Sad second anniversary
Photo by Cal Vornberger --2004 - the last successful nesting
Yes, two years ago today was the day they took down Pale Male and Lola's nest. Who could forget.
Call me Pollyanna if you wish, but my thoughts today are on the good things that happened as a result of the nest-removal crisis of December, 2004. In no particular order here are some:
An infusion of new people into the Central Park nature community--many new enthusiasts who first showed up at the Bring Back the Nest protests and then stayed to become Central Park Regulars -- Donna Browne for example and many many others. The Trump-Parc hawkwatchers,[Bruce Yolton, for instance] the St. John the Divine hawk worshippers -- both tight-knit groups were largely composed of people who first showed up in December 2004.
John Blakeman -- who first wrote a letter to my website the day after the nest was taken down, offering his services as an adviser in the crisis, and who soon became a great fount of information about red-tailed hawks . Always willing to answer questions, even when asked again and again. This is a rare resource for all of us, and we have the crisis to thank for it. And of course John Blakeman himself. Thanks.
Many new website friends I've made over the past few years, correspondents who have written many times, asking questions, offering advice, sending questions and pictures and, one unforgettable time, sending a box of avocados and limes from her backyard trees for all the hawkwatchers to share.
Finally -- and this one is a mixed blessing, -- the creation of a new celebrity in our midst: Pale Male. Thanks to the huge media coverage of the nest removal, our hawk has become as famous as any Hollywood star. It's fun to provide a celebrity sighting to so many tourists in the park, to watch their excitement when told that they're actually seeing the world famous hawk on that branch there, or on that rooftop there.
It's also a little -- well -- off-putting. We're here in the park to get away from all that, the celebrity culture, the world of sound bites and publicity agents and reality show on television. No, this isn't the Pale Male Reality show, I want to say. No, that's not the reason we're all here.
But if Pale Male brings people in the park, maybe it's a good thing after all.
The park works its magic in mysterious ways--it can infiltrate peoples' lives, it can transform a celebrity seeker into a nature lover just like that.
Those are my thoughts on this cold December anniversary. And one more thought creeps in, a hopeful one. Maybe this is the year for babies in the nest again. Hope is the thing with feathers, right? Red tail-feathers.