2005 Nest Updates

Nest Site Update Friday February 11, 2005
A third hawk (most likely a 2004 baby) joined in for lots of aerial shows this evening. No mating observed thus far.

Nest Site Update Thursday February 10, 2005
"2:00 to 4:00pm, then 4:30 to 5:00pm): Both Pale Male and Lola visiting the nest and nearby buildings before I arrived, but light hawk activity from 2:30 to 4:00pm. However, when I returned from the Boathouse at 4:30 saw an exhilerating aerial courtship ballet...soaring and circling around each other which lasted several minutes...then they flew to the nest and stayed there for about 10 minutes. They were very active in the nest. They may have copulated at the nest but unfortunately cannot confirm since I could not get a good enough view. PaleMale then flew to Linda and Lola to a tree on near the 72nd Street Transverse."

Best, Katherine

Nest Site Update Wednesday February 9, 2005
"Spent only a brief time at the Pond....just passing through from E. 76th St, getting the hawk report from Rik, et al.....no mating observed but many trips to the nest by both PM & L. On my way out taking the path to the 72nd St Transverse....saw what would make a very interesting photo composition: The Gates along 72nd St Transverse, a guy selling "Gates" T-Shirts and Caps....and right above the gates and the saleman, Lola peering down from a pin oak only a few feet from them with a look (am I projecting?) of sheer comtempt. I think the Gates are bothering me more than her, which is a good thing!"

Katherine H.

Nest Site Update Tuesday February 8, 2005 2:30 to 4:30PM
"1:30-4:30pm - Low activity today...no twig arrivals nor mating behavior observed but PaleMale and Lola constantly in and around the nest...PaleMale sitting for over a half hour on the nest between 4 and 4:30pm. At 4:15pm at the Hawk Bench, I recognized someone in the crowd of people waiting to look into Rik's telescope while PaleMale was sitting on the nest...Park's Commissioner, Adrian Benepe. He said he had heard that the hawks were rebuilding and wanted to take a peek and seemed very happy to see the nest's progress.

Katherine H.

Nest Site Update Monday February 7, 2005 2:30 to 4:30PM
"Observed Pale Male and Lola at the nest, both separately and together...flying in with twigs. Lola spending more time on the nest fastidiously rearranging the twig structure to suit her requirements. They were on many of the surrounding buildings often sitting close together but no mating activity that I or the Hawk Regulars who had been there from early a.m. saw to report. But, Valentine's Day is just around the corner! Leaving at 4:30pm, a lovely immature Cooper's Hawk (almost identical to the Sharp-Shinned except the Cooper's is a bit larger and has rounded tail feathers) flew to a London Plane tree near the Hans C. Anderson sculpture clutching some small prey in his/her talons."

Katherine H.

Nest Site Update Sunday February 6, 2005
My prediction of mating today was wrong! Just one trip to The Nest by Pale Male (that I witnessed) at ~ 1:00PM then for most of the afternoon they perched on The Carlyle and made themselves more beautiful. At about 3:30PM they put on a short aerial show. Like clockwork, Pale Male went to roost in the very same spot as the last few nights.

Nest Site Update Saturday February 5, 2005
A lot of nest activity and courtship behavior today. They are plucking twigs from trees right across the avenue and taking it back to the nest. I think they'll begin mating tomorrow.(Sunday). Just like last year around nesting season, there is a third RTH flying with them on some occasions (seen 1:00PM today). Tonight is the fourth night that Pale Male is roosting in the same Pin Oak.

Nest Site Update Friday February 4, 2005
No nest activity from 2:30PM until roosting. The two hawks were on the stovestack rail in the evening. On my way in to the Hawk Bench, close to the Bandshell, I saw Lola flying from tree to tree and playing with the round pods on a London Plane. For the third night in a row Pale Male is roosting in the same tree described in Wednesday's entry. Tomorrow looks promising for nest activity.

