Tompkins Square Park has had an upheaval this last week. A third new female has fought with Dora, resulting in Dora going back into rehab and the new female taking over! Plus there seems to be no sign of Nora.
This new female, which I'll shorthand as F3, is making herself at home. Christo and F3 copulated at least ten times today. I guess they both know they're late in the season!
Christo was the star of my day. I first saw him copulating twice with Nora on 90 Baruch Drive and then later in the day in Tompkins Square Park. It's going to be an interesting spring! (But we should all be prepared for things to go wrong. This is a very unusual situation!)
The story of Dora's return is getting more interesting.
Due to a WPIX newscast about an apartment needing repair, we've learned of the location of what seems to be Christo and Nora's (Dora's replacement while she was in rehab) nest. It is on an air conditioner on the west façade of 90 Baruch Drive (which is also marked 80 Baruch Drive for reasons only known to the NYC Housing Authority) on the tenth floor. The nest only seems to have just been started and seems to need more work. The new nest is about ten blocks southeast of Tompkins Square Park.
We saw Nora eat lunch on a building just opposite the nest in the early afternoon and had glimpses of another hawk, presumably Christo. Hawk watchers reported seeing them copulate on Friday.
Mid-afternoon a group of us shifted our hawk watching to Tompkins Square Park, where we found Christo and Dora in the same tree. Dora made a loop of the park, and joined a Cooper's Hawk in a tree for a few minutes. Reports came in after I left the park, that Christo and Dora copulated.
I think we'll need some good photographs to know for sure that Christo is trying to support both females, but it sure looks like it.
Just before I arrived in Tompkins Square Park, Christo had caught a pigeon in the park. Hawk watchers had expected him to give it to Dora but he left the park with it. Where he went and where Nora is has been a mystery the last few days.
Then Dora flew to the top of the Christodora building, flew along Avenue B, and ended up hunting and eating on the school ruins east of the Christodora. After a rooftop visit at 10th Street, she looked like she was going to roost below 7th. And just before dusk Christo made a visit to the nest.
Dora seems to be doing fine after being returned to Tompkins Square Park. She was sitting in this year's nest when I arrived and then went after two crows and possibly a juvenile hawk. She ended up roosting on a fire escape for the night.
Christo was seen briefly and circled over Avenue C and 6th Street for a bit. It is unclear what he's going to do about choosing between Dora and Nora (or if he will choose both).
You'll see in the photographs and video Dora's droopy left wing. She seems to be flying well and the wing issue does not seem to be causing here any real issues.
Dora, the female of the Tompkins Square Park nest has been returned to the park by the Horvaths (NYC's great Rehabilitators). She had been in their care for about three months.
I caught up with her after work this evening. Christo, the male, has already found a replacement mate, who the locals have been calling Nora. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days. It may end up being something of a soap opera.
For the last two weeks, the native fledgling in Tompkins Square Park has been lethargic and frequently seen closing its eyes during the day. Today, much to the relief of the hawk watchers in the park, she was back to normal.
At Tompkins Square Park, Monday evening, I got to see both fledglings and both parents. It was late in the day and both fledglings were very sleepy. I was lucky enough to watch one of them fall asleep and roost for the night. Late July and early August hawk watching can be disappointing, so it was great to see everyone.
It's been too hot to do much birding over the last week or so, but the weather was cooler on Sunday. I went down to Tompkins Square Park which was fairly quiet. After about an hour this year's fledgling appeared on a TV antenna on a 7th Street roof. Other than that sighting, I didn't get to see anything else.
The afternoon started slowly with the fledgling (the one who hatched in the park, which locals are calling Manhattan to differentiate from the adoptee from Brooklyn) flying off a 7th Street roof and then perching in a tree for almost an hour. I lost track of the fledgling and went down to 4th Street to watch the parents on the Most Holy Redeemer Church.
When I returned the park, the fledgling was in a tree and soon came down to the ground to eat a rat. The kill must have been at least day old as it was covered with maggots. After it was eaten, the hawk flew to a fence and eventually to a 7th Street rooftop.
Both the adopted fledgling and the biological fledgling are starting to feel at home flying around the park and exploring the ground too. This evening it was one happy family with the adult male feeding both youngsters. It should be a fun summer.
The Tompkins Square Park foster child has been fully adopted by the parents in the park. They're feeding it at least twice a day. It however seems a little overwhelmed by the park and is still a little reticent to fly around. It's preferring to branch around a tree rather than fly just yet. I'm sure this will work itself out over the next few days.
Thanks to the Horvaths for giving this youngster a chance to be a wild animal again. Nothing is without risk, but giving this bird a chance to live a natural life is fantastic.
The Tompkins Square Park foster child finally decided to leave it's tree. It first went to a fence and then spent much of the afternoon exploring the main lawn of the park.
The fact that it wasn't eager to fly back up into a tree had a few folks overly concerned. The parents had already fed the new bird twice since it arrived. Fledglings are like toddlers and can do silly things. The right folks were keeping track of the bird, and everyone who needed it had the phone number of both parks employees and the rehabbers.
Releasing a bird back isn't without risk but rescued eyasses deserve to be given a chance to be wild again. I learned a long time ago not to second guess an established, trusted rehabber.
The foster child and the fledgling were both in the same trees they had been the day before when I visited Tompkins Square Park. What was different was the behavior of the parents. Both were doing their best to entice both fledglings to leave their respective trees. Christo, the adult male few around with a pigeon, making multiple passes to entice the youngsters to fly. Dora made visits too, but without food. However, both youngsters were content to stay perched in their respective trees.
After visiting Washington Square Park and striking out in my attempt to find the fledgling (who was sighted earlier in the day), I went over to Tompkins Square Park. To my surprise there was an extra juvenile in the park. It has been brought by WINORR so it can be adopted by the Tompkins Square Park parents. In almost all cases, the parents will adopt a juvenile brought into their territory, although it may take a day or two and a crying, hungry youngster for things to click. We'll see what happens over the next few days.
The first five photographs are of the transplanted hawk from Flatbush, Brooklyn who is banded. The others are of the Tompkins Square Park fledgling.