Thursday, June 18, 2009

How old is Pale Male?

Pale Male - June 16, 2009
Photo courtesy of

In the winter of 1991 when Pale Male first arrived in Central Park he had a brown tail. That means he was still an immature hawk, probably a one- year-old that year. If you do the math, he was three in 1993, the year the first Fifth Avenue nest was built. In 1995, the years the first chicks hatched on his 12th floor aerie he was five.

This is all in Red-tails in Love, pages 43-45. By the end of that book, which was published in 1998, he was only eight years old! When the second edition came out in 2005 [with a new subtitle--Pale Male's story], the same year the nest was taken down, our hero was fifteen.

Next year, if my calculations are correct, Pale Male will have his 20th birthday. We should have a great big celebration in Central Park, don't you think?

No hawk babies in Central Park this year but...

Fledgling at the NY Botanical Garden
Photo by Richard Fleisher

Last year at about this time Richard Fleisher, Professor in the Political Science department at Fordham University, sent in a report about a family of redtails that nested on the Fordham campus. Yesterday he sent in this year's report and some photos, including the one above:

Hi Marie,

The Fordham Red-tails, Hawkeye and Rose, moved their operation to the New York Botanical Garden and have successully fledged three. Similar to their nest on the Fordham campus, this year's nest was also built on the pediment of a building.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Parks Dep't cares about babies

Sign posted on many lampposts in Riverside Park, where two nestlings have fledged and one remains in the nest:
Photo by Beth Bergmann

The last baby in the nest: One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four..."

Photo by Beth Bergmann--6/17/09

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One more to go at Riverside nest

Second juvenile ["Beta Baby"] out of the Riverside nest
photo by Beth Bergmann

Beth's blog -- http://the gives all the latest news of the Riverside Park redtail nest [near the Boat Basin -- around 82nd St.] . Great photos too. Here's her report of yesterday's [6/15] events:

During the morning the first two "branchers" were out on limbs of the nest tree, which left the third baby alone in the nest receiving a lot of attention from Mama, much more than usual. For the first time this baby ate large pieces of food, was fed at shorter intervals, tore food himself (don't know if this is a male), and at one point spread wings and covered the food, (very obvious manteling). Hmmmmm..... all mine?? Mama continued to bring twigs to the nest, sat in nearby trees watching her family. Papa soared overhead calling loudly, the message- "Look at me. Come on up here. Fly!"? That's my conjecture. For now I'll refer to Baby #1 as Alpha Baby, the second baby as Beta Baby, and the third baby as H.A., Home Alone. Alpha Baby moves along the limbs with confidence. Beta Baby is tentative, but honing skills, still bobbling around on the tree limbs. H.A. is clearly lording it over food and enjoying the attention. H.A. hasn't really been doing a lot of trampoline exercises, but did manage to bounce once to the lip of the nest and onto the side branch for about three seconds. For the morning he seemed more interested in protecting the food. Mama was in and out of the nest frequently. She flew food out of the nest, perhaps a lure for getting kids fed-on-branch.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The first one is tomorrow!

An opportunity offered by the New York City Audubon


Photo © Rob Jett

Session 1: Tuesday, June 16, 7:45 - 9:15pm
Session 2: Tuesday, June 23, 7:45 - 9:15pm
Session 3: Tuesday, June 30, 7:45 - 9:15pm
Guide: Paul Keim

Explore Central park at twilight for bats and other nocturnal creatures! Watch these mysterious and often misunderstood animals in flight. Using an echolocation device, get the rare opportunity to listen to these secretive creatures as they hunt for insects. Meet at 103rd Street and Central Park West. Bring bug spray and a flashlight. Limited to 20.$20 ($18 for NYC Audubon members at the Senior/Student level and up)

For registration and more information please visit or call 212.691.7483.