Friday, February 25, 2005

Devoted in New Mexico

Hi Marie,
I was so taken by today's picture of Pale Male, I wrote to Lincoln also to share my feelings. To me this shot expresses the quintessential "otherness" of all birds, but especially hawks. P.M. is all hawk here: the picture is the essence of everything John Blakeman has been trying to get us to understand about hawks. They really are "other," not mammalian at all.

Linda Most

Photo by [who else?} LINCOLN KARIM

2/25/05 -- Last night I received a frantic e-mail from a reader in New Mexico, who had seen this close-up photo of Pale Male's beak on Lincoln's website Here is her letter, which came with the subject line "SOMETHING IS STUCK IN PALE MALE'S BEAK", followed by Lincoln's answer to her query.

Dear Marie,

Lincoln's picture of Pale Male today (dated Feb. 19th, 05) shows that there seems to be a metal piece of jewelry or a fish hook or something lodged in Pale Male's beak and it even seems to have split the beak up to the top of his nose. I also noticed this in the picture from Lincoln a couple of days ago. I'm concerned.

Devoted in New Mexico

Here is Lincoln's reply, that arrived by e-mail a few minutes after I sent it. I sent the reply along to "Devoted" right away. Hope she feel's better!

No, it's parts of pigeon (food) stuck to his beak...Lincoln

2/25/05 --- A reader of this web site, Marilyn Fifer, sent John Blakeman some reports about various recent raptor matters, among them, the red-footed falcon appearance on Martha's Vinyard last summer, the Bald Eagle re-introduction effort at Inwood Park last year, and an incident of red-tail-peregrine-falcon interaction and predation. He sent me a copy of his response to her. It is below:


I'm familiar with the red-footed falcon incident on Martha's vineyard. Just plainly weird -- including the inordinate efforts of "listers" to try and count the specimen. Amazing what storm winds blow in.

I was not aware of the NYC bald eagle restoration project. The population of BEs is exploding everywhere. We have over a 100 nests and over 300 bald eagles in Ohio. What's been discovered as the limiting factor, one that may keep the birds from nesting on or near Manhattan, is the availability of large nest trees. If those aren't there, the birds simply can't and won't nest.

They will, however, become remarkably tolerant of human disturbance. We had a pair here nest in someone's back yard, produced three eaglets, all of which dropped down on to the backyard trampoline and began jumping up and down on it. We have photos to prove.

And any peregrine that wants to kill a red-tail, probably can, if the hawk is struck up in the air. The peregrine moves like a powerful fighter plane. The red-tail like a muscular bomber. But a red-tail will absolutely attempt to steal a falcon eyass on the nest. Easy pickings if the parent falcons aren't around to defend.

Thanks much.


John A. Blakeman