April 23, 2005:
It's times like these that I would be calling 212-666-8906. At this hour he would almost certainly pickup his phone. Then that slow, pleasant, soothing voice will be on the other end making me feel like everything is going to be all right. Charles left room for every possibility of good and not a vacant spot for hopelessness. Somewhere in the conversation he would be sure to remind me that so many of us are bonded by an animal that weighs just about two pounds only.
I never liked to allow any silent spots in our conversation for fear of prompting an end to the call. But sooner or later it will be an unreasonable hour for talking on the phone and we'll have to hang-up. ”Bye Babe!” he would always end by saying. Then I would be left in an empty silence looking anxiously toward the nest call. I'm happy that I cannot distinctly remember our very last conversation on the phone--it softens the blow that I will never hear his voice again.
I guess I'm wrong when I tell people that no one knows how many eggs are in the nest. Charles certainly has the fulfillment of knowing. The uncertainty that is present right now reminds me that the roads I travel will have many more instances of uncertainty which I must cope with. But the slow, timely revelation of knowledge is what gives life its quality and I am prepared to know when it's good and ready to tell me.
Please keep the positive thoughts flowing for our precious friends.
At 3:38 PM we noticed a sharp change in behavior...Lola began shading the sun from the contents of The Nest. This (mantling) is a very strong indication that there is at least a first hatching.
Even with a feather out of place she's still the most beautiful woman I've ever known.
April 20, 2005
Nest Site Update: Thursday April 21, 2005
Day 43 of incubation/sitting (39 is the number for the stats when confirmed in a few days). Note that this time period is counted from the first night Lola overnighted in the nest. This does not necessarily represent actual incubation time.
Day 47 of incubation/sitting (Based on observations from past years, this years hatching is overdue. However no one knows for sure when the eggs were actually laid. Pale Male & Lola are attending to the nest as normal and I believe they just need some more time. They've been through a great deal over the last few months. Please keep sending positive energy their way.
This is Lola this Monday evening with a piece of fibrous bark that she is about to take to her Nest. Only on Saturday Pale Male himself carried yet another twig.
Here are two creatures that are still sitting on their eggs, feeling and communicating with the tiny lives that are pulsing inside those shells. They are acting and reacting to a sophisticated mechanism that took millions of years to evolve. From all my observations thus far I see two animals that are hard at work doing what they know best to do, and doing what they alone can do.
On the other hand I hear voices from people around me who are making speculations about what is going to happen or not going to happen--most of whom, to the best of my knowledge, never laid an egg in their life.
Right now I’m trying to decide which way to go...do I listen to The New York Post—that Mecca of accurate and unbiased journalism? Do I listen to people who trap these wild and free animals and torture them into submitting to their whimsical sport?
Or do I keep a little hope for one animal who has totally changed my life forever, and who has shown me that the Earth can produce beauty in the most unlikely places. I am imprisoned in man’s paltry time clocks—days of the week—and months of the year. He can turn 2:00AM into 3:00 AM in one unaccountable moment. Depending on which man can walk on water best, or make the widest distribution of fishes and loaves, the years are counted in his honor.
Pale Male & Lola are way above the shackles of time and predictability of meaningless statistics. Lola sits on her nest day and night focused in her duty. Pale Male is totally devoted to his mission. They experience something none of us will ever experience—true freedom...freedom to toil to the end of your days doing what you love to do and not doing what you don't want to do. Their rebuilding of their nest is equivalent to me filling a barrel at home with water, using a teacup and fetching it from The Hudson by foot.
If Pale Male & Lola continues to sit and attend to their nest with that unfailing devotion, then what does it take from me if all I have to do is send them some healthy, positive thoughts? We’ve destroyed their land, we’ve polluted their air and corrupted their food—I shall not now take part in tearing down their hope. I will continue to watch them, admire them, love them and see them prosper despite their setbacks.
She sat on her nest like a woman, she glided up Fifth like a lady, and she frolicked in the warm evening sun like a girl...
Must be nice to be Lola.
Field Notes 4/15/2005
Sunset 7:35PM, Temp. 51F, Humidity 78%, Wind variable 8 to 15, Sunny and cool, Prey Tally- pigeon.
AM Report: When asked, Ric replied,"The usual." He then showed me the red spot at the S end of the Boat Pond where a pigeon had been taken. 3:48PM Lola on the nest, tail to bench, in bright sun. Pale Male not in sight. 4:11PM Lola still has her tail to the bench but now is crooked around so her head is to the S. 4:12PM Lola stands, her posterior to bench, preens chest and back, turns and stares into nest for about 15 seconds, goes back to preening. 4:16PM Lola disappears into nest. 4:19PM Eye visible through twigs. 4:20PM Pale Male discovered on Linda 5. 4:29PM Pale Male up and flies N and then W circling over Boat Pond, trees W of Pond N of Hans, circles over Boat House, Lola watches. 4:37PM Lola stands, preens chest meticulously, then wing and mid-back. 4:41PM Lola down but still preening. 5:13PM Lola stands, preens upper chest, alert looks W, preens left wing. 5:18PM Pale Male lands N end of nest from the W. 5:20PM Lola off. Pale Male into nest, surveys area. Digs moving in half circle. Settles head to N. 5:2?PM Pale Male half down and digging. Then stands, resituates. 5:28PM Pale Male head to S. 5:49PM Lola lands on nest, Pale Male invisible in concave, he doesn't appear...pause, pause, pause...Lola steps closer, Pale Male stands. 5:51PM Pale Male up and circling over N end of Boat Pond. Lola watches. 5:52PM Pale Male circling to W. 6:00PM Lola in nest, alert to W, then N. 6:05PM Pale Male discovered on Carlyle 3. 6:08Pm Lola down, just eyes. 6:30Pm Lola alert looking through twigs, Pale Male still on Carlyle. 6:35PM Pale Male, wings locked, does a spectacular dive/swoop from Carlyle 3 all the way over to beyond the bench tree line, trajectory slightly N of Hans. 6:45PM Exit from Bench Area 6:55PM Prothonotary Warbler, lower lobe near small rustic gazebo, many watchers.
And for those who asked why a Prothonotary Warbler was called such.... The name "Prothonotary" comes from a Prothonotary, the chief clerics or secretary of the Byzantine, Greek, or Roman Catholic church, who keep special records and wear a bright yellow hood.
Submitted: Donna Browne
Field Notes 4-14-2005
Sunset 7:35PM, Temp. 50F, Wind Chill 46F, Wind E 12MPH, Gusts 16-19MPH, Humidity 78% Mostly sunny and cold, Prey Tally- pigeon,
Trump Parc Nest: Lincoln's friend with a view of the site reports two eggs have rolled out of the nest. 4:35PM Arrival, Jr's nest looks much as it did yesterday, no hawk in sight. 4:55PM Jr. with twig makes several passes in front of nest. Jr. lands on the nest, stands looking at territory. 4:56PM Mrs. takes off from S end of nest and down. Jr. continues to survey territory. 5:00PM Jr. disappears into concave of nest, reappears with head near wall, digs, pulls twigs with beak from edge of nest toward center. (Jr. has the brow similar to Pale Male that makes him look concerned all the time.) 5:04PM Jr. disappears into nest. 5:23PM Hawk (Mrs.?) appears carrying twig and circles construction on adjacent to nest roof three times. More circling over Cottage Roof, third building from Trump to he W. 5:25PM Tourists from Dallas ask about Hawks. 5:26PM No hawks seen in nest or in sky. 5:35PM Exit
The Hawk Bench Approx. 6:10PM Hawkwatchers included among others, Katherine, Elizabeth, Katherine, Ric, Clare. They reported with some agitation that a bit earlier Pale Male had brought a large pigeon for Lola's dinner and had landed with it on the railing of the S false terrace of Woody. A woman in that apartment had come to the window and given it a great bang. Pale Male startled and flew with the prey over to Linda. Where he stayed for some minutes. He then took the prey to Lola on the nest and according to Clare, Lola flew to a bulding on 79th to eat, almost dropping the prey off the perch but grabbing it back just in time. In the meantime, Pale Male had left the nest (?) and it was unattended for approx. 20 minutes at which time he returned.
