Monday, April 17, 2006

Still Waiting

Pale Male and Lola on nest--Saturday, April 15, 2006
Photo by Bruce Yolton

Many of us long-time followers of the Fifth Avenue Hawks cannot bring ourselves to put our anxieties about this year's nest into writing. We're waiting, hoping, and trying to enjoy the beauties of early spring in Central Park.

Bruce Yolton is a recent addition to the Central Park hawkwatching scene. A fine photographer, last year he devoted himself to chronicling the happy story of the Trump Parc redtails, Junior and Charlotte, and their successful nest on west 59th St.
He has started a nature blog where he keeps up with Central Park nature events, hawks, owls, songbirds --whatever strikes his fancy. You might enjoy a look.

Bruce spent part of last Saturday at the Model-boat Pond watching Pale Male and Lola, and posted a hopeful summary of the situation on his website. Here it is:

Expecting Parents

The Fifth Avenue nest had hundreds of observers on Saturday. Many first time watchers stumbled onto the "hawk bench" while taking part in Easter activities in the park. (The "hawk bench" has great view of the nest, which during this season has lots of telescopes, including a power Meade telescope connected to a video camera/monitor generously provided by Lincoln Karim,

Old timers were there looking to see if the chicks had hatched yet. The old timers have reasonable concerns since last year's eggs failed to hatch.

Pale Male (the male Red-tailed Hawk) has a history of his first year nests failing, so after the nest was removed in the early winter of 2004/5, it was not surprising that the 2005 nest failed. Whether the nest was too small to keep the eggs insulated, the stress of building a new nest or possible punctures by the pigeon spikes in the nest are all possible reasons for first year failures.

The new nest cradle, added as a compromise over safety, might also be a problem. So, all eyes are on the nest. The hatching window is anytime in the next week or so. Hopefully, good news will be reported soon.

PS from Marie: I would only add to Bruce's good summary that in the opinion of many old hawkwatchers, the hatching window has been open for five or six days.