Thursday, May 26, 2011


Alpha with Mother 25 May 2011 at 927 Fifth Ave :: Detail of a photo by
Lincoln Karim

Faithful hawkwatcher Kentaurian [Thanks!] just sent the enlargement above-- and named the first visible chick in the Fifth Avenue nest Alpha. Good name. It tells you it was the first baby to be seen, and probably the first one hatched. I'll use it from now on; and if there are others I'll proceed with the next letters of the Greek alphabet: Beta will be next. If there's a third, she/he will be Gamma.

And talking about names, there's some confusion about what name to call Pale Male's new mate. The website so many of us enjoy and depend on, has been calling her Lima. Many people are writing me with questions about that name: how to pronounce it, like the bean or like the city in Peru? And what does it mean?

Many of us have a feeling that Pale Male's present mate is a bird he had a fling with in months past, at which time we called her Ginger. The name is descriptive of the slightly reddish cast of this bird's head. It's descriptive just as Pale Male's name is descriptive of his light coloring.

So I and many others [including our hawk expert John Blakeman] have been calling and will continue to call Pale Male's present mate Ginger. In reality, the name doesn't make much difference -- certainly not to the bird herself.

Many people are called different names by different people. So Lola's lovely successor can be called two names as well. Meanwhile, a third name might be the best of all: Miracle Mom.