Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dora day

I haven't seen much of Dora in the last couple of weeks because she's been spending so much time sitting on the nest. When she does take a break, it's only for a short period of time, so I was happy to catch her on a couple of breaks in the park today.

As she took off from the nest, I saw a white feather in her eye...

Dora with a feather in her eye

...but not to worry, as it came out when she landed in a tree.

Dora

She spent some time stretching her legs...

Dora stretches her leg

Dora stretches her leg

And her wings.

Dora stretches her wing

The squirrels never stop pestering her.

Run!

Break time over, it's back to work sitting on and rolling her eggs.

Dora

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

After the storm

I was worried about Dora last night as the wind and rain raged, concerned she might be blown off the nest, but our hawks are rugged and fared just fine.

Just before sunset tonight, I caught up with Christo who was hunting for an evening meal.  His habit lately is to sit atop the flag pole outside the bathrooms in Tompkins Square, where he can see prey in the garden.  Tonight, he caught a sparrow.

Christo catches a sparrow

I'm not sure if that was his primary target as he ran around under the bushes for several seconds before catching it.  He then carried it off...

Christo with sparrow

...to the nest where he passed it off to Dora and he took over nest duties.

Christo passes a sparrow off to Dora

She took the sparrow to a nearby tree where she ripped off the head and ate it in two bites.

Dora with sparrow

I had a photo of the bird's head, but it was too horrible ot post, so here are the feet...

Dora downs some sparrow feet

Then Dora went exploring!  She spent some time flying around CHARAS on 9th Street...

Dora atop CHARAS

And visited a neighbor's air conditioner at the Christodora.

Dora visits a neighbor's a/c

After she'd stretched her wings, Dora returned to the nest and Christo took off to the park.

Christo leaves the nest

He landed in a tree directly above a film crew.  The actors kept shouting, "Drop your weapon!" and I wanted to follow and get a shot with the bird right above the scene, but the movie police were out in force and I couldn't access the entire south end of the park. 

Until next time...

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City Hawks 2
City Hawks 1

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sunset stretch

I found Dora tonight in Tompkins Square just as the sun was going down.

Dora taking a break from the nest to stretch

She was taking a break from the nest to stretch her wings...

Dora taking a break from the nest to stretch

Her tail...

Dora taking a break from the nest to stretch

And feet.

Dora taking a break from the nest to stretch

As the shadows crept higher and higher up the trees, she followed the last bits of sunshine up to the highest branches until there was no more.  She then returned to the nest where Christo was minding the eggs.

With Dora tucked away, he flirted with the moon.

Christo and the moon

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Three's company

The Tompkins Square hawks have 3 eggs!

The last one was laid on April 5, so we can expect to see some baby birds in the first couple of weeks of May.

Here, Christo adds some more material to the nest.

Three eggs!

Photo courtesy of Francois Portmann.

Stay tuned...

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hawk egg #2

The Tompkins Square hawks have a second egg!

A second egg for the Tompkins Square hawks
Photo courtesy of Francois Portmann.

It was laid between 3 and 4pm on Wednesday, April 2.  By now, there could be a third, but confirmation is still forthcoming.

Until then, here are some highlights from today.

Dora on the left, Christo on the right...

Red tails on the nest

Dora takes off for a break while Christo guards the nest.

Red tails on the nest

Red tails on the nest

Red tail at the nest

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Confirmation

It's official: the Tompkins Square hawks have an egg!

The Tompkins Square hawks have an egg!
Photo credit: Francois Portmann

I'm not sure exactly when the egg was laid, but it could have been any time between Saturday, March 29 and Monday, March 31.  There could be one or two more eggs laid before the hawks take up sitting on the nest full time.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday hawklights

I've still not confirmed whether or not Dora (I'm going to start using names) laid an egg yesterday, but the hawks' behavior today is consistent with that possibility.

Both of them spent a lot of time on the nest.

Christo and Dora on the nest

Christo continued to bring nest material up for Dora's approval.  Here, he shows her something furry (and rather nasty):

A furry offering

She rejects it and he carries it away.

Christo takes away his rejected gift

He has a go at collecting some bark.  You can see by the condition of the tree that he's done this many times before.

Male red tail rips bark from tree in Tompins Square

While he was out gathering sticks, Christo was dive-bombed by a blue jay bully.

Blue jay dive-bombs red-tailed hawk

Meanwhile, Dora stands guard at the nest.

Dora on the nest 

To be continued...

See more hawk photos here and here.

See some hawk videos here.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Happy news?

I'm not 100% certain, but I think Dora, our female hawk of Tompkins Square, laid an egg today.  She entered the nest just after 1pm and did a bit of housekeeping before sitting very still in the position below for 15-20 minutes.

She's on the nest!

Afterwards, she moved around a bit, then hunkered down in the nest where I could no longer see her.   It's possible she did *not* lay an egg, but it's the right time and her behavior seemed to suggest it.  We'll know for sure in the next few days.

Leading up to this, the hawk pair spent a lot of time together.  They really look like they enjoy each other's company, so I hope this leads to a successful family.

They've done plenty of mating...

Red tails mating in Tompins Square

And hanging around together...

Red tail Pair in Tompkins Square

Even in the rain.

Lovebirds on the rain

The male (Chris or Christo) has been very industrious, building the nest, hunting for both of them, and cleaning trash out of the park trees...

Male red tail with plastic bag in Tompkins Square

Not to mention clearing the park of vermin.

Male red tail with mouse in Tompkins Square

And I can't get enough of watching them fly.

Leaving the nest on the Christodora

Leaving the nest on the Christodora

Leaving the nest on the Christodora

Stay tuned!

See more hawk photos here and here.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday, Monday, so good to me

Oh, who am I kidding?  Let's just turn this into a hawk blog for a while...

Late this afternoon, I met up with the Tompkins Square hawks, who were hunting for dinner.  The male caught a pigeon and screamed to the female to come and get it.

Dinnnnnnerrrrrrr tiiiiiiiiiiime!

I saved you a foot!

Male red tail with pigeon in Tompkins Square

He continued to scream as he ate the pigeon, but the female didn't respond, so he eventually devoured it all himself.

Male red tail with pigeon in Tompkins Square

Off to clean the feathers off his beak and talons...

Male red tail in Tompkins Square

And here sits the Queen, looking content as the sun goes down.

Female red tail in Tompkins Square

I just have to throw this in here as I've spent nearly a year looking for this kestrel on the Lower East Side.  Today was finally my lucky day as I caught her sitting high on a pole.  She briefly posed before taking off for parts unknown.

Female kestrel

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