Nest Site Update Wednesday February 2, 2005
Busiest day thus far. Rik observed about eight or nine trips bearing twigs before 1 PM. Then I observed at least four trips from 1 PM onward. Lola had a meal in the nest. Pale Male surprisingly went to roost for the night on a Pin Oak at the foot of Pilgrim Hill closest to The Hawk Bench. He usually begins roosting this close when the babies are hatched.

Nest Site Update Tuesday February 1, 2005
Slow day. Hawks were visible on various buildings but no nest activity from 2PM onwards.

Nest Site Update Monday January 31, 2005
Pale Male brought several large twigs into the nest today. He methodically weaved them into the previous stack and at times he’ll jump and stamp them in. Lola appeared to be ready for mating as he flew in next to her on the Stovestack rail, but none observed today.

Nest Site Update Sunday January 30, 2005
A crowd of onlookers watched as Pale Male brought a twig to the nest at 3:22PM today. He flew in front of the building with the large twig in his mouth, then he rested on the Linda building before finally depositing it on the nest. The nest is beginning to take shape. Later, at about 4:30PM both hawks sat next to each other on the Stove Stack building.

Nest Site Update Saturday January 29, 2005
Rik Davis reports that Pale Male was seen 'all morning' delivering twigs to the nest. I witnessed one brief empty-handed visit by him at 5:30 PM.

Nest Site Update Friday January 28, 2005
Pale Male & Lola are very active around the nest. Received a report that Palemale delivered a twig to the nest at 1:45PM.
Also for three days now I noticed Pale Male Jr. and his mate very active near the Heckscher Ballfield. Their 2004 nest (near The Carousel) is completely disintegrated and no new nest observed thus far.

Nest Site Update Thursday January 27, 2005
First time at the MSB Pond in 7 weeks. A lot of new twigs in new nest structure. Hawks were active on the nest on at least two occasions while I was there. Courtship behavior prominent (flying together with talons extended). Both Pale Male & Lola remained active around the nest for at least an hour and a half.

Nest Site Update Tuesday January 25, 2005
Lot of nest activity reported. I saw at least two visits to the nest. Also saw both hawks on the nest at one time.
Note: On Jan 26th 2003 the earliest Pale Male mating was observed at 2:35 PM.

Nest Site Update Sunday January 23, 2005
I saw one visit today by either Pale Male or Lola. The hawk stayed a minute or two on the nest. News from The Hawk Bench: At 2:30PM while Lola was on the nest Pale Male brought a twig and stayed for some time fixing and tweeking.

Nest Site Update Saturday January 22, 2005
"At 11:45am, just before the snow started coming down in earnest...saw PaleMale and Lola sitting close together on a window railing two buildings down from the nesting site. PaleMale took off heading north and Lola flew to and landed on the nest, looking like she was adjusting some twigs. Two bench regulars said they saw Lola yesterday putting some nesting material on the spikes. Love is in the air!"
Katherine H.

Nest Site Update Friday January 21, 2005
Extremely cold today but brilliant sunshine. I could makeout Pale Male on Linda #1 and I assume Lola flying in front of The Carlyle several times but no nest activity while I observed from the bridge.

Nest Site Update Wednesday January 19, 2005
Ten degrees warmer today but everything seemed to be more frozen than yesterday. A very light snow stayed with me all evening—enough only to tickle your face if you looked up into the trees. It must have started several hours before I came to the Park and dusted everything like powdered sugar.
At a small water spot near the boat landing closest to The Daniel Webster Statue, a small gathering of mallards swam about contentedly. There were a few pieces of broken off orange cones littering the water—indolently snapped off from the Christo blocks that lines every peaceful path in the park for miles. I arroused a resting flock of seaguls that were happy to receive a few peanuts each before settling back down to rest as I left them on the ice. The entire coast where the Canada Geese and the lone swan foraged yesterday was frozen solid. The geese left, and the swan teamed up with the ducks across at Balcony Bridge. This was the only other spot of liquid water in the entire lake. While I was there the swan took a bath in the narrow strip of water running under the bridge and then he climbed back onto the ice and laid down to rest. I would reason just the opposite, but he employed more effort going from ice to water than the reverse. The mallards demonstrated very little concern for a Jack Russell off its leash that howled at them. They concentrated on their feast of sunflower seeds scattered on the ice, at ease that the dog will never be able to hold its footing on the slippery ice. Very few people made it to the Park this evening. If I were to count, I doubt there would have been more than a dozen heads; including two cops and a park maintenance worker.
On my entire walk I was only able to entice four squirrels over to me for some raw peanuts. The four were quite discourteous to each other—I expected them to act differently since all four came out of the same hole in the tree. No hawks appeared this evening and visibility did not permit a clear view of the nest from Bow Bridge. Even if the park looked especially beautiful with its frosty dustings and picture perfect landscape, something was missed much—the sounds of its animals. I consoled myself that they are all sleeping in little nooks and crannies dreaming of pleasant things, and anxious for spring, where they would once again grace us with their sweet songs and amusing chatter.

