Monday, April 3, 2017

Christo and Dora have more company in the city


[Photo in Tompkins Square Park by Derek Berg]

The Wall Street Journal checks in today with a feature on the city's booming red-tailed hawk population... Christo and Dora, the red-tailed hawk couple of Tompkins Square Park, get a shout out, though not by name.

The article is available via subscription only... here are a few excerpts...

The hawk population in Manhattan has grown from only three known pairs in 2006 to 14 or 15 today, said Rob Mastrianni, a New York City Urban Park Ranger.

It is unclear why raptors are becoming more common in Manhattan, said Debra Kriensky, a conservation biologist at New York City Audubon. Possible explanations include the abundance of food—rats, squirrels and pigeons—and city efforts to limit the use of rat poison, which can kill hawks.

Whatever the reason, the presence of more hawks heralds changes in the relationship between New Yorkers and nature. Combined with sightings of coyotes, deer, and even eagles prowling city neighborhoods, hawk spottings are a reminder that urban areas can include a surprising amount of wildlife.

And!

Research shows hawks need about two square miles of exclusive territory, but New York City’s hawks are living as close as five blocks from each other, said Bobby Horvath, a city firefighter who rehabilitates injured hawks from New York City in his home in South Massapequa on Long Island. “I guess the red-tailed hawks haven’t read that part of the textbook.”

With hawks already defying density predictions, it is unclear how long the urban population boom will continue.

The main danger hawks face in New York is eating rats that have been poisoned by rodenticide. But since the city has curtailed rat poison use in parks near known hawk nests, New Yorkers may continue to be startled by urban wildlife sightings.

As always, for more on Christo and Dora as well as other NYC wildlife, head on over to Goggla's photo site here.

11 comments:

cmarrtyy said...

I guess if people have to live closer together in the City, so do the hawks. No brainer.

Donnie Moder said...

The children of C & D are probably a big factor.

Anonymous said...

Watch Planet Earth 2. The episode on Cities in particular. Hawks thrive in NYC.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, the Planet Earth episode reference Peregrine falcons, not hawks.

Anonymous said...

Goggla's the best

Goggla said...

@Anon 5:09 - thank you!

Gotta give thanks to Rob Mastrianni and Bobby Horvath, who are awesome and do so much to help our urban wildlife.

Anonymous said...

Despite the burgeoning RTHawk population, their food sources don't seem to go down. :-)

Anonymous said...

It would take a lot of hawks to even dent the huge pigeon and rat populations in the city.

Gojira said...

More hawks, less Millennial transplants, please.

Aaron Wilson said...

This dog notice about hawks was seen a the Dewitt Clinton Dog Park. on the west side: http://imgur.com/a/igiBV

"Hawks have been seen nesting in the area. Keep an eye on your small dogs."

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA/right on 12:48pm.

How long before hipsters live in nests? I could see a couple building a giant nest in some tree somewhere.