Thursday, March 14, 2024

Brooding time for our local hawks

Hawk nesting season has officially begun as Tompkins Square red-tailed hawks, Amelia and Christo, are brooding eggs. We do not now how many there are, but hawks usually lay 1-3 eggs per season. If all goes well, it will be a few weeks before hatch time.

Below are some photos from the last few days.

Christo and Amelia perching together:

Christo and Amelia.

They both spotted something...maybe a squirrel messing with their nest. What ever it was, Christo went off to deal with it.

Christo and Amelia.

Later, Christo returned to Amelia as she perched in another tree.

Christo moves in on Amelia.

The obligatory mating photos!

Christo and Amelia mating.

Christo and Amelia mating.

Christo and Amelia mating.

Christo and Amelia mating.

The hawks will continue to mate until the full clutch of eggs is laid.

One way to tell Amelia is in brooding condition is she is less likely to engage in any physical conflict with the resident squirrels. She would normally move right in on this one that crept right up to her.

Amelia glares at a squirrel.

On this day, though, Amelia was definitely conserving energy and mostly ignored the pesky squirrel.

Amelia ignores the squirrel creeping up on her.

I mean, look at this! Not only did the squirrel get very close to Amelia, but it turned its back on her and started grooming itself like there was no danger at all. Tompkins squirrels are tough, but this is still a risky move.

A ballsy squirrel does not care Amelia is staring at it from behind.

This is Amelia and Christo perched together again - you can really see the size difference between them. Amelia (left) is noticeably larger and has a broader chest.

Amelia and Christo.

The pair doing some nestorations:

Amelia and Christo in their nest.

Amelia taking off:

Amelia flies out of the nest.

Back in the nest again, but this time Christo prepares to take off with a chunk of rat.

Christo prepares to take a chunk of rat out of the nest.

He was nice enough to give me a better look at the half-rat before he took it to a tree where he could eat it.

Christo flies overhead with the back half of a rat.

This is Amelia soaring. She'll spend the next several weeks hunkered down in her nest, so it's always nice to observe her enjoying herself catching some air.

Amelia soaring.

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