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Palemale is relieved from nest sitting as Lima (Mate #5) takes over and appears to be sitting on an egg laid by Paula who disappeared on March 25th.

This new female which I believe is the same one which showed up after Lola disappeared last December who I will now call Lima (for number five) has now begun the mating ritual with Palemale.

Photographed in Central Park and neighborhood on Friday March 25, 2011.

As if Palemale’s life was not complex enough, on Friday March 25th it became even more puzzling.

A new female showed up and Paula has disappeared. This new female resembles the one which Palemale was courting last December after Lola disappeared.

It is very likely that the newest female on March 25th is Mate #5 (Lima) who had a 6 week relationship with Palemale from early December to the end of January, and then disappeared. She was followed by Mate #6 (Paula) who stayed with Palemale for almost two months from late January to late March. Paula and Palemale mated intensively from February 20th until March 24th where on that night she displayed behavior of having laid her first egg. She spent the night of March 24th on her nest suggesting that there was indeed an egg laid.
The very next day my observation began in the early afternoon where I found that Mate #5 (Lima) had taken over the nest and both Palemale and she were behaving like there was indeed an egg in the nest and though Paula was not present Lima sat on the nest just like it was her own. Palemale & Lima hardly left the nest unattended and both hawks were involved in courtship behavior when not on the nest.
Lima remained sitting on the nest until very late Friday evening, but she finally flew over to Palemale’s roosting tree where before actually seeing it I heard the unmistakable sound of mating. They both slept together in the same tree that night (March 25th).

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