102nd St. Screech Owl Family
Owl hunters: Marie, Lee, Noreen, and Donna. The Screech Owls were not in the oak where they had roosted yesterday. Though all known roosts were searched as was the Ravine, the Owls were not found.
Submitted: Donna Browne
Field Notes 4-12-2005
Sunset 7:33, Temp. 49F, Wind Var 7-10, Sunny, Prey Tally-pigeon,
AM Report-None Elizabeth Reports nest exchange aprox. 2:30PM 3:44PM Lola in nest, she stands and turns eggs, preens, down. 3:52Pm Lola still down in nest but preening wings. 4:00PM Lola stares W. 4:01PM Lola stands and preens. She has a large broken feather sticking up on back above wing. She resettles, tail to bench. 4:04PM Lola shifts head to W. 4:25PM Lola down in nest, only thing seen is errant feather sticking up. 4:29PM Lola, head up, looks W. 4:35PM Lola stands, turns eggs, digs with feet in cavity, then settles back down. 5:30PM Lola submerged. 5:31PM Lola, head up, alert N. 5:43PM Lola looks W, very alert. 5:45PM Lola stands, looks W, preens, then head to N, digs. 6:02PM Pale Male from N, several crosses in front of 927, lands N end of nest, brings good sized Blue Bar pigeon for Lola. She then stands N nest, feet on prey, takes bites. Pale Male is in cavity of nest but does not settle onto eggs, watches Lola...and keeps watching. 6:05PM Lola up with prey to N disappears treeline. Pale Male slight digging, settles onto eggs, fluffs his feathers over them. Exit. 7:25PM Lincoln reports 1 hour and 20 minute break for Lola before she returns to nest.
102nd St. Screech Owl Flyout:7:40PM.
Submitted: Donegal Browne
Notes From The Bench 4/10/2005
Sunset 7:30PM, Temp. 73F, Sun, Wind variable 7-10MPH, Humidity 22%, Prey Tally- None seen,
Early Report: Nest exchange approx. 11AM. Bill reports Pale Male perched on the Carlyle from approx. 2:15 to 3:15PM.
3:59PM Hawk on nest, head to wall,E, tail to bench, W. Only small portion of tail visible. Report from the bench said it was Lola but...? Stubby the Drake Mallard is in residence in the Boat Pond. He now knows his name and comes when called for peanuts. 4:17PM Hawk has not moved a feather, same position as earlier. 4:30PM Lola arrives on the N end of nest. (It was PALE MALE tending the nest Not Lola.) Pale Male stands and takes a beak full of dry needles/grass(?) from rear edge of nest and places in concave. 4:31PM Pale Male up and off nest. Lola leans over and turns eggs. Pale Male does ascending circles above Linda until out of sight. Lola settles into nest, facing W, very alert. 4:34PM Pale Male seen landing by Sam on rear of Carlyle. 4:47PM Lola head up, looks N. 4:50PM Pale Male perched Oreo antenna. 4:51PM Lola looking W. 5:00PM Pale Male up and to W. 5:05PM Much sun on nest, Lola facing E, tail to nest. 5:26PM Pale Male perched Carlyle, Lamp 1. 6:00PM Lola head N, Pale Male perched Carlyle Lamp 4. Tourist brings debilitated Ruby-crowned Kinglet to bench. Noreen calls Vivian the rehabber. Kinglet to be delivered by tourist to Vivian. 6:20PM Exit
102nd Street Screech Owl Flyout-staggered from 7:33PM to 7:39PM. Young owls practicing adult call. Though still do begging wing flaps when fed by parent owl.
***Story from The Boston Globe..destruction of a RTH nest that may have had eggs in it
For openers, Sox vs. the red hawks By Douglas Belkin, Globe Staff | April 10, 2005
It's bad enough that Fenway Park fans could get bonked on the head by a foul ball. For a while there, it appeared they'd have a swooping hawk to worry about as well when the world champion Sox come back to town tomorrow.
Several employees at Fenway began noticing the red-tailed hawks a couple of weeks ago when they saw the raptors flying over the field with twigs in their mouths. They said they spotted a nest the hawks had built under the WEEI sign just above the .406 club.
''It was kind of cool to watch them," said Andrew Merle, who works in the Red Sox front office.
Someone apparently removed the hawks' nest two weeks ago, but team officials aren't talking about who did it. By April 1, all that was left of the nest were twigs strewn across the catwalk and over the netting above home plate.
Charles Steinberg, Red Sox executive vice president for public affairs, said that he had seen the hawks but that neither he nor Red Sox chief executive Larry Lucchino knew anything about the nest or what happened to it.
In March 2002, the same pair of hawks built a nest in almost the same spot, said Tom French, assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The female, protecting her nest, attacked three or four people in the park, sending two of them to the emergency room and prompting one to get stitches.
''They strafe people," said French. ''They come down from behind and make a low pass and strafe across the top of your scalp with their talons. . . . I tell workmen working around nests to paint eyes on the back of their hard hats, and they'll usually not touch you."
French said he had not been contacted by the Red Sox about the new nest. If there are no eggs laid, the nest can legally be removed and destroyed.
''If the nest is empty, the best thing to do is get rid of it," French said. ''They'll still have plenty of time to build a new one."
But once the eggs are laid, the Red Sox would be mandated to wait for the chicks to hatch, French said, citing environmental protection laws. If the nest were removed when it had eggs, the team could be fined thousands of dollars.
''I don't know about a nest, and I know nothing about eggs," Steinberg said.
Earlier this year in New York, there was a huge public outcry when the board of a Fifth Avenue co-op, whose tenants include actress Mary Tyler Moore and CNN anchor Paula Zahn, removed a hawk's nest from a 12th-story ledge, calling it a hazard.
The ensuing furor prompted the board to restore a row of anti-pigeon spikes that the hawks had used to anchor the nest. The hawks immediately rebuilt their nest, and last month, in an accomplishment trumpeted in headlines as far away as Ireland, it was reported that the pair have successfully laid up to three eggs.
The birding community in Boston meanwhile, has been closely monitoring the progress of a pair of red-tailed hawks who built a nest on an 11th-story ledge on the southwest corner of 6 Beacon Street above the Granary Burial Ground. Office workers around the city with a view of the nest have watched the pair's progress for months.
''A couple of weeks ago, we saw them copulating on the weather vane of the [Park Street] church," said Sue Sherry, who has a 10th-story office in a building on Winter Street about three blocks from the nest. ''There's a piece of caution tape I literally watched her weave into the nest. It's a totally urban bird."
After the eggs are laid, it takes about 30 days for them to incubate and hatch. While the female incubates the eggs, the males, which are smaller and faster, do most of the hunting. When the chicks hatch, the females start to hunt.
Linaris Casillas, a receptionist at a law firm in the office where the nest is built, said the Boston birds, nicknamed Mr. and Mrs. Hawkenridge by one of the lawyers in the office, said she checks the progress of the nest every day.
''She just stares up at you, and I'll tell you what, she's pretty scary-looking," Casillas said. ''I have her picture on my camera phone."
? Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
Many thanks to Donna Brown for her dedication and detailed notes...L
Field Notes From The Bench Saturday, 4/09/2005
Sunset 7:29PM, Temp. 64F, Wind ESE 7-12MPH, Gusts to 20MPH, Sun Prey Tally-Blue Bar Pigeon
Early Report-Commissioner Kelly watches the Hawks. Ric gives him a photograph. The Boat Pond water is still remarkably blue. 5:02PM Pale Male on lamp 1, Carlyle roof. Lola sitting nest. 5:03PM Lola stands, beak to concave of nest, some small digging. 5:05PM Lola settles into nest, tail to bench. 5:08PM Lola shifts head to bench, alert to W. 5:09PM Lola, head full up, eyes due W., Pale Male Lamp 1 Carlyle. 5:22PM Pale Male still lamp 2. Lola still looks W, now through nest twigs. 5:28PM Pale Male gone. Mallard count:4 5:32PM Lola disappears into nest. 5:36PM Lola stands up, preens chest, shoulders, mid-posterior. 5:38PM Lola down. 5:52PM Lola alert to W. 6:19PM Lola's head completely visible, looking S. 6:28PM Pale Male lands left nest, half Blue Bar pigeon to Lola. Lola takes several bites tail to bench, while Pale Male alert, then she's up, taking her pigeon, flies N disappears into trees and past Oreo. 6:32PM Pale Male surveys nest, turns eggs, digs, settles in tail to N, head to S. 6:42PM Lola returns, gets Pale Male off eggs. ? 6:43PM Pale Male up. 6:45PM Lola settles in. 6:51PM Pale Male perched top railing Green Shade building. 6:55PM Sun off nest. 7:05PM Golden Light Fifth Ave. Exit. Screech Owl family flyout, 7:42PM
Pale Male Jr's nest at Trump Parc, 4/07/2005
Sunset 7:26PM, Temp 72F, Sun, Wind SSW 12MPH, Gusts 15-25MPH,
1:17PM Nest sighted, far fewer twigs visible than at 927, or at least at this angle fewer than previous photo, no evergreen boughs. No hawks in sight. 1:29PM Park Maintenance Man asks I remove the scope from the area, then when invited, looks through scope at the nest. He says he hasn't seen the hawks for a couple of weeks but if I move the scope over to rock it will be okay to stay. 2:03PM Pigeon count:107. 2:08PM Hawk with darkly streaked belly band rises from nest and preens chest on front edge! 2:10PM Hawk turns in towards nest and looks to be turning eggs. 2:12PM Hawk walks into nest and completely disappears.
2:20PM Exit. Submitted-Donna Browne
A reporter from The Boston Globe told me that on Thursday March 31st (last week) a red tail hawk's nest was destroyed in Fenway Park.
I have just loose details of the incident. According to him, the Fish and Wildlife Servive approved it. As we all know even with that nasty 'memorandum' that was issued in 2003 claiming that nests are only considered 'active' if there are eggs or chicks in it, that March 31st certainly makes it highly possible that there were eggs in it. What actually happened with this nest I can only guess until I learn more. I know that Baseball is much more important than life on Earth and I can see the need for destroying anything that will get in the way of this wonderful pastime.
Field Notes 4/05/2005
Sunset 7:24PM, Temp. 64F, Wind WNW 5MPH, Sun, Prey Tally-None seen,
AM report: Two nest exchanges. 3:10PM Nest Exchange, Pale Male out, Lola in. 3:43PM Pale Male circles in front of 927, then Ship Shape, back to 927, then Woody, past Ship Shape, back to 927, two passes, lands on nest and gives Lola a twig, which she places. 3:47PM Pale Male off. 3:48PM Lola turns eggs, then settles, tail to bench. 3:51PM Lola shifts head to front, west. Nina's report,(rendered in between bouts of math homework) 4:00PM Lola is hunkered down in the nest, and her head is only visible as a little flash of movement. Her feathers (I believe) are being ruffled by the wind. She is moving her head in a staccato way. She is facing north, her head is north. 4:08PM Her tail feathers are probably the ones being ruffled. By Nina. 4:27PM Lola stands up and stretches wings, preens chest, preens anterior wing edges. 4:29PM Lola turns the eggs, standing in two different positions but beak may have had three positions. Pale Male on Stove Pipe railing. 4:31PM Lola settles half down, beak works (preen gland?)base of tail, then full down out of sight. 4:40PM Lola very alert, looking west. 4:45PM Lola out of sight in nest. 5:00PM Lola stands, preens chest, long slides with beak. 5:05PM Lola turns eggs, then digging motions. She settles tail to bench, shakes wings out. 5:11PM Lola stands, rearranges twigs. 5:13PM Lola hunkers back down facing S. 5:20PM Pale Male off SS railing to tallest tree close south of Stove Pipe, clips twig. 5:24PM Pale Male does many crosses in front of 927, lands on nest with twig. Lola places twig. 5:25PM Lola off nest to N. 5:26PM Pale Male sits into nest, stands again, digging motions, sits. Alert, looking N and W. 5:27PM Pale Male shifts, head to S. Lola out of our sight. Pale Male settles out of sight. 5:50PM Pale Male alert, head up, looks, S and W. 5:53PM Pale Male submerged. 5:55PM Lola comes from N and flies directly to nest. 5:56PM Pale Male up and circles over 927 twice, then up Fifth (north) to Green tile building (Barbara Walters), lands second story down, third window from SW corner. Looks into window. 6:04PM While Pale Male has his back turned, I notice he has a several inch circumference dark spot on the back of his head, Katherine, Katherine, Jean, Naomi, look through scope, much discussion. Definite dark spot. Water? Oil? Molt? 6:15PM Lola turns eggs. 6:17PM Pale Male still on Green Tile, turns front, surveys area. 6:24PM Mallard Count=12, including Stubby. For those of you who have asked after him, the protein sheaths on his pin feathers, soon to be new tail feathers, have mostly dropped. The raw spot is no longer visible and Stubby, having gotten many pity peanuts and sympathy treats is now quite round and just might become alpha drake next year out of sheer bulk. For those who don't know Stubby, he was the 33rd duck when the other 32 Mallards in the Conservatory Water (Boat Pond) turned into 16 mated pairs earlier this spring. The other Drakes wanted him gone (competition for their mates?)or ugly (no nifty tail curls?) so therefore chased him around the pond plucking his tail feathers out. But that is long past and Stubby is doing fine. In fact there's a new little hen who is much darker than the others, who might just be giving him the eye.... 6:30PM Lola submerged watching W through twigs. 6:40PM Exit Submitted-Donna Browne
Field Notes Monday, 4/04/2005
Sunset 7:25PM, Temp. 51F, Wind variable, 5-18MPH, Gusts, Sun, Prey Tally: Starling, Pigeon
AM Report: Lola flew from the nest, leaving it unattended until Pale Male could hot wing it in from the west, approx. 1 to 2 minutes. 2:45PM Stella reports Pale Male brought Lola a Starling. Also, that once again the wind got under Lola from behind and nearly flipped her over. 4:35PM Pale Male perched Linda 6. Lola submerged in nest. 4:44PM Pale Male up, circles and touches wall of building with wing tip (Something he frequently does. Fun?), circles 927, circles Woody, circles over other Fifth Ave. buildings. 4:47PM Pale Male perches on railing of Stove Pipe. 4:55PM Lola not visible in nest. 5:06PM Lola up, turns eggs, preens, situates head to wind, settles back in. 5:15PM Lola alert, looking between twigs to the west. 5:30PM Lola head up, very alert to west. 5:42PM Pale Male appears with portion of pigeon in talons, double passes nest, lands, puts down pigeon, Lola takes it up and flies N out of sight. Pale Male settles on nest. 5:45PM Exit. (Pool Screech Owl family flyout-7:40PM) Submitted: Donna Browne
Sunday April 3, 05
All is well in the nest after the long rainy spell this weekend. Around 2:30PM both hawks left the nest unattended for a few minutes and flew together just west of the MSB Pond.
Saturday April 2, 05
Sometime just after 2PM today I crossed Fifth Ave at 72nd Street and saw, through the dense leafless branches, that there was something on one of the windows high up on the corner building on the east side of the road--something with a broad white belly and the unmistakable poise of my familiar friend. I paused in the middle of the roadway and photographed the avenue that narrowed into a sharp point all the way uptown before spending a few minutes to admire him from the sidewalk below. I gently detached a woman from my attention who since Madison Avenue attempted to engage me in talk of her misery for not taking her dog to some competition heeding the warning of the weather report which appeared thus far to be dead wrong. I anchored myself against the Central Park wall and did my best to photograph Pale Male sitting quietly on the window rail above me. From every vantage point all along my walk toward the Hawk Bench I stopped and tried to sight Lola in her nest but could not make out even a shape with my 8X binoculars?the drizzling rain worsened my visibility. I spotted Yuma and his mother at The Alice In Wonderland Statue. Yuma is a 7 year old birder and an avid Pale Male & Lola fan. After a few minutes we decided to head up to 102nd Street to see the screech owls. We delayed our walk to watch Lola eat her lunch on a tall tree on the inclined sidewalk leading north of the Boathouse Restaurant. Yuma said that we should take a bus but I convinced him it will be more fun to trek through the muddy park. The rain came down hard and most of the paths were flooded. As we approached Cleopatra?s Needle an immature Red Tail perched in a tree just east of the monument and then flew over our heads, circled and headed back west. We sheltered for a short while at The North Meadow Recreation Center then before heading for The Pool at 102nd Street I pointed out Pale Male III?s nest. An adult Red Tail was in the area but no nest building observed. The nest is still very small but promising nevertheless. The rain pounded down on us but after a certain threshold no more wetness could be felt. Yuma said his boots felt like there was a river inside them, but he insisted that it was not because he stomped through ever puddle he could find along the way?he reasoned that the water must have entered from the soles. He wanted to know why the water was yellow and why there were earthworms on the ground. As I attempted to answer his many questions I envied his innocence and I tried to put as much honesty into my answers as her did in his questions. At The Pool we saw two domesticated ducks and a few mallards but no owls. They must have roosted in a tree deeper inside The North Woods, but the heavy rain had taken a toll on us and we decided to head for home. I stared into the woods and tried to imagine where those fuzzy little creatures were sleeping. I consoled myself that they are quite capable of sheltering themselves from weather like this and much worse?surely they?ve been doing it for thousands of years. Even so, I wish I could put some tiny umbrellas over their fuzzy little heads and wrap them snug in thick dry towels and read them stories until the weather breaks and the sun comes shining out.
