NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — People walking by a historic church in Brooklyn stop to look up, noticing there’s something new on the century-old facade.

“Oh I see it, yeah I see the nest,” one passerby said.

A family of red tailed hawks, the feathered faithful, has made a home in the house of God, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reports.

They’re nesting way up in the bell tower of the St. Francis Xavier Church on Sixth Avenue and Carrol Street in Park Slope.

“I think that it’s so cool that they’re up among the gargoyles there,” another woman said.

Folks at the church say the mother and father hawk first sought salvation at the Catholic church last month, religiously looking after and protecting the mother hawk’s two baby eggs, which CBS2 is told could be hatching any day now.

That being said, the church is now having a contest to name the parent hawks and their babies. As you can imagine, everyone has an opinion.

“Hawky,” a woman suggested.

“Daffodil,” a girl said.

“Flo. Rida,” another woman added.

At the Berkeley Carrol School just across the street from the church, Director Amanda Pike said the kids have come up with a big list of names.

“Sky, Little Beak, Golden Arrow, and of course Harry Potter,” she said.

Animal experts say there has been a resurgence of red tail hawks in New York City over the last few years.

The most famous one, Pale Male, first burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s, nesting in a building on Fifth Avenue near Central Park.

Since then, the city has seen more and more examples of the majestic creatures nesting in all sorts of unusual places.

“They have an abundant food resource here. There’s plenty of pigeons, rats and squirrels,” said Debra Kriensky, of the NYC Audoban Society.

For now, the eyes of the congregation are focused on the hawks atop the house of the Lord and the contest to decide what they will be called.

The pastor of the church said the people who pick the winning names will get free tickets to the Prospect Park Zoo. The names will be chose after the baby eggs hatch.


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