Nest Site Update Tuesday January 18, 2005
Toward the later part of the evening I watched a Red Tail Hawk fly across the bend in the lake that leads to Bow Bridge from Bethesda Fountain. He glided low over the ice and perched in a tree in a cove beyond my viewing—the only hawk I saw all afternoon.
There was not a single waterfowl near the bridge or any even further south on the lake. The wide Westside expanse was frozen and totally deserted. The only sound, except for a patch of singing sparrows in the phragmites, was dried leaves skating across the ice. Some distance north of the bridge, as I walked into the Ramble, I saw more than a dozen Canada Geese along with the swan, foraging in a small pool that surprisingly remained unfrozen near the shore. The liquid area was barely able to contain them all, causing the occasional pecking as one came too close to another. A small flock of Shovellers huddled together and slept of the ice in the middle of the lake.
I left the geese and swan after feeding them raw sunflower seeds and raw peanuts, and walked further north along the shore of the lake. I found the mallards in a narrow body of water leading out of Balcony Bridge. They remained put, refusing to be enticed out of the water and onto the large sheet of ice in front of the familiar rock on which I stood near the mouth of the Upper Lobe. To feed them I had to go on the West Drive and scatter the sunflower seeds down on their heads. Their shyness disappeared once they began eating the food. Here and there pairs of cardinals emerged and flew down to get some raw peanuts that I threw onto the banks of the narrow water. Their little red bodies broke the monotony of drab brown vegetation beneath me.
I pulled my scarf over my face leaving only my eyes exposed and pocketed my numb fingers. I thought of myself dressed in multiple layers of high-tech thermal clothing to combat the bitter cold as I watched my little friends bathing in the frigid water. Their winter plumage looks no different to their summer garb, yet they brave any extreme weather that is dealt to them. They have no coffee shop to escape into, and for all twenty-four hours of the day and night they face this biting cold and never complain.

Nest Site Update Monday January 17, 2005
A reasonable amount of RTH flying around the nest building but no visits all afternoon.

Nest Site Update Sunday January 16, 2005
3:40 PM from Bow Bridge, I noticed a RTH flying in front of the nest. At 3:42 PM it landed on the nest and stayed for 5 minutes. Later I was informed by an observer from The MSB Pond that it was Lola and she was observed on the nest three times today.

Nest Site Update Saturday January 15, 2005
A little sunlight here and there today but no nest activity seen. Observed some RTH flying around the Ramble and one perched in the late evening on a dead tree stump on the west side of The Point.

Nest Site Update Friday January 14, 2005
Messy day today with no news. Will be on Bow Bridge tomorrow.

Nest Site Update Thursday January 13, 2005
No sign of activity on nest. Reports from the bench that Pale Male & Lola were around for long periods. I saw a mature RTH across from The Falconer Statue eating a pigeon. Could not positively ID to be Lola but close.
Later in the evening at the north end of Bow Bridge, a young RTH appeared suddenly to break the dullness of the misty evening. It perched on a short tree about 15 feet off the ground. I immediately saw all of Pale Male's features but knew it was not him. I checked its tail--brown, eyes bright yellow--but an astounding facsimile of The Man. I stared at it for more than a half hour, all the while being amazed of how close it resembled PM. Its breast feathers had that luster that I have only noticed on young hawks. It looked too mature to be a 2004 chick so I fancied it being a 2003 offspring. It appeared to be familiar with the hunting grounds as it continually gauged a large rat moving about at the foot of the phragmites on the west side of the bridge. He never attempted to catch the rat and eventually left its perch as the light faded. Like the Sharp-shinned hawk two days ago, it swooped down on a large flock of mallards surrounding the lone swan this time further west, but only as it appeared to me, to toy with them.