Friday April 1, 05
Thank you for all the letters and calls complimenting my photography. I appreciate it all?this sort of thing fuels my passion. It?s very difficult, may even be deceitful, for me to show only the beautiful images that I see in NYC each day. As we watch the cute owls stretch and get ready for a night?s hunting, Canadian fishermen are bashing in the heads of baby seals for their skin. At work this week I watched recent footage of these seals--video showing them actually running toward their killers as if to play, only to be met with a vicious blow to the head with a heavy metal rod. While the animal is still alive its belly is slit open and its bleeding, disemboweled body dragged to a waiting boat. Stop The Seal Hunt Website If Canada is too far away for you to hear the sound of innocent animals getting their skulls cracked open to harvest their skin, then right here in Manhattan the Circus is in town. Dozens of elephants, lions, tigers etc., are enslaved to perform unnatural acts so children and adults can be delighted with this sad and unforgivable form of entertainment. If Madison Square Garden is too far away for you to see these depressed animals worked to death either from hard labor or depression, you may encounter a carriage horse further uptown pulling a wagon filled with tourists across 59th Street. What you may not notice though, is that Central Park is continuing to poison our rats again. In my opinion this is a nasty method of attempting to control an animal that hardly anyone wants to take the time to appreciate and/or understand. If we cannot eat them, or wear their furs then we proclaim them unworthy of life on this planet. I?ll continue to post beautiful pictures?like the one of the squirrel smiling, but I alone will look at the one of the squirrel near the carousel last year that someone?s dog left crippled. I won?t post the picture of the cygnet with a fishhook lodged in its bill or the flicker that crashed into the MET?s glass wall. I won?t even post the picture of the tired, confused horse caught in traffic up 8th Avenue, foaming at the mouth as its driver constantly yanked its head back. We may not be able to get all the thoughtless dog owners to leash their dogs, and we may not have the power to go up against the carriage horse owners, or the insensitive people that patronize them, and we may not be able to convince Central Park that they should ban all ?just for fun? fishing in its lakes and ponds but good God! we can surely get them to stop poisoning the rats. If not for the welfare of this universally hated fellow mammal, at least for the fact that our raptors run the risk of getting hurt if they consume one that was poisoned. Central Park claims that ?the poison used has no secondary effect on animals?. I believe this statement is in keeping with ?Pale Male?s nest weighed 400lbs?. I think they should be told that rodents can be better controlled if the hot dog vendors do not dump their waste out on the ground at the end of the day. You don?t have to be a genius to realize that the rats are coming after food. When the various food outlets improperly dispose of their waste the rats thrive. Even uncontrolled feeding of ducks and squirrels--I am guilty of this last offence, but I try always to make sure the animals that I feed consume all that I toss at them. In fact it is never enough. There are people, though well meaning, who gather large bags of bread and bird food and scatter it carelessly about the ground, sometimes even if there are no animals there. I believe that there are more sensible ways to address a rodent problem before poisoning is used. I don't believe myself to be an ?Animal Rights Nut?. I am just a person who sees a horrible injustice all around me and just cannot stay silent. Pale Male & Lola and every other animal in this city have so much to contend with as it is, without having to deal with these selfish ineffective techniques.
Field Notes Tuesday, 3/29/2005
Sunset 6:17PM, Temp. 48F, Wind Variable, Gusts to 22MPH, Clouds, Rain, then Sun, Prey Tally-None Seen,
1:12PM Nest exchange, Pale Male to nest, Lola off. 1:34PM Pale Male off nest and perches railing of Stove Pipe. Lola settles into nest. 1:43PM Lola head up, alert looking west. 2:04PM Pale Male up from railing, flies west. 2:12PM Pale Male appears out of the south, flies over Fifth Ave buildings, over 927 and then west. 2:20PM Lola alert sitting head to N, but looking W. 2:59PM Lola stands, turns eggs with tail to bench. 3:18PM Lola leaves nest, flies W. Nest unattended for 30 seconds. 3:19PM Pale Male arrives from W, flapping wings, and takes over nest. 3:34PM Lola returns, Pale Male off. 3:35PM Lola turns eggs, tail to bench, then settles in. 4:20PM Lola alert, looking S. 4:33PM Lola stands, preens breast and neck, turns eggs, then down, head to SE. 4:40PM Lola shifts position to face W. 4:47PM Pale Male discovered left corner of railing of Stove Pipe. 4:49Pm Pale Male chases gull to W. 5:04PM Pale Male brings twig to nest and Lola flies N up Madison, then to Stove Pipe, perches forth level down on NW. 5:05 Pale Male turns eggs then settles down with head to SE. 5:18PM Lola returns, stands on S end of nest. Pale Male remains enscounced in nest. Lola surveys territory, works beak. Pale Male remains on eggs. Lola leans over and prods him with her beak. Pale Male gets up and flies N. Lola settles in facing N. 5:25PM Lola shifts position, head to SE. 5:27PM Gusting wind causes Lola's rear feathers to become sail-like which flips her bottom up, nearly somersaulting her over. She shifts position, head to wind, NW. Settles deeply into nest. 6:15PM Pale Male seen over Boathouse. 7:20PM Exit, Pale Male's roost not found. Submitted-Donna Browne
Notes From The Bench, Monday, 3/28/2005
Sunset 6:16PM, Temp. 43F, W. Chill 38F, Heavy Rain, Wind ENE Gusts to 15 to 25 MPH,
3:49PM Heavy rain, Hawk not visible in nest. Mallards out of Boat Pond sheltering under shrubbery S of Hans and browsing in standing water on lawn. 3:59PM Dog appears, ducks back to pond, very wet Lola head appears above nest. 4:02PM Lola disappears into nest, rain continues. 4:25PM Mallards out of pond return to Hans area. 4:40PM Mallards chased by dog back to pond. Lola head up, then down. 4:43PM Very wet Lola stands, much digging with feet, she turns eggs. Preens, looks to be striping water out of breast feathers. Pelting rain begins, she quickly settles into nest. 4:50PM Mallards tuck bills into wings. 4:51PM Lola head up, alert, then disappears into nest. 5:09PM Male Cardinal appears for daily peanut, he then cracks it open and feeds mate in Cornelian Cherry directly behind bench. 5:11PM Lola still not visible. 5:12PM Central Park path lights come on. 5:15PM Exit, no hawks in sight. Central Park puddles over 9 inches. Much soil from denuded portions of Pilgrim Hill washed into path. Submitted: Donna Browne
Field Notes-Sunday, 3/27/2005
Temp. Wind Sunset 6:15PM Prey Tally-pigeon, ? 1:00PM Nest Exchange. 4:11PM Pale Male perched Linda 6, Lola on nest. Smoke expelled from Octogon building. 4:16PM Pale Male up, circles above Hans, above Boat House, above Lake. 4:18PM Lola head up, looks west, very alert. 4:25PM Pale Male to nest with pigeon,leaves pigeon on N side of nest, Lola stands on N side of nest, Pale Male on S side, Lola preens. 4:28PM Lola on railing of Ship Shape, eats pigeon, including large wad of feathers. 4:30PM Pale Male on nest, alert. 4:35PM Lola cleans talons with beak, whets beak on railing to clean. 4:40PM Lola up, flies south, then back north, reperches on Ship Shape railing. Lola preens. 4:46PM Lola to nest from north side. Pale Male to Ship Shape. Lola sinks into nest. 4:50PM Smoke released from Octagon. 4:52PM Pale Male off to NW. 5:14PM Smoke released from Octagon. 5:21PM Smoke released from Octagon. 5:43PM Starling flock goes north. 5:56PM Lola stands, beak down, egg turning, tail to bench, then turns front, alert, preens, into nest. 5:58PM Smoke released from Octagon. 6:00PM 6 Mallards up and N. 6:05PM Smoke released from Octagon. Lola alert looking through twigs. 6:15PM 2 Mallards up and W. 6:18PM 2 Mallards up and W. 6:24PM Pale Male lands Pin Oak few feet NE of his usual. Shifts branches. 6:25PM Pale Male moves to his frequent roost, Pin Oak foot of Pilgrim Hill...preens. 6:35PM Preens. 6:47PM Pale Male tucks head, Goodnight Pale Male.
