Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Tues, Mar 8 (3:25 - 4:15pm) Blizzard conditions, heavy, horizontal snow falling...very poor visibility: Nest looked empty until 3:45pm when I saw Lola's head pop up from nest. Next minute, Pale Male materializes and flies to the northeast upper roof of Dr. Fisher's and looks to be eating, and/or preparing food. He flies to Lola on nest and presents food (which could not be identified). He stays only a minute and then flies to Linda #1. Lola appears to be feeding. At 4:10pm Pale Male flies off Linda heading north along 5th Avenue treeline. Lola remains in nest. I leave park at 4:15pm. Believe Lola was in nest during all of my short 45 minutes viewing time.

Katherine H

This bird is an Eastern Phoebe, a member of the flycatcher family.

MARCH 13 is the day it often ARRIVES IN CENTRAL PARK, heralding the real beginning of the SPRING MIGRATION!!!

[Re: sexual nomenclature
Blakeman on Incubation -- see below]

Jack Meyer writes:

Re terms for sexual activity, I don't know if it really applies to the
very brief on-off action of the hawks, but I've always liked the word copulation for it's
up-down-up-down meter.
In-out, in-out?


Eleanor Macdonald writes:

Dear Marie, If you are a fan of Anthony Trollope you may have seen his reference to passionate contact between humans. I can't remember which book it was in; however, I am certain that he used the phrase "a ruffling of the feathers." Obviously, he had adopted this euphemism from his observation of birds. In Victorian days this was as far as he could go. This bit of trivia probably will be of no help in your postings about Pale Male and Lola since it is quite a mouthful. And if you said the hawks were observed ruffling it would puzzle more people than it would enlighten. As a lover of Trollope I couldn't resist putting in my two cents. My favorite Trollope is "The American Senator", a hilariously funny book with a fabulously drawn mercenary heroine named Arabella Trefoil.

Referring to a quote from John Blakeman, Karen Ann Kolling observes wryly:

"There may be some discomfort involved in creating and passing an egg through her reproductive organs."

Only a man could write that...

Monday, March 07, 2005




3:59PM Pale Male sitting on right side of nest , Lola standing
left, in nest.

4:00PM Pale Male stands and lifts rat from nest.
(Kenturian reported the rat had been presented to Lola
earlier in the day) Pale Male continues to stand with
rat in beak near Lola, she doesn't respond.

4:03PM Pale Male turns to nest right and prepares rat
by removing viscera(thank you Kenturian for this
observation). Lola watches Pale Male.

4:29PM Pale Male flies off nest and perches on Linda 1
Lola consumes prepared rat
4:54PM Lola leaves nest and perches left of Pale Male,
facing the window.

5:01PM Copulation, 7 seconds, Pale Male preens; both
remain positioned on Linda 1

5:39PM Copulation occurs. As many have noted on
Lincoln's monitor, Pale Male's beak opens and closes
during copulation. I had changed position from the
Hawk Bench to near the Central Park stone wall
adjacent to 5th Ave. so was able to hear Pale Male
during copulation. The sound is a short repeated
staccato, keee, keee, keee, keee.
Pale Male preens.

5:46PM Pale Male flies north.

5:48PM With Marie Winn to check former roost tree
north and west between path and transverse before next
arch north of Trefoil Arch.

6:10PM Pale Male discovered in his Pin Oak at foot of
Pilgrim Hill...preening.

6:24PM Lola discovered in her tree further up slope
towards transverse south and west...preening.

Both roost trees aligned with sight lines to nest.

High Temp- 63F
Submitted:Donna Browne



Everybody at the hawk bench is getting excited. Something momentous seems about to happen.

Thing have been going superbly from the day the spikes were restored to the nest site last December 23rd . Ever since, the hawk pair has been diligently bringing in twigs, arranging them, weaving them into a sturdy frame, bringing in more twigs, fresh greenery, and, finally, bringing in finer lining material to provide a warm, cozy, draft-free basasinet-of-sorts for the eggs to develop in.

During the last few weeks, Pale Male and Lola have been putting on a well attended and most inspiring sex show on practically every Fifth Avenue rooftop, TV antenna, chimney and water-tower between 79th St. and 72nd Street. Inspiring? Yes, I'd say inspiring for those who haven't been having much success in that department. The message the hawks deliver to those who pay attention: always bring a desirable gift to the object of your affections if you want to weaken her defenses.

I'll be specific It has been observed that every sex act of the Fifth Avenue hawks follows a similar pattern: Pale Male delivers a gift -- usually a rat or pigeon or a part therof to his mate. She inspects it intently and then takes off with it to a nearby balcony or rooftop or other perch. Sometimes she stashes it away somewhere in the vicinity of that perch, and then returns to it. Within a short time Pale Male arrives at her perching spot, descends, and the sex act occurs, lasting anywhere from three to seven seconds. As we observe them in Lincoln's super-powerful telescope, we can sometimes see the male hawk's beak moving during the act, as if he is communicating something. Your guess is as good as mine what it is, but in any event he is not a silent lover. After he hops off, they often continue to sit there companionably for some minutes. Does she eventually share her tidbit with her mate? Or has he already eaten his share before delivering it to her? Only John Blakeman knows for sure.

[I seem to have avoided the "C" word this time. But on the other hand, I didn't call it "mating" either. If you're reading this page for the first time, go back and read the debate on sex nomenclature]

The present excitement comes from our eager anticipation of the next phase of the breeding process: egg-laying and incubation. It is known that the completion of the nest releases some sort of egg-laying "urge" among most birds. The nest is nearing completion. Hence our excitement.

A female about to lay eggs is called "gravid" But we at the hawk bench have come up with a better term for her: She is "eggnant". Is Lola eggnant yet? John Blakeman, who has illuminated so many aspects of Red-tailed Hawk physiology, psychology and perhaps a few other -ologies, [certainly hawk sociology!] , writes some paragraphs below on that subject:


"If the Hawk Bench folks watch carefully, they will be
able to see when incubation begins in earnest. The
parents, especially the female, will first sit
with a slight elevation. Then, when she decides to attend
solely to incubation, she simply melts down into
the nest, showing a markedly lower profile. When you see
this, incubation is underway.

Also, a close reading of Lola's physical deportment at
the nest site can reveal that an egg is descending
through her single fallopian tube. In the day or hours
before laying, the female will often just stand at
the nest edge, or on a perch nearby, with an almost
glazed look in her eye. There may be some discomfort
involved in creating and passing an egg through her reproductive organs. I recall seeing this. The
female expressed a restrained, almost contorted
deportment that I've never seen since. She even walked
strangely around the nest rim, almost in the manner of a
duck. She didn't seem to want to pick up her feet.

All of that should be in another week or more."

For that small number of you that doesn't also look at Lincoln's web site every day, here is

Pale Male's age ~14 yrs

Lola's age ~ 7 yrs

Clutches to date 10

Chicks hatched 26

Sucessful fledges 23 [88.5%]

Mortality 3 [11.5%]

****************Chicks**** Reign
Mate #1 First Love**0******* 1991-1992
Mate #2 Chocolate** 3****** 1993-1995
Mate #1 First Love ***5***** 1996-1997
Mate #3 Blue ********11**** 1997-200
Mate #4 Lola *********7***** 1998- present