Friday, February 01, 2008

Another nest question and an answer from Blakeman

Protesting the nest removal--December 2003
[Don't forget that the protest, too, was sponsored by the NYC Audubon!]

Bill Trankle of Indianapolis writes:

Marie, I can't help but be excited about the prospects for our red-tails this year, especially after seeing the photos and John Blakeman's analysis. It looks to me from the photos of the workers on the scissor jack (and shame on the guy with no helmet--OSHA would fine him for that!) that the two guys doing the work are using bolt cutters to take the spikes out. I'm assuming (and crossing my fingers) that they snipped the spikes off at a low enough level not to interfere with anything, but I'm wondering if their doing so as affected the nest construction at all. John has repeatedly explained that the red-tails don't just dump sticks in a pile and call it a nest, but instead they weave them together to form a tight bundle that will be sound enough to cradle their precious cargo. While the workers left everything up there, could their loosening the pile have any impact, and how will PM and Lola deal with it (if they can)?

Keeping everything I have crossed!

Take no concern. The moderate nest displacements resulting from the prong snipping was equal to what happens to un-occupied tree nests in wind storms. Yes, when Pale Male and Lola get back on the nest and begin to seriously prepare for new eggs, they will find things a bit out of place. But no more so than what happens naturally in typical forest tree nests in the off season. They will diligently get things back in proper order.
Had the exterior rim of sticks been removed, nest reoccupation or refurbishment could have been in jeopardy. But the big sticks or twigs are still there, in place. The birds will get everything in proper order, by instinct. The fact that Pale Male went right to the nest after the swing stage was taken away indicates that all is well. He not only flew over there to look around, he got down into the nest itself.
I'm pleased with the way the nest was left by the workmen -- and so was Pale Male. Just a matter of time, now.
--John Blakeman