Sole Survivor

It looks like Tompkins Square Park lost an eyass sometime in the last few days.  Laura Goggin broke the news on her blog on Friday. I was out of town over the weekend, but made it down to the park to confirm the bad news.

Sadly, it looks like Laura made the right call.  Searches of nearby branches and trees yielded no early fledgling.  I heard an American Robin making alarm calls, but the robin had found one of the parents on a western branch of the nest tree about 15 feet from the nest.

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Two It Is For Tompkins Square Park

It seems fairly certain that Tompkins Square Park has two eyasses this year.  They're now big enough that it is unlikely a third could be hiding on the nest.  The mother fed them while I visited them on Saturday afternoon.  This will most likely be the first nest to fledge in Manhattan.

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Imposter in Tompkins Square Park

This late in the year, I always question if the juvenile I'm watching near a nest site is from the nest or a migrating juvenile whose just passing through.  This happens frequently in Central Park, but I saw it for the first time in Tompkins Square Park yesterday.  The juvenile I saw was definitely not the surviving fledgling.  It had very different tail feathers and different chest markings.

Regardless of who this hawk is, it was great to watch.  It ended up having a fun interaction with two squirrels.

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Tompkins Square Park Parents

I went down to Tompkins Square Park on Wednesday to look for the surviving youngster from this year.  Reports are that this hawk has recovered from its illness, and is still being seen in the park every few days.  I didn't get to see the youngster but caught up with the parents, who were on different church crosses in the neighborhood.

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Tompkins Square Park Hunting Fledgling

The surviving fledgling at Tompkins Square Park is doing well at hunting on its own.  But it does have a funny style.  It loves to chase things while on the ground.  It's working for the fledgling, and is great fun to watch, but it would be nice to see this hawk learn to swoop down on prey.

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Tompkins Square Park Fledgling

The surviving fledgling at Tompkins Square Park is doing great.  From all accounts the bird is active, enjoying hunting and flying around the park.  I missed all this great behavior when I visited on Saturday.  The fledgling had chosen a branch and was staying put.   For two hours!  I did get some nice portraits, but I was hoping to watch it hunt!

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Tompkins Square Park Fledglings

The two fledglings at Tompkins Square Park have become less secretive over the last few days.  They're now more likely to be in a place you can find them, rather than tucked into a hiding place on a tree.  They've both been on buildings, but on my visits I've only seen them in trees around the nest tree.

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Fledgling at Tompkins Square Park

On Saturday and Sunday, I observed the Tompkins Square Park nestling, and the fledgling, who returned to the nest for an evening.  I missed all of the actions on my trips.  The excitement had been on Friday. 

Today, I also went to the nest which was empty.  One youngster was found below the nest, and both parents kept a close eye on both the nest tree and a nearby tree.  It was unclear if the bird that hadn't fledged was just branching below the nest or both had fledged.

We'll figure it all out in a few days...

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Tompkins Square Park

Tompkins Square Park continues to be frustrating.  It's so hard to see what's going on.  This nest was built for privacy!

At the end of the video, you can see two eyasses being feed. It's hard to see but you can see two.  I can't wait for these birds to get a bit bigger!

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At Least Two Eyasses in Tompkins Square Park

We finally got to see an eyass after watching feedings for a week in Tompkins Square Park.  I was able to see two at once, so we've got at least two, possibly three eyasses this year.

Both Christo and Amelia were involved in the feedings today, and Christo as taken to staying close to the nest when he's not on it.  It's so nice that after all the drama earlier this year, things are back to normal.

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Feedings and Blue Jays

When I arrived Amelia was feeding.  (It will still be some time before we know how many youngsters we have.) 

Christo was near the nest.  He then attacked a Blue Jay nest.  From there, he flew to a church on Avenue B where he was harassed by a group of Blue Jays for an extended period.  You can't blame the Jays as they were protecting their young.  After things calmed down, Christo ate a pigeon and then flew to the nest.

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Punk Bands and Feedings

The hawk watchers of Tompkins Square Park, saw a feeding and an hour long visit by Christo (the father) last night.  I went down this afternoon to help confirm the hatch.  I saw two feedings, one around 1:15 and one around 3:30.  The eyass(es) are too young and small to see from the ground, but it's clear that the nest has youngsters.

After all of the drama with Dora, Nora and now Amelia it is so nice that the Lower East Side has a nest that has hatched this year.

(It says a lot about the difference between Washington Square and Tompkins Square parks when realize which bands play in which park. Especially when you consider they are only a ten minute walk from each other.)

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Third Ones A Charm

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!

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Christo

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!)

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Lower East Side

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 fa├žade 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.

Nest

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Dora Doing Fine

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.

It's so great to see Dora doing so well.

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Dora on Saturday

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.  

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Dora Is Returned To Tompkins Square Park

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.

Here are some cell phone pictures...

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Sleepy Fledglings

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.

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Tompkins Square Park

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.

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Tompkins Square Park

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.

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Tompkins Square Park Fliers

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.

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Tompkins Square Park Foster Child Adopted

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.

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Tompkins Square Park Foster Child

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.

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Tompkins Square Park

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.

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Tompkins Square Park Surprise

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.

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Tompkins Square Park Feeding

Although we can't see or count the eyasses at Tompkins Square Park yet, due to feeding behavior by Dora, we know the nest has hatched.  Dora didn't leave the nest while I was there, but Christo was all around the park.  I can't wait to see the eyasses in a week or two.

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Tompkins Square Park

I spend a cloudy evening looking to see if the Tompkins Square Park had hatched.  This early on you look for behavioral queues from the parents, since an eyass will be too small to see at this point.  I didn't see any of the behavior I was hoping for.  This doesn't mean the nest hasn't hatched.  It just means that while I was there, I didn't see any positive signs.

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Lower East Side

My visit to the Lower East Side started with a trip to Houston and Avenue D where I saw a Red-tailed Hawk fly off a nest under construction on a school air conditioner.  This is the same site of a nest built in 2008.  We'll see what happens with this pair/nest.

Then it was off to Tompkins Square Park, where the activity was similar to yesterday's.

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Tompkins Square Park Update

My visit to Tompkins Square Park started off slowly.  The male arrived and quietly sat on a branch looking for prey.  But soon we saw three hawks, the pair and an intruder flying over head.  After the intruder was chased off the pair made a trip to the top of the Christodora Apartments.  Then they went out of sight.  This nest is usually a few days behind Washington Square Park, so expect eggs next week.

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Tompkins Square Park Gets Serious

The Tompkins Square Park pair are getting serious about nesting.  They've built a new nest close to Avenue A and 9th Street, and the male is busy courting the female.  They copulated while I was there and he also caught a small rodent and went off to give it to his mate as a present.  So, it looks like everything is in place for spring.


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Tompkins Square Park

As the days grow longer, Red-tailed Hawk couples who in the fall may have spent much of their time apart, spend more and more time together.  Today, the Tompkins Square Park spent much of the after noon close to each other.  A sign nesting season is right around the corner.

One of the hawks caught a pigeon on Avenue B around 12th Street.  I was surprised the kill was so far north.  After eating much of the pigeon, it shared the leftovers with its mate.


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