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Hawk Love Triangle Captivates Birdwatchers In East Village

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An unexpected love triangle is captivating some people in the East Village.

As CBS2's Ali Bauman reports, Dora is a red-tailed hawk who's been living with her mate, Christo, in Tompkins Square Park for the last five years. Her fan club of local birdwatchers has tirelessly gathered to watch them nearly every day since.

"I'm here for about an hour in the morning and then I come back after work -- usually 5:30 to sundown," Loyan Beausoleil told Bauman.

"You get to know what they do, when they do it," Ray Casanova added.

Now, the show is heating up.

The group brought Dora to a veterinarian three months ago for a broken wing. This week, she finally came back. But her hubby already moved in his new girlfriend.

"When Dora was taken away, he probably thought she died, so he got a new mate," Laura Goggin said.

They named her Nora -- as in, not Dora.

"When they first met, the two females, they didn't like the sight of each other," Goggin said.

So Nora moved to the other side of the park, and the feathered Casanova is splitting his time between nests.

Experts say hawks mate for life and the tangled love web is incredibly rare.

"In a rural environment, the territory might be 50 square miles and that would be harder to maintain," Beausoleil said. "After knowing him all these years, I think he's going to try to maintain two nests."

"We're just waiting to see what happens," Goggin said.

Frozen on the sidewalk with their binoculars and long lenses, the birdwatchers tend to attract onlookers of their own. Now, more people are being sucked in by the novelesque plot.

"It's just fun," Casanova said.

The hawks' melodrama actually provides for them a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

"This is a stressful place to live, so it's nice to be able to come out and enjoy nature so close," Goggin said.

Mating season for the hawk is just beginning. So this avian drama is far from over.

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