Nest Site Update Tuesday January 11, 2005
Marie received reliable information that Lola was on the nest this morning (Tuesday) for about 5 minutes.

Nest Site Update Monday January 10, 2005
Three Red Tail Hawks seen very active flying over Model Sailboat Pond all afternoon. Above Pale Male (left) & Lola sits on (Linda #2). Photographed from Bow Bridge through several layers of trees. 4:15 PM

Nest Site Update Saturday January 8, 2005
The Boreal Owl was seen today in a tree near Tavern On The Green. It was very difficult to spot. Reports of Pale Male at 78th Street today. Bow Bridge was quiet except for a distant sighting od an adult Red Tail. The swan looks very lonely. Don't know how only a single one ended up in the park.

Nest Site Update January 5/6, 2005
Sorry no news since Tuesday from the bench--it was very wet and nasty since.

Nest Site Update Tuesday January 4, 2005
Received a call from Aimee/Michael that Pale Male & Lola were both on the nest today around 1:00 PM. Pale Male's visit was a minute or so and Lola remained for another ten minutes after he left for his perch on the Linda building.

Nest Site Update Sunday January 2, 2005
Saw two RTHs over Fifth Ave and near Cherry Hill. No activity on nest thus far.

Nest Site Update Thursday December 30, 04 9:00AM
Reports from The Pond that the two hawks were seen on the nest this morning.

Nest Site Update Wednesday December 29, 04 6:00PM
I watched the nest from Bow Bridge this evening (~2000' away from the building) and I saw two workmen on the scaffold (rig, widow washing platform whatever) taking pictures with a Polaroid camera, using an electric sanding machine and caulking gun. The hawks flew by several times without landing. I was on the phone with a woman in the building just south of the nest building (Dr Fisher's) who confirmed that Pale Male was flying close by. The rig was lowered to the ground (from where I watched it disappeared below the trees) as the darkness approached.

Nest Site Update Wednesday December 29, 04 10:00AM
Vivian just called from The Model Sailboat Pond. She said that Pale Male & Lola were very active on the nest until just a few minutes ago when men on the roof just dropped two ropes off the building just three feet away from the nest. She said the birds flew off right away.Read More

Nest Site Update Tuesday December 28, 04 1:15PM
Marie Winn just called from The Model Sailboat Pond and reports that both hawks are bringing twigs to the Nest!.Read More

Nest Site Update Tuesday December 28, 04 11:00AM
One hour after the scaffolding was removed Pale Male and Lola landed on the nest and remained for at least five minutes.

Nest Site Update December 27, 04
Frederic who spent the day at the Pond tells me that they did not remove the scaffolding as promised. It is still up! He promises that they will remove it at 9:30 AM tomorrow (Tuesday Dec 28, 04).

Nest Site Update Christmas Eve 12:00 Noon
Frederic is at The Model Sailboat Pond watching Pale Male & Lola performing their pre-mating ariel dance. Someone saw at least one hawk on the new nest this morning.
Visitors are now gathering at The Model Sailboat Pond instead of in front of the building.

Last week a Red Tail Hawk was found dead near Bethesda Fountain.
Dr. Ward Stone called me this morning with the results of the necropsy:
Adult Red Tail Hawk, Female.
Cause of death: Rat Poison
Neil Calvanese of Central Park confirms that the poison responsible for the death of the RTH is not one that is used by CP.

Pale Male gets a blessing
Blessing of the Animals at Central Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue

"A nation's progress can be judged by how they treat their animals." - Gandhi