Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Do our hawks hunt early? Blakeman still demurs, but another piece of evidence surfaces

Though Kelley [in yesterday's post] observed Pale Male Junior leaving his night perch at 5:18 a.m., in today's message, below, John Blakeman sticks to his guns about redtails' morning activities, or lack thereof.. But another piece of evidence contradicts our Ohio expert's considered opinion. It follows Blakeman's letter.

Marie and Kelley,
As so often in the past, the Central Park red-tails have made me the fool again.
5:18 am!? No self-respecting rural hawk has done any more than ruffle its feathers at that hour.
I'll concede the hawk's early morning flight, as it was well-observed by Kelley. But what did the bird do once it flew over into the park? I'm betting that it took up a typical red-tail perch within the upper branches and foliage of a tree, and once there went about its leisurely preparations for a normal day's activities. I seriously doubt it went over there in pursuit of any pigeons or rats. It probably parked itself on a limb and casually lifted a spare leg into its belly feathers and passed the time at ease until mid-morning.
. . .

Kelley, I thank you for getting up so early and recording red-tail activities at such an obscure hour. Valuable information. Was this a one-time event, or does the hawk perch on a building each evening and then quietly scoot over to a tree in the park each morning? Could be. Keep us posted, all. The hawks flying around in the park aren't dice in a roulette wheel. Nothing with them is just chance or random, even at 5:18 in the morning.


John A. Blakeman

And here's the contradictory evidence to suggest that Junior and Charlotte are not spending their early mornings preening: an e-mail from hawkwatcher Irene Payne, who lives near the Trump Parc nest.

... I did start getting up early since the eyasses fledged to see if I could see where the feeding was taking place. I started Saturday - 7/23 - trying to start at 5:30. At 6:10am.Junior was soaring around - actually right over my head with a rat in his talons. At 6:12 Charlotte joined him for a fly around. A minute or two later they disappeared for me towards the nest site. I never saw what happened to that rat. The next thing I saw was Charlotte flying to the CNN sign at 7:25 a.m.