Amazing denoument on Central Park South
Photo by LINCOLN KARIM
35th floor of Trump Parc Hotel - 59th between 6th and 7th Aves.
Pale Male Jr. and Dark Lady with two newly hatched chicks
June 4, 2005
This year our story seemed to have an unhappy ending when Pale Male's newly reconstructed nest failed to produce chicks.And now, out of left field, an unexpectedly upbeat conclusion. A red-tailed hawk that so resembles Pale Male many of us firmly believe he is an offspring -- Pale Male Jr. he has been called-- has succeeded where the closely watched 5th Ave. pair had no young this year.
Today, in a second nesting attempt at the same spot this year, there are two chicks in Pale Male Jr.'s nest on the 35th floor of the Trump Parc Hotel, with one egg yet to hatch. The first egg hatched day before yesterday and the second yesterday.
From a higher location on a nearby building [more than 30 stories higher], an observer using a powerful telescope can see everything going on in the nest. This is something Pale Male's followers from the hawk bench at the Model-boat Pond have never been able to do, since there has never been access to a higher vantage point. Between 1995 and up to last year we could only see the Fifth Ave. chicks a week or ten days after they hatched, when they were large enough for their heads to be seen above the nest's twig wall. Now Pale Male Jr.'s nest is providing new opportunities for careful observation.
Mrs. PM Jr.,, a very dark-headed female poetically dubbed Dark Lady, can be seen tearing off tiny bits of meat from a previously brought-in bird [sparrow? starling?] and tenderly, ever-so-carefully placing them into the tiny chicks' gaping beaks. The chicks are still so small they can hardly hold their head up. Occasionally one will stretch up its tiny head and bobble it from side to side. They are covered with a yellowish fuzz. On occasion Dark Lady may be seen carefully turning the third egg,, gently nudging the two chicks into just the right position, and settling down to brood the egg, and the new chicks, at the same time.
Keep your fingers tightly crossed for these gallant creatures. The nest has been constructed atop the flat surface of a basin-like ornament on the building's facade. [See www.palemale.com for the image of the building and ornament. I can't seem to copy the photo here]. There are no spikes there to keep the twigs in place, and two previous nesting attempts on the same site ran a'cropper--the wind blew the twigs -- and eggs -- off . This time they have miraculously succeeded. Perhaps the nest is heavier now and the weight keeps the nest in place. What will happen when the chicks grow bigger and begin to hop around --- hard to imagine.
The indomitable Donna Brown set up the Swarovski scope at a Central Park vantage point a bit to the north-west of the Trump-Parc, and took down her usual detailed Field Notes. They appear in the posting below.