Friday, March 25, 2011

Eggs on Fifth Avenue?

Pale Male & Pale Beauty on Thurs 3/24/11
Photo courtesy of
An illuminating exchange of letters between Mai Stewart and John Blakeman:

Hi John,
... true to your prediction, there have now been two reports of Pale Beauty overnighting on the nest just a day or two ago!! (Bruce Yolton/Urban Hawks ) and Lincoln's pix) Looks as tho everything is beginning to happen normally -- either there's an egg already, or there will be soon!

Do you have any idea as to why Pale Beauty was so disinterested in the pigeon PM brought her, several times?? She needs her strength for egg production! . . .



There's only one good reason Pale Beauty would reject or be disinterested in food Pale Male brought to her at this stage, and it's the very best reason. She's fully satisfied and needs no food. Pale Male has been tending his new bride most expertly (Well, he's had a lot of practice at this.)

And Pale Beauty is now doing everything she should be doing. Whether or not there's an egg yet is not clear. Even if there were, she will not be sitting on it in full incubation posture, which she instinctively doesn't want to start until the final egg is laid. Clearly, from her response to Pale Male's offerings, she's had plenty of food, which means that at least two eggs will be laid; perhaps even three.

So it will take a few days for all of this to resolve. Those dutifully watching the nest in Central Park should be noting the height of Pale Beauty's head as she sits presently on the nest. After the last egg is laid, she'll settle down a bit lower, with her naked brood patch then right up against the eggs, to keep them at warmer incubation temperatures. This will start the proper incubation process.

--John Blakeman