Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Indomitable pair

The last Fifth Avenue chicks [so far] -- May 7, 2004
Photo courtesy of PaleMale.com

Jim Lewis, creator of the useful HISTORY OF THE FIFTH AVENUE RED-TAILED HAWKS chart that has been keeping track of the breeding milestones of Pale Male and his mates since 1995, called me yesterday to tell me that March 10, 2009 was the day incubation seems to have begun this year. Once again there are eggs in the nest and Pale Male and Lola are taking turns sitting on them.

Quick summary of the past:
After the nest was removed in December, 2004, the public outcry heard around the world caused the management of the "Hawk Building" to relent and put up a structure intended to hold a new nest in place. Pale Male and Lola did, indeed, rebuild their nest in that structure--the so-called Cradle. They sat on eggs that year, and every year since. But in vain. And in spite of valiant efforts by the New York City Audubon to discover what might be wrong with the Cradle, and to try to make the structure more conducive to incubation, the eggs have not hatched since the nest removal. 2004 was the last year that chicks hatched in the Fifth Avenue nest.