly show it to Amelia before taking it to the nest and dropping it off for the chicks' dinner.

I never get tired of seeing Christo fly with a rodent in his talons. In my opinion, this is when he's in his element and is master of his realm.

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