Monday, May 6, 2024

Three Chicks for Christo & Amelia

Tompkins Square red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, have welcomed three chicks for the 2024 nesting season.

Amelia and one of her chicks.

I've refrained from posting anything until we were sure how many chicks there were. And, they've been difficult to see after hatching in mid-April. The photo above was taken April 30.

Backing up a bit, these photos are in chronological sequence from when I was first able to see a hatchling clearly.

April 24, one chick visible who was likely the oldest, making them about 9 days old.

Amelia and one of her chicks.

The second chick is barely visible behind some sticks as Amelia feeds both chicks.

Two chicks visible.

April 25:

Amelia and one of her chicks.

Feeding the chicks.

April 29 - one chick is in front of Amelia, the other in the center of the nest, and the third behind that one.

Amelia and two of her chicks.

Look at those wings!

Stretching those wings!

This photo was taken the following day, on May 1, and I swear the chick doubled in size overnight.

Amelia and one of her chicks.

The second chick is hiding behind the branch on the right.

Amelia and two of her chicks.

Amelia watches closely as one nestling chokes down a large piece of food.

Amelia feeding one of her chicks.

The third chick is just visible to the left of the two in the sun.

Three chicks.

May 2:

Surveying his/her realm.

Amelia feding the kids.

Amelia feeding all three:

Amelia feeding the kids.

Amelia and one of her chicks.

We finally have a decent look at all three heads.

All three chicks together.

If all goes well, the chicks will be ready to fledge the nest in about a month. 
As always, our primary concern for them is ingesting rat poison. The park does not use it, but rodenticide is present throughout the neighborhood on private property.  
Once they leave the nest, then the fledglings are vulnerable to many things including dogs. The young hawks spend a lot of time on the ground learning to fly and practicing their hunting skills. They use the main lawn as well as the fenced-in gardens in the park, so it is extremely important to keep dogs out of those areas while the fledglings learn their life skills.

You can see past nest notes here.

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