Monday, July 10, 2006

Coming very very soon - info about Pale Male & Lola's eggs

Just got an e-mail from Ygal Gelb at the New York City Audubon Society saying that they're about to send out a press release about the report from Ward Stone re Pale Male and Lola's eggs. . I don't know how detailed the report is going to be, but here's what I know in broad outline:

1. As I've already written here a few weeks ago, according to the first analysis there was no embryonic material discernible in any of the three eggs retrieved from the nest. Now with the full report about to be available I'll be curious to find out if their tests indicate whether the egg was ever fertilized, or whether any signs of fertilization might have been eradicated by either extreme cold [if the eggs were chilled] or by any other factor. This could clarify whether the problem was due to Pale Male's infertility [due to age], or something to do with the new structure installed on the ledge in January 2005 after the nest-removal crisis was resolved.

Back in 1994, when Ward Stone analyzed a fragment of Pale Male's egg from the nest removed that year, the report was vague about whether the egg was fertilized or not. It simply said that there was no embryonic material found. In a long phone conversation with me Ward Stone then raised the possibility that the nest failed because of Pale Male's immaturity. I always wondered why there wasn't a test that could tell with certainty whether the egg had been fertilized or not , sort of like a pregnancy test for women , using the presence or absence of certain hormones. Perhaps now such a test is available.

2. Based on further toxicology tests there seems to be no sign of any toxic substance -- pesticide, rodenticide, etc. in the eggs. This is what John Blakeman predicted, if you recall.

I'll publish here ALL details as soon as I receive them. That's a promise.