Charlotte perched on the top (left) of the new sign at Columbus Circle which recently replaced the 'BIOGRAPHY' sign.
Sunday Aug 7, 05.
All the dead leaves on the ground appear to light up when these hawks land near them - Sun Aug 7, 05.
After much calculations and deep concentration, the big girl jumped from her perch and attacked. She never faltered in her tight grasp as she held on and covered her victim with her huge wings--the small twig on the ground never had a chance for escape - Sunday August 7, 05
Big Girl takes a short nap. Even if the two chicks spent a lot of time together near Pine Bank Bridge today, for whatever reason, the little boy swapped places with his sister around noon and in the evening for several hours. Careful examination of the head marks showed that the big girl (seen above) spent a lot of time on the west side of the fence while the little boy explored her neck of the woods. They both went to bed near Pine Bank (east of the fence) at dusk.
Both babies playing near the Pine Bank Bridge today - Sunday August 7, 2005.
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Today I told little Maggie that I would like her to name the two baby hawks. She appeared delighted with her assignment as she scooted up the path ahead of her dad. I cannot think of a better godmother for these two creatures and I look forward to hearing what her pure innocent heart conjures up for the two hardy little stinkers.
Pale Male & Lola Update
Pale Male Jr. Update
Little Boy made two fruitless attempts to catch a rat on the west side of the arch this evening, resting each time on the top of the balcony and attracting a huge audience every time - Sat Aug 6, 05.
Even if each has settled (mostly) to opposite sides on the arch (I'll lookup the correct name soon), they certainly know where each other is and visits several times a day. Here they spend some time together playing and horsing around on a very small branch near Pine Bank Bridge - Sat Aug 6, 05.
Not sure which this is--may be the big girl - Sat Aug 6, 05.
All nine ducklings still growing beautifully - Sat Aug 6, 05
They both jumped to this thicker limb after to continue their playing - Sat Aug 6, 05
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Pale Male & Lola Update
Pale Male Jr. Update
Friday August 5, 05:
Big girl sits on the fence near Pine Bank Bridge. She came down and played with a stick for a while then flew over to her little brother and perched in the same tree with him for a while. The rain threatened and she went back to her side of the fence. All is well at Columbus Circle.
Also, the rat was gone when I got there at 5:30 PM today.
On his two month birthday August 4, 2005, he caught his first (witnessed) prey all by himself. Chances are the rat I saw him eating yesterday was also caught by himself. Today around 7:48 PM, he flew down from a reasonably high perch close to the west wall at 61st Street and sailed over to the bottom of the arch and cornered a large rat on the ground. This behavior in my experience is remarkably adult. To be able to use the wall as a block, and it's wide spread wings as an umbrella the rat struggled for about two minutes. When it was dead the baby hawk left it in plain sight and returned to his prior perch where he fell asleep for the night.
Recently one of the things I look forward to most on my daily visits to the Columbus Circle hawk watching area, is seeing little five year old Maggie stroll by with her dad or mom. Maggie is a big fan of all the animals especially the hawks. She became an even bigger pal of mine when she told me that she thinks all animals should be free and she does not like to see the horses pulling the carriages.
On Tuesday evening, she passed by when I was up on the arch next to the West Drive and she called out to me from down the hill. She could not stick around that evening so I could only wave to her and then I watched her mosey up the walkway always stopping to say hi to a squirrel or to pick up a leaf along the way.
Yesterday she had time to spare, so she stopped by the freshly painted benches that had their backs to the little boy hawk who after swallowing his rat settled onto a firm limb high up on a sycamore tree and took a little daytime snooze. She had a little difficulty seeing through someone’s binoculars;
“All I see is a black thing!” she said with a disappointed tone. I gave her my own binoculars and she had the same experience. I then looked at her two little round eyes that were set perfectly on her small sweet face, and I squeezed the lenses of the binoculars as close as they would go, to match the spacing between the two bright hazel pools that looked up at me.
