I know we’ve been through a lot together. And although I didn’t visit you at the hospital, you were in my thoughts every day. You made me feel like I could fly higher than an eagle. You were the wind beneath my wings. But here’s the thing: three months is a long time. I know it was a bone infection — and you were fighting for your life — but while you were gone, I met a new bird. Her name is Nora. It would be best for all of us if you didn’t come home.
Love always, Christo
Okay, so red-tailed hawks aren’t known for their penmanship.
But one has to wonder how much heartache and pain could have been avoided if an unfaithful hawk named Christo had pecked out a 'Dear Jane' letter before his mate returned from the hospital.
Instead, according to the New York Post, Dora came home from a grueling and uncertain medical ordeal — the bone in the bird’s injured wing had become infected — only to find another bird had taken her place.
Red-tailed hawks Christo and Nora react to the sudden reappearance of Christo's previous mate, Dora, in Tompkins Square Park. After some initial chaos, things calmed down. Is it possible Christo could take on two females?https://t.co/tsoymCQdMu pic.twitter.com/SxGDzd5ThD— Goggla NYC (@GogglaNYC) March 1, 2018
It does seem a little cold for birds famed for their fidelity. Christo and Dora had been more than just an item. Over the last five years, they had built a family together — raising 10 healthy chicks, all from a little love nest overlooking Tompkins Square Park in New York City’s East Village.
All the while, these steadfast lovers drew crowds of cooing admirers in the park below. Christa and Dora were the kind of couple everyone welcomed in the neighborhood.
"I just think it’s an amazing thing to have, and I hope they stay,” local resident Eddie Falcon told DNA Info back in 2015.
But a few months ago, Dora had to be taken to hospital for an injury she had sustained to her wing.
Off the DL: Dora the red-tailed hawk returns to Tompkins Square Park today following a 3-month wing rehab. pic.twitter.com/qkDMCWIrZL— evgrieve (@evgrieve) February 26, 2018
And somewhere along the line, Nora started coming around the nest. What’s a grieving hawk to do? Without word from his mate, Christo might have thought his dearest Dora was dead. (And apparently, Nora sure could make a nice pigeon pie.)
"She swooped in the second Dora left," blogger and birdwatcher Laura Goggin told the New York Post.
It wasn’t long after the new lovers had shacked up that reality hit them like a thunderbolt.
Over the weekend, Dora came home from rehab. A posse of bird-watchers had gathered on the street below to witness the uncertain reunion.
"The three of them flew around each other screaming," Goggin told the Post. "It was chaos."
Dora's return to Tompkins Square Park today wasn't the romantic reunion with Christo that people wanted/needed. In fact, Christo was spotted mating [NSFW] with Nora/Not-Dora, the new red-tailed hawk in this life. pic.twitter.com/ZhhRe7AukZ— evgrieve (@evgrieve) February 27, 2018
For the longtime avian admirers gathered below, it must have seemed like an episode of "Real Hawk-Wives of the East Village."
Eventually shrill threats and bared beaks yielded to an uneasy arrangement. Nora, the nest-breaker, has reportedly been ousted — and moved to the other side of the park.
Christo, however, is still trying to make things work, visiting Nora at her place whenever he can.
But we can only imagine how much colder his old nest must feel when he comes home.