Saturday, February 05, 2005



DONNA BROWNE WRITES: In accordance with John Blakeman's request for data about Pale Male and Lola's various activities, I'm attempting to quantify and identify Red-tail prey in Central Park. Any sightings of Red-tail meals to be noted for time, location, prey, Red-tail ID if possible, and sent to

or for those without email to be noted in the Central Park Log Book, would be most appreciated.

Here's Donna Browne's very detailed report of day before yesterday's nest happenings. Note that on that day the sun set at 5:19 pm, so some of the activity she describes occurred under twilight conditions:


Very active day for the nest. Many twigs were gathered
and placed. Several instances of both birds on the
nest at the same time and Lola also ate on site.

By 3:10 Lola was sitting on the center light of the
Carlyle and Pale Male made trip after trip bringing
twigs. Upon bringing one multi branched twig to the
nest and working to adjust it for six minutes, Pale
Male took it in his beak once againm left the nest
circled, came back with the same twig and then placed
it. (?)

At 5:05 Lola left the Carlyle and perched on the
southern big square building. 5:06 Pale Male appears
from the SW with a twig. He takes it to the nest and
places it. Pale Male leaves the nest and perches on
the top corner of Linda. At 5:10 both birds leave for
the Ramble. The assumption was that the hawk day was
over. But at 5:18 Pale Male arrives with a twig from
the SW and places it on the nest. 5:21 Lola arrives
at the nest and arranges twigs. At 5:22 Pale Male
leaves and perchs on Linda 5. 5:30 Lola flies to a
Pin Oak just west of Pilgrim hill mound, east of the
transverse. She stays for a few minutes, many
squirrels are whining in the tree, there is a very
squeaky baby carriage on the sidewalk. Lola moves to
a different tree, still in the area but closer to the
Boat House where there is only one squirrel chattering
and running up the trunk within a few feet of her.
She ignores him.
By 5:45 Pale Male has taken up roost in the same Pin
Oak of the last few days.

Friday, February 04, 2005

From Lincoln Karim's website
The latest view of the growing nest, with Pale Male jumping to compress the twigs [My explanation].

At approximately 1:45PM today [2/3/05], Pale Male and Lola
worked together to chase another Red-tail away before
she reached the the mid-Model Boat Pond/nest site
area. Initially all three birds came from the South.
PM and Lola managed by a kind of herding technique to
turn the visitor west. PM then came from above the
visitor and struck at him. Lola flew north, perched
on Woody, and PM continued to chase the visitor west
towards the Ramble.

New roosting habit...
At 5:30 PM, Pale Male, as he did yesterday (at 5:15),
came from the Ramble to roost in one of the trees just
south of the east/west path by the Hawk bench and
adjacent to the circular path around the model boat
pond. Lincoln said that this is unusual as in the
past Pale Male only roosted this close to the site
when there were eyasses in the nest.

Best, Donna

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Super-Regulars

This photo by LINCOLN KARIM, taken on Groundhog Day, [six more weeks of winter!] clearly reveals how much progress these diligent hawks have made in the great task of nest rebuilding.

2/3/05 --The Super-Regulars

There is a small group of birdwatchers who come to the park often enough, in all seasons, to be called Regulars. I count myself in that group. But even these Central Park loyalists go off and do other things occasionally -- a trip to Colombia, or a few weeks at Point Reyes, or, speaking for myself, frequent spring and summer weekends at a small cabin in Putnam County.

I only know two Super-Regulars. They never seem to take off for exotic climes , and only on a rare occasion do they check out Jamaica Bay or other city parks. Mostly, these two unique gentlemen arrive in Central Park every single morning, always at 7 a.m., summer, winter, autumn, spring, except, of course, when the weather is too terrible for anyone with a modicum of sanity to venture out into,or when illness intervenes.

Anybody who has spent any time in the Central Park birding community knows who I'm talking about: Marty Sohmer and Jack Meyer. Every morning these super-Regulars check out the best birding spots, and then retire to the boathouse for a quick R&R. Then out again to check the late risers among the birds.

If you are out birding and run into Jack and Marty, they will point you in the direction of any interesting bird they've come across that morning; odds are their list includes more birds than yours. Moreover, when Jack comes home, usually by noon, he promptly sends an e-mail listing of the day's birds to the listserv called e-birds. In this way a great many people can get an idea of Central Park bird opportunities on any given day.

Here is a typical winter's list, when the park is down to its bare minimum, in numbers and species of birds: [That will begin to change by the end of this month.]

DATE: Thursday, 3 February 2005
LOCATION: Central Park
OBSERVERS: Marty Sohmer, Jack Meyer

Red-tailed Hawk (Pair on nest site with twigs 10.45 AM.)
Mourning Dove (Several, Evodia Field.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Feeders.)
Downy Woodpecker (Several, feeders.)
Hairy Woodpecker (Feeders.)
Blue Jay (Feeders.)
Black-capped Chickadee (Several.)
Tufted Titmouse (Several.)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Feeders.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Several.)
Brown Creeper (Feeders.)
Fox Sparrow (3, Evodia Field.)
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco (Several, Evodia Field.)
House Finch (Several, feeders.)
American Goldfinch (Many, feeders.)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005



taken on 2/1/05

Though Pale Male and Lola get most of the attention these days as they rebuild their Fifth Avenue nest, Central Park Regulars are well aware of a number of other Red-tailed Hawks regularly seen in the park. Pictured at the right is one of these, an immature redtail often seen in the vicinioty of the Azalea Pond and the Evodia Field bird-feeding station. How do we know it's immature? Not by size, obviously, since fledglings are the same size as their parents by the time they take their first flight. This bird reveals its immaturity by having yellow eyes rather than black eyes, and by the absence of a red tail. [Immature redtails are often referred to as browntails.]

This particular young bird has another odd feature. He has been seen eating suet at the feeding station. When Lloyd set up his tripod and took this picture, the hawk was on a nearby branch inching his way closer to the suet feeder . But since it was feeder-filling day, there were about twenty people gatherered at the feeders, watching the bird's activities. This may be why he never gave Lloyd the satisfaction of getting a shot of the hawk with his beak right in the suet. Instead, the hawk hopped onto the branch right next to the feeder for several minutes, perhaps hoping we would all go away. Finally he flew off.

Photo by LLOYD SPITALNIKAdvice for non-hot-shot birders:
[Lloyd, read no further!]

It's always a good idea to take a long, hard, second look at a sparrow you assume to be a Song Sparrow. It may turn out to be a Savannah Sparrow. This has happened to me on several occasions, and God knows how many times I simply called a Savannah Sparrow a Song Sparrow.

Here Lloyd has captured on film a magnificent Savannah Sparrow in the snow, near Willow Rock. Note the notched tail --one of the ways to distinguish this sparrow from a Song. The photo was taken on 1/29/05.

[It's clear that Sibley is mainly intended for hot-shots. He doesn't even mention the possibility of mistaking a Savannah for a Song. Peterson emphasizes this possibility.]