Field Notes Saturday, 3/26/2005
Sunset 6:15PM, Temp. 43F, Partly Cloudy, Wind- light variable, Prey Tally- 3 pigeons,
AM Report, one nest exchange, 1 pigeon. 1:39PM Pale Male takes the nest. 1:43PM Unknown hawk above 927, nest building. 1:48PM Pale Male invisible in nest. 2:04PM Pale Male stands, turns eggs. 2:05PM Pale Male disappears into nest. 2:10PM Pale Male peering through twigs, alert. 2:13PM Pale Male facing NW. 2:14PM Lola returns, Pale Male off. 2:25PM Lola faces NW while sitting. 2:26PM Clare and Zoe report Pale Male stripping feathers off pigeon in tree near Glade Arch. He switches trees repeatedly, too much human attention. Preteen boys throw rocks at him, Clare threatens to have them arrested, boys retreat. 2:45PM Lola deep in nest but watching. 3:03PM Lola preens. 3:06PM Pale Male flies in from NW with unstripped pigeon, Lola stands on pigeon wit one foot. She flies of to WNW. 3:07PM Pale Male stands in cavity, moves twig to the side with beak, digging motions, constantly surveys territory, sits with head up. 3:15PM Pale Male has disappeared into nest. 3:20PM 33 Mallards in Model Boat Pond, with 8 model boats. 3:34PM Lola on Octogon building. 3:35PM Lola flies to nest. Pale Male up and toward Ramble. 3:45PM Lola gets up a bit, looks intently, then sits. 3:59PM Lola stands, preens underwing, chest, turns eggs, bending, beak down, digging motions, tail to bench. 4:00PM Katherine reports Pale Male is on the 8th floor of Stove Pipe, not visible from bench. 4:18PM Lola stands, preens, snuggles back down. 4:58PM Pale Male to Linda 6. 5:10PM Lola head up, looks west. 5:13PM Lola looks south then west. 5:14PM Pale Male up, flies west. 5:15PM Octagon building releases black smoke, 45 seconds. 5:30PM Exit.
Field Notes Friday, 3/25/2005
Temp. 43F, Sunset 6:14PM, Partly Cloudy, Wind Variable 3MPH, Full Moon, Prey Tally? AM Pale Male spent much time on the Carlyle. Stella reports today's nest exchange (Pale Male sits the nest) occurred from 1:35 to 2:05PM. 3:55PM Pale Male perched on NW corner of Oreo railing 4:15PM Lola sitting nest, facing N, head up, very alert. 4:19PM Pale Male off Oreo into tree line, then west, Lola watches him, down into nest but alert. 4:55PM Lola's head up, alert, then down, eye visible. 5:37PM Lola stands, stretches wings, bends over beak down, turning eggs? 5:38PM Lola down. 5:45PM Fifth Avenue bathed in Golden Light. 5:54PM Lola stands, small digging action, settles back down. 5:59PM Lola's head appears, very alert. 6:02PM Lola down. 6:20PM Roost Hunt-Marie, Sam, Donna, Lincoln, All known roosts checked. No Pale Male. 6:42PM 7 ducks fly N from Model Boat Pond 7:20PM Exit.
Field Notes Thursday, 3/24/2005
Sunset 6:12PM, Temp. 41F, W. Chill 38F, Wind WSW 5-10MPH, Clouds, Prey Tally-Pigeon
Ric reports around Noon, Pale Male took over the nest from Lola. She went over to the water tower on the ugly white condo and ate a stashed pigeon. Her break lasted about 45 minutes. Conrad reports Pale Male spent a good bit of time perching on the Carlyle in the AM.
3:29PM Pale Male is perched on the railing of the Stove Pipe. 3:31PM Pale Male up and flies west. 3:38PM Pale Male flies in from west and perches on railing of Stove Pipe. 3:41PM Lola stands and makes larger than her previous digging motions with her feet, then beak down possibly turning eggs. She then settles back down. 3:42PM Pale Male flies to nest, stands on the north side, looks at Lola who is turned to the south, briefly surveys nest. 3:43PM Pale Male up, circles Woody, flies north,circles Oreo, flies north low. 3:55PM Greater part of bench pigeon flock flies east to roost. 4:08PM Lola stands, digging motions, then beak down. 4:09PM Lola settles in and preens breast. 4:12PM Lola very alert, looking hard west. 4:15PM 1 pigeon, pied, left at the Bench. 4:19PM Pale Male discovered on light 5 on Carlyle. 4:21PM Pale Male moves to lamp 3. 5:17PM Pale Male still on lamp 3, Carlyle, Lola down. 5:25PM Bench Cardinal sings for peanut. He then takes it and feeds his mate in the Cheery trees. 5:30PM Pale Male discovered on the antenna of The Crows. Lola is difficult to see with binoculars. 5:34PM 33 Mallards on the pond. 5:38PM Starlings flocked en masse on roof and water tower of Linda. 5:45PM Starlings up and circle to north. 5:47PM Pale Male still on Crows antenna, preens back and breast. 6:07PM Pale Male gone. 6:30PM Active Roost Hunt begins. Lincoln remains at the bench to watch Pilgrim Hill Pin Oak. Ben, Marie, and Donna check known roosts from present and past years. 6:40PM Mallard pair flies west, observed from walk by East Drive. 6:45PM Approx. 8 Mallards fly west, observed from same as previous. 7:00PM Ben, Marie, and Donna having not found Pale Male at roost return to the bench. Pale Male is not roosting in Pilgrim Hill Pin Oak either. The nearly full Moon appears from behind the clouds. 7:40PM Pale Male not found. Exit.
Field Notes Tuesday, 3/22/2005 Wind variable, Partly Cloudy, Temp. 49F, Sunset 6:11PM, Prey Tally ?
Late AM Ric reports a nest exchange. 3:38PM Pale Male leaves Linda 3 and flies west over bench. Lola stands and preens. 3:40PM Lola down into nest. 3:42PM Lola stands and preens chest then...turns eggs? 3:44PM Lola down into nest. 3:51PM Lola very alert. 3:52PM All Pigeons flush from bench area. 3:56PM Lola, head up and preening chest. 4:00PM Lola deep into nest, but alert. 4:06PM Lola very alert, eye focused between twigs in nest. 4:15PM Pale Male arrives for nest exchange. Lola flies west. 4:16PM Pale Male does some nest arrangement with beak, then small foot movement in concave, then sinks in. 4:25PM Kentaurian reports that Pale Male prepared prey(?) for Lola in the Ramble, leaving it there for her to retrieve, and then flew over for the nest exchange. 4:42PM Lola returns to nest and Pale Male flies west. 6:29PM Pale Male lands on Pilgrim Hill Pin Oak and went to sleep after preening for a half hour or so. Submitted: Donna Browne
Field Notes Monday, 3/21/2005
Sunset 6:08PM, Wind WNW 5-10MPH, Temp. Hi 45F, W. Chill 38F, Cloudy, Prey Tally? Ric's AM report- The mallards in the boat pond have commenced copulation. When Pale Male perched on the antenna or the corner of "The Crows", white building one over from The Lion, three or four crows would mob him. At one point, Lola took a break and Pale Male sat the nest.
