Wednesday, April 26, 2006

From Today's New York Times

April 26, 2006

Like Chickens, Hawks Shouldn't Be Counted Before They Hatch

In a second blow to Central Park hawk watchers in a week, the eggs in a nest on a 35th-floor perch of the Trump Parc condominiums will not hatch, experts said yesterday.

"It is extremely unlikely because of time that has passed," said E. J. McAdams, executive director of the New York City chapter of the Audubon Society.

The Trump Parc eggs had been produced by the red-tailed hawks known as Charlotte and Junior, a male believed to be a descendant of the famous Pale Male.

On April 20, the society determined that eggs being tended by Pale Male and his mate, Lola, in a 12th-floor nest on the facade of 927 Fifth Avenue, at 74th Street, were no longer viable.

Of the two nests, hawk experts had considered the one on the Trump Parc building, at Central Park South and the Avenue of the Americas, to hold the best hope of hatching, since Charlotte and Junior produced two healthy offspring, Big and Little, from the same perch last year. Pale Male and Lola failed to hatch eggs a year ago after their Fifth Avenue nest was carted away by building employees, provoking wide protests. It was eventually rebuilt, in a protective cradle.

Mr. McAdams said the society and other hawk enthusiasts hoped to gain the cooperation of both buildings in investigating why this year's eggs did not hatch. He said efforts might be made to retrieve the eggs for analysis by a wildlife pathologist.

For now, however, the reasons that both pairs of hawks have failed to reproduce remains a mystery. "There could be so many reasons, it is just impossible to say," Mr. McAdams said.