Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Dinner with Christo

Christo, the resident male red-tailed hawk of Tompkins Square Park, keeps a schedule. He has always been an orderly individual, keeping a routine and being organized. I most enjoy watching him hunt for the evening meal because he's like clockwork, and he's extremely good at what he does.

Last night, pigeon was on the menu. Christo was perched atop the cross of St Nicholas of Myra church on Avenue A & East 10th Street when he spotted his target well inside the park. In a flash, he was off like a rocket and came zooming in from over a block away to grab the pigeon. It never saw him coming.

Once the meal was secured, Christo took it to a high tree branch to prepare.

Pigeons require plucking, an added step of work that is not required for rats, so I've always been curious why the hawks make the choice to go for pigeons over rats (they seem to eat both in equal amounts). I've never eaten either myself, so I don't know if there's a difference in taste. It seems the amount of meat on each creature is about the same.

As Christo plucked the pigeon, he called to his mate, Amelia, to announce dinner was imminent. When he was ready, he flew the pigeon to another tree, where he ate part of it before delivering the rest to Amelia.

A few days earlier, I found Christo in a tree with a very large rat. You can see its tail hanging down in this photo.

Another smaller rat:

Below are just a few random shots of Christo doing his thing.

I'm not forgetting Amelia, but she's been less visible than Christo recently. A good place to see her is when she perches on the roof of the Christodora building (always the north end). I think she must enjoy the sun and view from up there.

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