DEP/DEC Letters

Please call the following people and ask them why they turned their backs on Palemale & Lola's failing nest.

Barbara Loucks: 518 402-8863
Peter Nye (Barbara’s supervisor): 518-402-8924.
Christopher Nadereski: (914) 773-4472

Click here to read about my frustrating communication with them...


Thank you so much for trying to help Palemale and Lola. I probably should not express this, but I am beginning to wonder if perhaps these people in the DEC are not in "bed" with the rich jerks at 927 nest. It seems to me that this nest may have been purposely constructed so that the hawks would fail and move on. I expressed this thought to Marie Winn back in the fall and was told that this was not the case, but now I have read what is hinted at that the nest may have failed because of poor construction. BUt without the egg retrieval and examination in a timely manor we will not know if the eggs were fertile or not. Sounds like these people at the DEC do not want it known whether the eggs failed or the nest did, as I am sure the Coop people also do not.

THanks Kathy G. ______________________________________________________

Mr. Karim -

I started here as Executive Director in late January, and was hopeful that Pale Male and Lola, as ambassadors of NYC's Red-tailed Hawk population, would have a successful brood this year. I was as disappointed as you when their nest failed for the third time, and I agree that it is quite possible, perhaps even likely, that the failures are a result of the nest structure designed by Dan Ionescu based on observations from a large number of experts, including John Blakeman.

I hope that we will be able to get the owners of the building to consent to some modification of the nest structure. I understand from Marie Winn that Mr. Blakeman has a proposal that should be do-able.

I hope that in the future, if you ever have any concerns about what NYC Audubon is doing that you will contact me directly.


Glenn Phillips Executive Director New York City Audubon 71 West 23rd Street, Room 1523 New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 691-7483 Fax: (212) 924-3870 Cell:(917) 806-7814

Dear Mr. Vanyo -

I started here as Executive Director in late January, and was hopeful that Pale Male and Lola, as ambassadors of NYC's Red-tailed Hawk population, would have a successful brood this year. I was as disappointed as you when their nest failed for the third time, and I agree that it is quite possible that the failures are a result of the nest structure designed by Dan Ionescu based on observations from a large number of experts, including John Blakeman.

It is absolutely my intention to ask the building owners to make modifications to the nest structure before the next nesting season, and I welcome your suggestions for appropriate modification.

That said, the results of our City-wide raptor survey show that Red-tailed Hawks are doing quite well overall in the City, with over 20 nesting pairs, some of whom are undoubtedly Pale Male's offspring.

Glenn Phillips Executive Director New York City Audubon 71 West 23rd Street, Room 1523 New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 691-7483 Fax: (212) 924-3870


Dearest Lincoln,

Even though I spelled my own name incorrectly (I assume it was because I am SO ANGRY !!!!) I wanted you to see that I am on board and sharing in your frustration with yet another disappointing let down from the "human beings ( ?) " who should care. I wish there was more I could do to help, though I will do my best to contact the 3 heartless individuals who have turned their back on our beloved pair. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help our cause and know that we wholeheartedly support your efforts.

With love for Pale Male and Lola, all nature and you, sweet man Lincoln.

Franceen and Lou Ferrara


Thank you for contacting the City of New York. Your message has been forwarded to the appropriate agency for review and handling.

For future reference, your service request number is 1-1-323656310.

Sincerely, The City of New York ______________________________________________________

I will definitely call the people on your website regarding the nest construction (Problem with).... These people seem to work best "under pressure" .... unfortunately. Perhaps they will be surprised (once again) by how many people care about Palemale and Lola (worldwide).

Hopefully the press will eventually become involved...This is when they act the fastest!

Thanks for posting the phone numbers.

Fondly, Dee ______________________________________________________

Commissioner Pete Grannis:

I have been following the story of Pale Male and Lola since 2002. I lived in NY until 2004 and relocated to central Florida in 2004.

I have read the responses by Barbara Louchs and Peter Nye, of your offices, to the requests for an analysis of Pale Male and Lola unhatched eggs and I simply find them to be appalling. When the nest was initially removed and destroyed, the firestorm that erupted from around the world and the media coverage was amazing. Now, since the “structure” that was created to hold their nest has resulted in unhatched eggs by these two beautiful creatures, why won’t your offices take the necessary investigative steps to follow through to determine the cause of the problem? To be told that the only reason your offices got involved was due to the immense public pressure is absurd. Does being on the cover of the NY Post and the Daily News prompt action from your office? How about having a conscience?

If your offices find that red tailed hawks are not important enough to devote the department’s time, how about offering a helpful suggestion instead of lying and being rude to “the little people” of the world that actually take the time to care about the few and amazing wildlife species that have taken up residency in what I consider to be the greatest city on earth - New York City.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to care.

Very truly yours,

Sandy S.