3:46PM Pale Male is sitting on the railing of Stove Pipe. Lola deep in nest. 3:48PM Pale Male up and west. 4:08PM Lola very alert on nest. 4:14PM Pale Male back on the railing of Stove Pipe. 4:32PM Pale Male up and west. Lola deep in nest. 4:55PM Pale Male back to railing on Stove Pipe. 5:03PM Mallard Count-35, Pigeon Count-4. 5:14PM Pale Male up and chasing gull south, gull circles to chase him, Pale Male circles and herds gull south. 5:16PM Pale Male flies north and perches on the railing of Stove Pipe. 5:27PM Pale Male up and west. 5:36PM Lola sits nest and preens. Her feathers appear damp. 5:46PM Ric is today's sacrificial birder having just left the bench. Pale Male crosses in front of 827 four times, laids on nest, Lola stands tail to bench and eats ?. Pale Male stands right nest, face front, alert, watching territory while she eats. 5:48PM Pale Male flies north and then west. Lola back on nest. 5:58PM Pale Male appears over The Lion flies west over park, Pilgrim Roost, and towards lake. 6:23PM A pair of geese fly south to north. 6:28PM Formation of 24 geese fly south. 6:50PM Pale Male is not found in any known roosts. Submitted: Donna Browne
Field Notes Friday, 3/18/2005 Temp. 49 F Sun Wind gusting 5-10 MPH Movie, LADY LUCK being shot north end and sides of Boat Pond Prey Tally: ?
Rik reports that in the AM Pale Male made two trips to the nest with construction materials. One trip carrying twigs and the other with a large amount of dried grass/vegetation.
Also from Rik, RT combat between Pale Male and an intruding Red-tail over the Boat Pond in front of the nest around 2:15PM. Dives culminating in Pale Male plucking feathers from the intruder, who then was chased towards the west.
2:34PM LolA deep in nest, face front, alert, looking through nest twigs 2:40PM Pale Male discovered on left railing of Stove Pipe building. Lola standing doing somthing with her beak within the nest concave. 2:48PM Pale Male ? 3:01PM 43 Mallards in the Boat Pond, many people in the park today 3:08PM Lola stands, tail to bench, head down doing somthing 3:16PM Pale Male arrives at nest with twig 3:17PM Pale Male up and north 3:22PM Lola stands facing north. I couldn't see it with binoculars or the smaller scope but with Rik's scope I could see Lola making those very small digging motions with her feet 3:25PM Lola settles back in 3:29PM Lola's head appears,face forward, very alert 3:35PM Lola settles into nest, still peering through twigs alert 3:37PM Lola's head reappears, alert 3:49PM Pale Male to nest, holding twigs in talons and conifer greenery in beak. 3:51PM Pale Male off nest travels to Stove Pipe and perches on front left railing 4:34PM Pale Male up from railing and Uptown, traveling north and then west 4:40PM Lola shifts position, tail to bench 4:45PM Alberta the squirrel appears from inside her London Plane for peanuts 4:47PM Lola shifts position, head to north 5:30PM pair of Canada Geese fly south to north over Boat Pond 5:55PM I must leave, no sign of Pale Male Submitted:Donna Browne
Field Notes Tuesday, 3/15/2005 Sunset=6:02PM Temp.=41F W. Chill=37F Gusts to 22MPH
Prey For The Day-AM, 2 rats brought by Pale Male to nest(Thank you, Rik) 3:13PM Lola submerged in nest, Pale Male on Linda 6 3:21PM Pale Male up, north and west, past Stovestack,then down and disappears into northern tree line. Lola still in nest. 4:21PM Pale Male lands Linda 2, Stella reports a large belch on Pale Male's part and suspects he's just eaten. 4:22PM 20 pigeons in bench flock. 4:23PM Pale Male up 4:25PM Lola head up looking (for Pale Male?), then head down. 5:02PM Pale Male flies from north to south past Carlyle then north, lost in tree line. 5:05PM Pale Male perches Linda 1 5:11PM Pale Male up flies N up 5th, west past Oreo, southwest through trees, circling Boathouse 5:35PM Starlings roosting atop 927 5:40PM Starlings leave to N past Carlyle 6:08PM 32 Mallards in Boat Pond (seven more than usual) 6:26PM Pale Male lands Pin Oak, north of Boathouse, east of road, slightly offset east of path, online with dumpsters to west and Woody on east, sightline to nest, Pale Male preens 6:29PM Pale Male flies northeast,?, quite dark. 6:45PM Pale Male ?, squirrels whining just west of Levin Playground.
Submitted by:Donna Browne
Field Notes 3/14/2005 Sunset 6:01PM Temp 33F W. Chill 26F Gusts to 18MPH
Prey for the day: Two pigeons
3:50PM Lola eats pigeon on the nest, tail to bench 4:04PM Lola in nest, not visible 4:40PM Lola gets up, does something(?), beak down 4:42PM Lola disappears into nest 5:02PM Pale Male comes into sight from west over pond carrying twig, circles in front of Linda, past 927, circles Woody, back and forth 5:04PM Pale Male lands on nest, twig down 5:08PM Pale Male leaves nest, circles in tree line, goes Linda 4, left foot up 5:20PM Pale Male gone 5:37PM Starlings startle from roof of Linda 5:38PM Pale Male discovered Linda 3 5:42PM Pale Male takes flight travels N through tree line 6:00PM Pale Male has not roosted as yet, I leave
Nest Site Update Sunday March 13, 2005 Mating must have stopped...none observed all weekend. Lola appears to be turning the eggs every half hour or so. Pale Male had two sittings today between noon and sunset. He roosted in the Pilgrim Hill Pin Oak tonight.
Received news from Pale Male Jr's nest on Trump Parc; they have begun incubation either yesterday (saturday) or today.
Donna's notes: Field Notes Saturday, 12 March 05, 1:15pm-2:20pm-Jean Dane 2:20pm-6:25pm-Donna Browne
1:15 [PM on nest, Lola on break] 1:21 Lola comes up 5th Ave to Fisher 1:24 Lola to nest 1:25 PM heads down 5th, lands on roof of white bldg (southmost one)[The Crows-DB] 1:29 PM to dish bldg, sits on round chimney thing 1:33 PM heads north, past Oreo 1:36 Lola stands in nest, turns complete circle, working at something 1:48 PM around behind 927 (brief appearance only, disappeared) 2:06 PM comes around octagon to nest, bringing snack to Lola 2:07 PM heads north up 5th Ave treeline (Lola has her head down, eating her snack - Lincoln said it was "a small bird" or "Starling"?) 2:20 PM on Oreo (west railing) J.D.
