Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Spring is approaching for Christo and Amelia

As winter seems to be slipping away, Tompkins Square resident red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, are going about their routine of preparing for the upcoming nesting season.

I was happy to find Christo perched atop his golden orb the other evening, actively looking for prey.

Christo perched on his golden flag pole throne.

After several unsuccessful dives from the flag pole, Christo tried another vantage point in a tree.

Christo perched in a locust tree.

From there, he flew down to a fence where he spotted rodents lurking in the shrubbery.

Christo hunting from the top of a fence.

He made an attempt to catch something on the ground, but came up empty-taloned.

Christo takes off.

Not giving up, Christo flew up to a nearby lamp post where he had a view of the area.

Christo perched on a light pole.

Sitting up there in the beautiful late afternoon sun drew the attention of several onlookers who whipped out their cellphones for a quick snap. He didn't seem to mind.

Christo eyes us from atop a light pole.

I watched Christo make several more swoops at rats and pigeons, but he didn't catch any dinner during my visit.

Christo even tried to grab some pigeons off the roofs of some buildings, but just didn't have luck behind him on this evening. So, why was he doing this?  He has to feed himself, of course, but he's also providing meals to his mate, Amelia.

While Christo went through the motions, Amelia patiently watched and waited in a tree nearby.

Amelia perched in a locust tree.

She seems to prefer eating pigeons over rats (don't we all?), and I suspect he puts in the extra effort to try and catch her a pigeon.
As spring begins, the hawks will show more breeding behavior: mating, becoming more territorial, driving squirrels away from their nest, and sharing food. I like this time of year when they are obviously sweet on each other. All our time with them is a gift.
Amelia in her locust tree at sunset.

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