Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blakeman discusses Pale Male and Lola's current nest

Pale Male guarding nest from above
Photo by Bruce Yolton--March 7, 2010

Letter received this morning from John Blakeman:

The size of the 927 nest is more than ample this year. Any failure now cannot be a result of incubation heat loss through protruding metal spikes or even wind penetrating through the nest. The birds and the bowl of the nest are now far above the underlying pigeon spikes, and the nest parallels in size and shape of those in open trees. If there is an insulating warmth problem during incubation, it will be the fault solely of the birds themselves.
But they are experienced nest-builders, so there is every reason to believe they've properly completed adequate nest construction this year.
If there are no hatched eyasses this year, the only explanation I'll have will be the one that others proposed in previous unsuccessful years, that Pale Male now has geriatric semen insufficiency. He may be shooting blanks, dare we say.
But we can't know that for a month now. Here's hoping that once again eyasses grace the heights of 927 Fifth Ave.
One other conjecture, one that I've raised also with The Franklin Institute red-tails in Philadelphia. Both Philadelphia and New York had lengthy periods of deep and persisting snow in January and February, right when the haggard formels of both nests normally put on weight and capture sufficient food to support three eggs. Given the somewhat challenging hunting conditions in the New York and Philadelphia winters (and likewise here in northern Ohio) I would not be surprised to see red-tail clutches of one or two eggs, instead of the more typical twos and threes.

--John Blakeman