“Now I see him!” she declared with delight.
She glued her eyes to the snoozing little stinker high up in the sycamore tree and all I could see was the corner of her smile leaking out from under the binoculars. She told me she bought a small album to put all the pictures I gave her and was happy to receive another I had of the two new baby hawks when they were seven days old.
“I know a little girl who has to go home and have a bath and some dinner right now,” said her father. Maggie looked to her left and then to her right and didn’t appear to see any such little girl. She took another look at the sleeping baby hawk and soon after shook my hand and promised to stop by again the next day.
I stayed on the bench late into the evening and watched the baby hawk settle into another tree close by where it huddled into itself for its real sleep for the night. I leaned back and watched the light fade from its body until its outline became one with the leaves and even longer until the leaves were barely visible.
I walked out onto the plaza at Columbus Circle and looked up at the new big red CNN sign with its video display so bright that it blasted all the trees in the park. I looked over to my right as I endured the weight of all my gear on my back and watched the massive Time-Warner center—it’s top floors disappeared into the hot summer sky. I imagined that on the entire building there wasn’t the smallest ledge for a pigeon to take shelter for the night. A pristine building like that may not have a single living animal in it except for the live ones they keep fresh for someone’s dinner or maybe a fancy pet if they’re allowed. I felt so happy that there still existed a place like Central Park in Manhattan where a wild animal could still find a place to eat and sleep and shade their eyes with real leaves from a real tree from bright rude lights like the CNN sign.
As I walked further away from the park and its beautiful trees and animals on my way home, I weaved my way through a sea of people. I searched their faces to see if any had the slightest bit of beauty like the kind I saw on Maggie’s face. However, most of the faces I saw were obscured by thick veils of cigarette smoke, their ears were disconnected from the world with plugs connected with wires and their eyes squinted as they were compelled to stare at bright red advertising signs. After crossing 59th Street I was forced to slow my pace because there were two heavily overweight police officers in from of me. Their weapons and paraphernalia hung waywardly around their bulging waists and a cigarette glowed from one of their hands. At 58th Street a tattered man hoisted an enormous boom box on his shoulder after adjusting the volume at its loudest then he leisurely strolled down Broadway. A big black SUV raced by and drowned the boom box with its own blasting music. At 57th Street a pack of motorcyclists blared across the intersection and generated enough noise to silence everything else around. I searched the ledges over the pharmacy to see if I could see one pigeon or a single sparrow still stirring so that I could be assured there was at least a rational life form within the reach of my eye.
Closer to my block I found one pigeon asleep on a scaffold near 56th Street. His feathers were grimy and I’m sure it’s stomach cringed with hunger but it still managed to find a place to fall into a peaceful sleep for the night.
Having not been able to find a single savory face amongst the vagrant alcoholics, nicotine addicts, schemers, pick-pocketers, mindless wanderers, louts and hoodlums, I steered my thoughts over to Maggie.
I imagined her freshly bathed and dined, and tucked into bed dressed in an outrageously adorable nightgown after she meticulously placed her new picture into her album and having discussed the agenda for tomorrow’s visit to the park with both Mom & Dad. I am sure she fell asleep in perfect tune with the baby hawks in the trees and all the baby animals that spring has blessed this cold hard city with this year.
Deep inside of Pale Male & Lola and every squirrel and raccoon and moth and sparrow and frog of Central Park, new babies are stirring and yearning to be born. They are anxious because the Universe is telling them that people like Maggie, and Yuma, and Alex, and John, and Ford, and Madeline, and Noelle, and so many other blessed kids, will all be around to welcome them into the world.
The Little Boy about an hour before catching the rat.
The Big Girl seen here behind the tall fence just east of her brother. This morning they were both seen together behind the fence. I assume the little boy feels that the hunting is good on the west side so he returned to his favorite trees.
Charlotte seen here on top of the 'X' on The Essex House.
This is the rat the little boy left. I can only guess he'll eat it when he wakes up in the morning.