Last year I wrote to you about the problem with Pale Male and Lola's nest. Some background info: I'm a member of the NJ Audubon (and an engineer) and noticed a problem with the nest support that you made for the nest. Talking to fellow members in NJ, we agreed that the most likely cause of the eggs not developing past the early stage is the lack of incubation since there was no evidence of chemical contamination or deformity of the fetus. The support on which the nest sits has the shape that could cause a venturi effect and accelerate the air flow under the nest. If this happens, the eggs will cool from the bottom and no amount of incubation by the birds will help. The old support rested on the concrete and prevented this effect. Another clue can be found in the birds themselves. They tried to add a significant layer of nesting material after the eggs were laid which to my knowledge is not normal behavior. They seemed to realize the problem too late.

Last year you kind of blew me off stating that they build nests on tree branches with open bottoms. Unfortunately, that is not an entirely true statement. They build the nest usually in a branch Y with the bottom supported. Even if there is an exposed portion of the nest, the tree branch blocks the wind. It's not like your nest support which channels the wind and makes the wind stronger. I didn't really appreciate your close minded approach to an apparent problem.

This year (for the third time), the same exact problem occurred with the same behavior. I was hoping that they would move their nest site but I guess that they are stubborn. As suggested last year, you can remedy the air flow problem by attaching something below the rack to block the wind such as hard plastic sheeting. leave enough room to allow water drainage or you will swamp the birds when it rains.

From a concerned member.



Thank you so much for your efforts on behalf of Pale Male and Lola! I love looking at your pictures--not only of Pale Male and Lola, but of the variety of wildlife that abounds in Central Park. I have also thoroughly enjoyed watching through your eyes the various red tailed hawk chicks grow up.

I have to admit, however, that I read your appeal with mixed emotion. Having volunteered at a wildlife conservation center--and participated in environmental education initiatives--for several years, I understand how limited the budget and staff can be at organizations such as the DEC. The wonderful news is that red tailed hawks are not endangered right now--and so it is natural that the DEC would want to expend its time and efforts in other directions. Another facet of this discussions is the idea of encouraging red tailed hawks to nest in such close proximity to humans. Most of the cases at the wildlife rehabilitation center are the result of animal/human conflict (for example, raptors that have been hit by cars). Humans are not directly trying to harm the animals (at least not most of the time), and the animals don't realize that someone's backyard is now "our" territory and not "theirs." However, as animals lose more and more habitat, these conflicts will grow even more pronounced.

That being said, I do think you can approach the subject of Pale Male and Lola from a conservation education standpoint. These birds have captured the attention--and hearts--of people around the world. They have a connection to these raptors that makes it a little easier to put a face on conservation, so to speak. It would also be a great public relations thing for the DEC to be seen helping these birds. Perhaps that would be a nice way to spin your request?

Then again, there are probably knowledgable parties--animal rehabilitators, or wildlife vets, for example--who might be willing to donate their time if the DEC is unwilling (or unable) to give theirs. Could someone else besides the three people listed on your website get permission to take a look at the nest in time for next year?

Anyhow, thanks again for all your time and effort. I really appreciate it, although I realize it must be exhausting.

All the best, Kerri P.


I was among the hundreds of thousands of people who wrote, phoned, and worked for weeks to restore the nest of the "Fifth Avenue Hawks". I also sent donations to the NYC Audubon, and the Central Park Fund. These animals are world famous....and the astonishing insensitivity shown by your failure to test their eggs, is shocking and appalling.

They are not "just Red Tail Hawks"...they are a symbol to the world. How could you? Did you miss the massive public outcry?



I just sent the following letter to the commissioner of the Dept of Environmental Conservation. I just wanted to share it with you. I also want to let you know that, as a former State employee, that if you can get more people to flood his office with complaints it will have an effect. I've seen it happen over and over in the years I was working for the state... the commisioners hate controversy and will do anything to keep it from happening. A flood of letters will help a lot. I am also going to write a hard copy letter to Gov Spitzer about it and I'm going to let the local TV stations know about it too. It can't hurt and might help.

Sue Hobert ------ The letter to Granis:

This is a complaint about your employees Barbara Loucks and her boss Peter Nye. After making promises that they would help protect the Red Tailed Hawks in New York City, known as Pale Male and Lola, they are backing down now and failing to follow through on their promises. Peter Nye has said outright that the only reason they got involved in the Pale Male situation in the first place was because of public pressure and that they are not going to "waste" any more time on them because they are just a couple of birds. You may not think that the Red Tailed Hawks in New York City are important enought to deserve any thought or action on your parts but I want to tell you that they are important to a good number of people. There are people from all around the world who are following the lives of these 2 hawks and we are all concerned about them and their welfare. As public servants you should be ashamed of yourselves for just discarding these birds and their lives as easily as you appear to be doing. I am a resident of New York State and I want to tell you that I am totally unimpressed by you and Encon and I am ashamed of the face you are showing to those of us who care all around the world. All the money and time spent on the "I love NY" campaign to attract tourists and business is a waste if people like you continue to show such a cold, callous attitude to the whole world. I can assure you that people will remember the impression you are leaving far longer than the impression the "I love NY" campaign is trying to leave. My next letter is to Governor Spitzer about your horrid attitude toward our hawks and about how this is leaving such a bad impression of NY to those who care around the world.

Susan H. ______________________________________________________