Monday, December 03, 2007

What's going on with Pale Male and Lola's nest?

Babies on Fifth [in the good old days] --courtesy of

Below, some correspondence in regard to the Pale Male nest-failure situation. I know that John Blakeman has been invited to be part of the decision-making process. Things are beginning to move. But the 2008 breeding season is almost upon us. Please write to your various Audubon reps, or to Glenn Phillips, executive director of the NYC Audubon at and encourage timely action.

Received 11/30/07

Hello Marie,
I've been a fan of your web site and, watching the news of Pale Male and Lola for years.
What is the latest with their nest site? I see the letter dated August 23, 2007, from asking that some adjustments or repairs be made to the nest. Was this done? At least it was something being done to see if that was the cause of their nest failure.
I just spend some time on both your sites looking for an update, but couldn't find it in the archives. I was hoping you would be so kind as to give me a brief update.
Thank you,
Jeannette, PA

Here's another, written last June, followed by a response from Glenn Phillips, executive director of NYCudubon

From: Linda Maslin
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 6:01 PM
Subject: Pale Male

It is clear that the new cradle for their nest is defective and preventing them from reproducing. Comments and excuses from DEC and DEP persons are ridiculous - the cradle should be altered and you should get involved. You should be the champion of Pale Male and Lola - they are famous around the world. You are NEW YORK CITY AUDUBON and should do something positive for them.

Linda Maslin, member National Audubon

Blue Bell, PA

The answer, from the executive director of NYCA:

Ms. Masllin -
I was hopeful that Pale Male and Lola, as ambassadors of NYC's Red-tailed Hawk population, would have a successful brood this year. I was as disappointed as you when their nest failed for the third time, and I agree that it is quite possible that the failures are a result of the nest structure designed by Dan Ionescu based on observations from a large number of experts. I further agree that it is NYC Audubon's role to be a negotiator with property owners on behalf of the birds who are impacted by human activity, and I have every intention to do so in this case before the next season begins.
Glenn Phillips

Executive Director
New York City Audubon
71 West 23rd Street, Room 1523
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 691-7483
Fax: (212) 924-3870

On Nov. 30 Linda Maslin wrote a followup letter: [Hurray for Linda for following up!]

Dear Mr. Phillips:
Below is your reply to my inquiry of June 8, 2007 regarding modifying Pale Male's nest. Has any progress been made on this yet? The new breeding season will be upon us and I don't want to see another year of inaction and nest failure for these marvelous earthlings. I am even planning a visit to Central Park on Dec. 9 hoping to see them with my own eyes!
Thank you for anything you can do for them. I think this whole situation is despicable and has gone on for too long.
Linda Maslin
Blue Bell, PA

Here's the reply she received yesterday:

Hi Linda,
No actions have been taken yet on Pale Male's nest. At this point, NYC Audubon is consulting with a group of Ph.D. scientists who have extensive experience with raptor breeding, to make sure that any changes made to the nest are both necessary and ideal. They have requested an aerial photograph of the nest, which should be taken this week, and will then come to a final judgment about the nest and what, if anything, needs to be done.

If they do determine that the center prongs (or any other elements of the nest) need to be altered, both the building owners and the NYC Department of Environmental Conservation have been very supportive and responsive, so any necessary nest maintenance will be able to be undertaken efficiently.

Thank you for your concern and support!

Jill Crouther
Program Assistant, NYC Audubon