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February 2005

Palemale, Central Park February 5, 2005.

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.

Nest Site Update Friday February 11, 2005 A third hawk put on lots of ariel show 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 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 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 ariel show. Like clockwork, Pale Male went to roost in the very same spot as the last few nights.

If Christo knew how much more of Central Park this pair of wings can 'cover' he'd be embarrased to litter it with his saffron curtains... Pale Male Feb 5, 05

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.

Palemale, Central Park February 11, 2005.

Palemale, Central Park February 11, 2005.

Palemale, Central Park February 19, 2005.

Girl looking up at Palemale, Central Park February 19, 2005.