Saturday, February 09, 2008

Even before Valentine's day!

Pale Male & Lola on Feb 8, 2008
Photo courtesy of

The days are getting longer, and the breeding cycle is in full swing, as clearly seen in the picture above. Our hawks are right on schedule. We ought to see signs of "eggnancy" around the beginning of March, and incubation at the start of the second week of March. That's when Lola begins to spend nights on the nest, and the hawks are seen to make "exchanges" at the nest. This will be a very exciting few months. Thank you again, NYC Audubon, for giving us all hope again. And take a look at the second photo, also from the website, for a very graphic view of those anti-pigeon spikes. You can see them below the nest. Seventy-two of these have been removed from the "cradle" structure very recently, in hope that the eggs will successfully hatch this year.

Nest at 927 Fifth Avenue with spikes visible below. Click on image to enlarge

Both photos courtesy of

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Britney Spears of the bird world

Scott's Oriole in Union Square Park - Jan. 23, 2008
Photo By Ardith Bondi

Ardith Bondi, a photographer, flutist. and a Central Park birdwatcher, took the first photo of the Scott's Oriole in Union Square Park and brought this rare bird to the world's attention. [She also reminds me that she took the photo of the protesters in red cardinal costumes I posted a few days ago, and the date it was taken was December 13, 2004.] She has just returned from abroad and writes:

Hi Marie-

I can't believe how the Oriole story played out! He's become the Britney
Spears of the bird world. Now everyone knows that he prefers bananas to
oranges and enjoys the odd Kaiser roll, defending them against local
Starlings. He has a preferential tree for the morning sun, and he
apparently hasn't connected that the very Sapsucker that drills his
favored sap holes is the one that he routinely chases away...