Wednesday, March 02, 2005


3/2/05 -- 7-9 a.m. Seen by the Early Birders -- Highlights:

Woodcock - in the Oven
Savannah Sparrow, near Azalea Pond
Cedar Waxwing flock
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Fox Sparrow
Hairy Woodpecker


Tuesday, March 1st - Around 3:45pm, as two Peregrine Falcons came into
PaleMale's view, he flew off the Fisher building and circled over the Model Boat
Pond. I was sitting in a quiet corner of the park, so I could see and hear
PaleMale gently calling to Lola. She was on the Linda building, his call did not
sound alarming but curiously reassuring. Contrary to the last time a Peregrine
came by, she stayed still during the entire encounter.

PaleMale soared solo in circles. He was gliding north and they were flapping
south. He seemed to present a languid defense as they all converged. His
technic in this encounter with two Peregrines was very different than the last; I
have seen him do this with a mob of Crows.

PaleMale presented himself as an easy target, he flew close enough to the
Peregrines to get them to dive at him, even to the point of almost being hit.
After a few scarey passes, PaleMale seemed to calculate their speed, angle and
style. During the next several attacks, PaleMale spun, tumbled, turned and
recovered at the last split second with deliberate intention. He was then directly
behind and above the attacker, in a perfect position to counter punch but
calmly awaited the second falcon's dive. Had these been Crows, I have seen him use
this method to pick one off after another, up to 15 to 20 of them, smacked
from the rear.

With the Peregrines, he let them take their best shot and because they kept
missing him, he gained the upper hand. The Peregrine pair abandoned their
attack and were sternly escorted further south by PaleMale. As they left his
terrirory, he perched at 71st and Fifth to watch them go.

Ten minutes later, PaleMale flew back to Lola. She lowered her body to
receive him and he landed on top of her. While mating, PaleMale's call sounded much
louder, more clear and, to me, mirthfully tiumphant.

__ Kentaurian __