2:24 Lola stands turns to N and settles, alert 2:30 Pale Male swoops off Oreo into treeline, Lola facing N, very alert 2:35 Pale Male circling to S of nest on 5th 2:36 Pale Male perches Linda 2 2:44 Pale Male up and circles N, perches Carlyle light 2 2:45 Pale Male up circles over Ship's prow, Woody, 927, and N 2:47 Pale Male perches on Stovepipe (Sat.dish) railing 2:49 Pale Male up circles, then S to Pilgrim Hill chases gull away 3:08 Pale Male back to Stovepipe railing 3:15 Bench/Boat Pond count, 60 pigeons, 23 ducks 3:22 Pale Male up and S, circles Dr. Fischer, 927, then S 3:25 Lola head up above nest, Pale Male flies back from 71st and Fifth, circles 927, circles Woody 3:27 Lola takes off from nest, Pale Male immediately lands on nest 3:28 Pale Male settles on nest and then immediately stands, head down in concave, head making small movements foreward and back, egg turning? 3:28 Lola flies N soaring, circling 3:31 Pale Male stands in concave of nest and makes small digging motions with feet 3:32 Lola sits on Oreo grate, preens 3:37 Pale Male turns on nest, beak opens and closes 3:38 Lola takes off and flies to nest, Pale Male stands 3:40 Pale Male leaves nest, flying N and then W, Lola stretches wings, settles into concave 4:09 Pale Male discovered by Sam on stovepipe of Stovepipe building (or Dish) 4:15 Pale Male S to Linda 3, Lola alert 4:29 Pale Male N to left railing, Ship's Prow 4:31 Pale Male moves to middle railing one up, S.P. 4:37 Lola stands, head down in concave, prods with beak 4:40 Pale Male flies W toward Lake 4:41 Lola preens while sitting 4:45 Pale Male lands in very top of Pin Oak near Hans 4:46 Pale Male up circles on Fifth between the Carlyle and Linda, lands on NW corner of The Crows 4:47 Pale Male up N on Madison to Stovepipe railing 4:48 Pale Male NW and W 4:50 Pale Male lands Stovepipe railing 5:17 Pale Male to Ship's Prow railing 5:22 PalE Male to London Plane N end of Boat Pond 5:23 Pale Male to Pin Oak by Hans, rat hole viewing position 5:24 Pale Male to west 5:30 Bird? flushes Starlings from roof of Linda 5:37 Sam observes Lola standing and seemingly pushing something under herself? 5:38 Merlin Female discovered on antenna of The Crows She scratches her head. 5:58 Lola stands, beak and feet usage in concave 5:59 Lola settles back into nest 6:05 Pale Male flies from N through treeline, circles in front of Linda, then to nest, Pale Male moves large twig, both birds stand looking down at nest 6:08 Pale Male flies to Ship's Prow, Lola stands facing 927 and eats???? (We did not see dinner arrive?)Meat chunks look like rat(?) 6:15 Lola stands in concave, digging motions with feet, Pale Male still on Ship's Prow railing 6:20 Lola head down in nest, bottom up Temp-41 F, wind Submitted:Donna Browne
Nest Site Update Sat March 12, 2005 No matings observed today. Apart from a single 20 min or so period this afternoon, where the eggs were unattended, for the rest of the day through nightfall both hawks took turns constantly sitting on the nest--Lola spending 80% of the time on it.
Field Notes 3/11/2005
Sunset 5:58PM Temp: 34F Wind chill: 29F
2:18PM Stella reports copulation
3:48PM Lola submerged in nest, Pale Male on Carlyle 1 4:20PM Pale Male moves to Carlyle light 2 4:35PM Lola stands, head down, tail up...egg turning? Nest maintenance? 4:39PM Most pigeons go east to roost 4:48PM Lola on nest, top of head showing 4:53PM Lola flies to NW corner of Linda, her feathers look wet 4:55PM Pale Male flies to Lola, copulation Pale Male cry is different from last observation, almost gull like, Ke ah, Ke ah, Ke ah, Ke ah 4:56PM Lola eats on corner of Linda, stashed prey unidentified, Pale Male visits nest and takes the garbage out to the south 5:02PM Lola Preens 5:08PM Lola to nest 5:11PM Pale Male to nest 5:15PM Pale Male to north 5:17PM Lola stands preening on nest 5:21PM Lola stands in concave of nest 5:30PM Lola half way down in nest 5:35PM Starlings, many flocking to roof of Linda 5:54PM Ducks startle, Pale Male discovered in Pin Oak slightly east of Hans,facing west, squirrel whines 6:03PM Three squirrel whine chorus develops 6:09PM Pale Male turns on perch facing toward nest 6:10PM Pale Male goes north 6:12PM Pale Male goes east to Pin Oak on ridge near cherry trees 6:15PM Pale Male goes to Pines on line with 76th 6:16PM Pale Male to grove of deciduous east of Alice 6:35PM Pale Male discovered at roost in Pin Oak left of path on line with 75th, opposite bench plague-Gerry sightline to nest
First...the gates are down, and the true art and beauty of nature's perfect designs again reigns supreme!
This report contains a good deal of information supplied by Rik Davis, Central Park/Pale Male photographer who arrived at the Hawk Bench at 10am.
Thurs, Mar 10 (3:03pm - 5:15pm): Rik states that Lola and Pale Male have been on nest all day....Lola is the predominant incubator of the egg/s, but Pale Male relieves her for brief periods so she can stretch her wings. He also reported that Pale Male took a meal to Lola on the nest at ~1pm. He says another photographer who was in the Ramble reported seeing Pale Male snatch an American Woodcock near the feeders. This is a plump, woodland shore bird and must have made a substantial meal. Most of the time when either Lola or Pale are in the nest, they are keeping a very low profile, honkering down and barely observable even with the aid of Rik's scope. Lola is still rearranging twigs even when hunched down in the nest. At 3:35 Lola left the nest and headed north and east...Pale immediately flew to and "melted" into the nest. At 3:42 Pale takes off and lands on the Pin Oak near the Hans C. Andersen sculpture. Lola was still away from nest and the nest was actually left unattended for at least 20 minutes....however, the afternoon sun was focused directly on the nest during this interval. At 4:02 Lola returns to her incubating duties as Pale continues to sit close to us in the Pin Oak. At 4:50 Lola flies off nest and Pale immediately assumes the role of incubator and honkers down into the nest. At 5:10 both Pale and Lola fly off toward the Ramble. At 5:14 Lola reappears to take over nest duty. I leave park at 5:15 with Lola nestled deep down in the nest.
Lincoln, At 6:04 Lola snuggled down out of sight in the nest for the night and at 6:10 Pale Male went to roost in his Pin Oak.
Donna Brown's Field Notes:
Field Notes 3/09/2005
3:00PM Lola on nest,top of head shows
3:29PM Lola sits up a bit further, top of chest is visible
3:39PM Lola stands, stretches, does something with beak to nest (No scopes today, very frustrating)
3:44PM Lola disappears from sight on nest
3:52PM Lola stands and stretches wings out for a few flaps, sits again
4:05PM Lola stands turning in circle with beak down toward nest(?), sits with top of chest exposed
4:09PM Lola disappears into nest
4:15PM Pigeons fly east to roost for the night
4:17PM Lola stands and turns around
4:19PM Lola sits, top of head exposed
4:24PM Pale Male is discovered on Linda 3
4:26PM Pale Male flies into tree line on Fifth then flies to branch of London Plane at the north end of the Hawk Bench. Ann reports she's seen two rats under the northwest bench by H. C. Anderson. Pale Male does seem to be staring that way but also that position keeps the wind to his back
4:32PM Pale Male does a short hop to very adjacent branch and tucks one foot up. Squirrel is scampering about behind bench, starling in bush nearby, Pale Male ignores them.
4:41PM Lola stands, does something with head down, can't see what, then sits. Pale Male still sitting on Bench branch.
5:02PM Pale Male up towards Pilgrim Hill, lands in pin oak northeast of roost tree, procures twig, then flies east to fifth, then north to shipshape,then west past tree line, starts circling towards the north, flies past nest, arrives at Linda 3 without twig.
5:15PM Pale Male flies back to Bench branch and perches, then makes the short hop to the adjacent branch
5:18PM Pale Male preens, Lola- top of chest visible in nest
5:38PM Pale Male flies to his Pin Oak
5:39PM Pale Male up, circles west over north end of boat pond, circles repeatedly over Shipshape, then south
5:46PM Pale Male lands on nest, head down doing something? Lola stands up, one on each side of nest looking down at?, egg?, this morning's rat?
5:51PM Pale Male to Linda 1
5:52PM Lola still standing, preens chest
5:53PM Lola seems to be still standing but on scrutiny is angled down in the back, Pale Male flies west toward Ramble
5:55PM Lola sinks further down, uppper chest visible
6:04PM Lola sinks completely down into nest and disappears
6:10PM Pale Male to Pin Oak Roost
Temp: 28 F Wind chill: 18 F Clear and windy
Wed, Mar 9th, 11:15am - 2:30pm: (Cold, Mostly Clear, Windy, ~26F) Observed Lola for an hour in the Ramble sitting on a tree 20' up near "the oven"...preening, stretching, defecating, sitting in the sun, making soft vocalisations. (Definitely not in hunting mode....passerby poured out a bucket of birdseed near her tree which brought many birds and over a dozen squirrels...she took a quick glance and resumed preening.) She took off circling many times then heading directly for the nest. Both birds in the nest at 12:55pm...Lola remains on nest as Pale Male flies to a tree along 5th Avenue...plucks off a branch and in a very circuitous route, takes it to the nest. Interesting that although I knew Lola was in the nest...she is now often "invisible" (at least from the bench with 8X binocs) as she increasingly honkers down into the nest and is only observable when popping up to stand or sitting up...when she bends down she "disappears". Left park at 2:30...both birds off the nest.
