Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Donna's Hawkwatching Prep #5

Dr. Fisher's [below]-- closeup of terraces [right]

Just south of the nest building, 927 Fifth Avenue, to your right, is the building we call Dr. Fisher. Named for the gentleman hawk watcher who lived there. See the three large center terraces with the black railings, seemingly one on top of the other mid-building? Dr. Fisher's was the third one down. Many of the grand close up photographs that people have seen were taken from that terrace.

And just why is that THE place for photos? Why couldn't you get good shots from the other terraces? After all they are higher. Look carefully at the close up. The top two terraces are inset, the nest can't be seen from them. Only from Dr. Fisher's terrace is the nest visible from anywhere on that building.

Why can't we see when the eggs are laid, and how many there are, and when they hatch, and all those other tantalizing bits of information that we never seem to have? Because Dr. Fisher's terrace is just slightly too low to see into the bowl of the nest, that's why. Pale Male is no dummy. He's chosen a very private site.

And how is The Dr. Fisher Building used by the hawks? They use it for just about everything at one time or another. There's copulation on the water tower cover. It's good for circling above and gaining altitude. And just look at all those perching possibilities with the numerous railings. I also understand Pale Male's newly fledged youngsters have been known to spend a good bit of time on Fisher when they first come from the nest, as well.

I can hear the question forming as it's sometimes asked by visitors to the Hawk Bench. "You said, that the buildings were named for a descriptive element so it would be easy for people to find the hawks. How does naming it Dr. Fisher fit in?"

To the original hawk watchers, it is perfectly descriptive. That is where a friend lived.

And for the rest of us, it's a legacy of remembrance for a kind man and enthusiastic hawk watcher who no longer watches from The Bench.