Friday, February 17, 2006

What's with Junior and Charlotte

Photo by Bruce Yolton
One of the Trump-Parc pair --2005

The south-end hawkwatchers haven't really convened as regular monitors of that nest. It's too early. I expect that reports will begin to come in regularly once the hawks themselves regularize--that is, in a few weeks, when incubation, we hope, will have begun.

In the meanwhile I've received news via that impeccable source, the grapevine. It seems that Veronica, who can see into the nest from her apartment and inspects it briefly every morning before she goes to work, says that nest-building has definitely begun. And, according to the same reliable, twining source, Veronica has seen Junior and Charlotte copulating at least once.

Just as I was about to post the brief report above, an e-mail with detailed information about the Trump-Parc pair arrived from Ben Cacace. He has been monitoring Pale Male Junior and his various nesting attempts for many years.. In yesterday's posting here I noted that many serious birders don't like to refer to any of our closely-watched hawks [even Pale Male] by name. Ben is one of them, as he explains below:


[Today, 2/16/06] I was in the park for the first time after work for a half hour of birding. I spotted the Trump Parc pair. Here's a synopsis of what I saw. You know how much I prefer to keep the hawks nameless. I refer to them as the male and female.

-Arrived at the south end of Central Park at 5:30pm. It's still a bit early in the season for me to start birding after work before it gets too dark. I was hoping to see a raptor or two. The Peregrines were on my mind but I probably arrived after the falcons (wishful thinking) went to roost.

After entering at the 7th Ave. entrance I spotted a person, sans binoculars, looking up at something. I noticed he had spotted an adult Red-tailed Hawk perched about halfway up a tree. The hawk was in the northernmost of four trees forming a fairly straight N-S line.

Shortly after spotting the perched male of the nesting Trump Parc building hawks, I saw that the dark female was tending to the nest on the west face of Trump Parc. She was adjusting things and resting for a bit on the ledge.

At 5:35p the female flew up to one of the light boxes north of the nest platform. A minute later she flew around and landed back on the same light box. Close to 5:45p the female flew well up to a perch just below the copper roof of Hampshire House west of the nest building.

At 5:49p the male took off - sideways - heading towards Columbus Circle. At 5:51p the female lifted off the perch on Hampshire House descending without a beat to a place just west of Heckscher Ballfields near the west edge of the park.

I looked to see where the male went to roost for the evening but couldn't find his spot.