There was nary a man nor beast in sight, just cold, blowing snow....
Tues, Mar 8 (3:25 - 4:15pm) Blizzard conditions, heavy, horizontal snow falling...very poor visibility: Nest looked empty until 3:45pm when I saw Lola's head pop up from nest. Next minute, Pale Male materializes and flies to the northeast upper roof of Dr. Fisher's and looks to be eating, and/or preparing food. He flies to Lola on nest and presents food (which could not be identified). He stays only a minute and then flies to Linda #1. Lola appears to be feeding. At 4:10pm Pale Male flies off Linda heading north along 5th Avenue treeline. Lola remains in nest. I leave park at 4:15pm. Believe Lola was in nest during all of my short 45 minutes viewing time.
Note from Ken: Monday March 7, 05
"If previous statistics hold true, the RedTail Hawks on Fifth Avenue should begin incubating eggs sometime this week. We will know that there is at least one egg (or more) when either adult stays in the nest over night. Today, at early twilight, while several hawk watchers were still there, PaleMale went to roost at the bottom of Pilgrim Hill. After all the other people had left, John Lattang and I saw Lola glide to another tree, higher on the same slope. Although it was almost too dark, I set up the telescope very near the spot for both of us to confirm that we could see her in the tree where she had chosen to sleep. Both adults hawks had a direct line of sight between each other and with the nest."
__ Kentaurian __
Nest Site Update Saturday March 5, 2005 Very frequent matings and lots of nest activity. Pale Male made an extremely lethal dive toward a flock of pigeons this evening but did not catch any. According to Marie they both roosted in the same tree near Cedar Hill late this evening.
Wed, Mar 2, 2005 (1:35pm - 5:15pm): Observed both Pale Male and Lola taking twigs from trees along Fifth Avenue and bringing them to the nest. Both made numerous visits to the nest with/without twigs. They mated twice on Linda #1 after which they sat close together on the window railing. Have noticed that the length of time at each mating, both yesterday and today, appears to be for a noticeably longer length of time.... to a 5-count....in contrast to all previous observed matings since their inception on Feb 12. No peregrine falcons sighted on today's watch.
Tuesday, March 1st - Around 3:45pm, as two Peregrine Falcons came into PaleMale's view, he flew off the Fisher building and circled over the Model Boat Pond. I was sitting in a quiet corner of the park, so I could see and hear PaleMale gently calling to Lola. She was on the Linda building, his call did not sound alarming but curiously reassuring. Contrary to the last time a Peregrine came by, she stayed still during the entire encounter.
PaleMale soared solo in circles. He was gliding north and they were flapping south. He seemed to present a languid defense as they all converged. His technic in this encounter with two Peregrines was very different than the last; I have seen him do this with a mob of Crows.
PaleMale presented himself as an easy target, he flew close enough to the Peregrines to get them to dive at him, even to the point of almost being hit. After a few scarey passes, PaleMale seemed to calculate their speed, angle and style. During the next several attacks, PaleMale spun, tumbled, turned and recovered at the last split second with deliberate intention. He was then directly behind and above the attacker, in a perfect position to counter punch but calmly awaited the second falcon's dive. Had these been Crows, I have seen him use this method to pick one off after another, up to 15 to 20 of them, smacked from the rear.
With the Peregrines, he let them take their best shot and because they kept missing him, he gained the upper hand. The Peregrine pair abandoned their attack and were sternly escorted further south by PaleMale. As they left his terrirory, he perched at 71st and Fifth to watch them go.
Ten minutes later, PaleMale flew back to Lola. She lowered her body to receive him and he landed on top of her. While mating, PaleMale's call sounded much louder, more clear and, to me, mirthfully tiumphant.
__ Kentaurian __
Tues, Mar 1 (2:30 - 5:05pm): Little action until 3:45 when Pale Male encountered one, and then two peregrine falcons above the nest. An intense aerial "dog-fight" went on for several minutes as the two falcons took turns diving at very high speed at Pale Male. Eventually, Pale drove them off but it was quite alarming for the hawk watchers standing helplessly by. I have usually seen Lola join in driving off attacking or intruding birds but she sat on Linda #3 facing toward the window. About 20 minutes later Pale Male joined her there and mated with her. Pale Male then flew to the nest and starting moving and checking the sticks and twigs. At 4:45 Pale Male flew to Lola at Linda #3 and mated again....they sat there side by side as I left the park at 5:05pm.
Nest Site Update Sunday February 27, 2005 Several matings sighted. Very brief nest visits and no aerial displays.
Nest Site Update Saturday February 26, 2005 Saw two matings this afternoon. Not a lot of nest activity but it is well populated with material. It was a beautiful, mild day in The Park.
Note from Ken:
Wednesday Feb 23, 2005 - As young and old visitors enjoyed looking through the scope at the new nest today, a Red-Tailed Hawk suddenly appeared diving straight toward us with it wings pulled in against its body - as the RedTail got about 20 ft away, a white bird came from behind us at maybe 10 ft over our heads - the RTH and the other bird almost collided 14 ft over the Model Boat Pond.
The large white bird veered sharply to the right as the RedTail, spread for an impact, feet forward, wings and tail very wide, recovered composure and flew back out of sight. The white bird was a Gull and the RedTail's dive did not look like a hunt but rather a defensive maneuver. We were all, stunned, happy and confounded.
Right after that both PaleMale and Lola were visible for a good while in today's very clear blue sky when a third raptor flew up Fifth Avenue, passing in front of the nest building. This intruder was about the size of a Crow, had sharply tappered wings, a tight narrow tail and rapid wing beats - it was a Peregrine Falcon! Within seconds it was surrounded - Lola high above to the right and PaleMale diving at it from the left - with each pass the RedTails preserved their own energy and made no direct contact but stayed on opposite sides of the Peregrine, flying at it, forcing it to evade them and eventually fly south again from where it came.
__ Kentaurian __
Nest Site Update Sunday/Monday February 20/21, 2005 Lots of mating on several buildings. The nest is very large; hundreds of branches and twigs woven into it. Every moment spent watching Pale Male & Lola is so precious. So wonderful to watch true freedom before me. So wonderful to see them use the earth and wind thoughfully and without waste. I bet the trees sees them coming and they cry 'Pick me! Pick me! I want to be part of your nest! I want to help provide you with all I have to see you prosper.' And even if the trees can't fly they must share in the freedom that Pale Male & Lola displays. Maybe that's why they sway so contentedly in the wind. Maybe that is why they make sure there are no leaves on their branches around this time--so every branch can get to see the beauty of the Red Tails.
Nest Site Update Saturday February 19, 2005 Beautiful day today, and though Pale Male and Lola were not constantly making themselves visible they were still very present making a trip to the nest here, and a perch on the buildings there. One mating episode on the 71st Street TV antenna brought a round of applause from all. Wonderful views of the Moon and Saturn closed the evening of viewing.
Nest Site Update Tuesday February 15, 2005 , "Pale Male and Lola (mat)ing at the Oreo building on 79th St and twice on top of Dr. Fisher's. They sat close together on Oreo and Lola was observed preening Pale Male around the head. They made several long, graceful aerial displays. At 5:15 Pale Male roosts in his favorite tree on Pilgrim Hill, looking a little pooped. The rare Mary Tyler Moore "bird" observed briefly at the Hawk Bench looking through Rik's telescope! Best overheard descriptions of the Gates: "laundry day at the Tibetan monastary" and "a car wash on steroids". Love it."
Nest Site Update Sunday February 13, 2005 Several matings observed. Even if it was a very sunny day, something was not right with the atmosphere which made it bad for photography. All my shots came out poor (that's my excuse anyway).
Nest Site Update Saturday February 12, 2005 FINALLY! At 1:45 PM Pale Male & Lola were seen mating on the TV antenna of The Oreo Building (at 79th Street). They were very active in the nest and elsewhere in the Park.