Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PM's new mate

PM's new mate in flight, 1/16/11
photo courtesy of PaleMale.com

John Blakeman wrote on 1/16:

The new formel [MW: falconer's term for female hawk] is just the opposite of Pale Male, Her head is markedly dark, with dark feathers wrapping around under her chin and on to the front of her neck. I'll leave it to creative New York types to come up with a descriptive name that might take this into account; a name I hope that that will parallel your wonderful name for Pale Male and his light-colored head.
I will be interested to see the eye color of the new formel. It's very likely to be not yet completely dark, indicating that the bird is in her third or fourth year, a young adult ready and eager to begin family life, and we hope with new eyasses.
--John Blakeman

note from Marie: Many readers have written in approvingly of adopting the descriptive name Ginger [first suggested by Murray Head] for PM's new mate. [As I posted the other day, the hawk's head is the color of Ginger Snaps].Let's see how it plays out, if regular hawkwatchers start using this name, etc.

Another Blakeman observation about Ginger's age: [I'll start the ball rolling]:
The new bird is just in its second year, as indicated by its yellow irises. It has never nested or laid eggs. It has just reached sexual maturity. But with Pale Male's experienced guidance, things could be delightful once again at 927 Fifth Ave. It will be fun to watch, in any case.
--John Blakeman

Monday, January 17, 2011


Pale Male's new mate on nest, Jan. 15, 2011
photo courtesy of PaleMale.com

I've been trying to avoid getting involved in the Name Game for Pale Male's new mate. But the photographer [and my friend] Murray Head has sent in a plea and a suggestion both of which sound reasonable to me. Here is what he writes:

Hi Marie,
Lincoln Karim [PaleMale.com] keeps referring to Pale Male's new mate as "Palemale's new mate" I'm thinking that should change.


PS If "birdwatchers are again to name her, I like Ginger.. after Ginger Rogers who play the lead in the 1939 movie "Fifth Avenue Girl." I also detect ginger coloration in Lincoln's latest photos of the new Fifth Ave. female.

PS from Marie:

To strengthen his case Murray sent in an Internet photo of GINGERSNAPS.

Looking at the photos of hawk and cookies [above,] I'd say GINGER is a good name for Pale Male's new mate. It's a lot easier to say Ginger than to keep repeating "Pale Male's new mate." And it's in keeping with the pattern Central Park's hawkwatchers have set of naming a resident hawk for some physical feature -- i.e. overall color [Pale Male] or, now, the particular tint of the head feathers.

So, I vote for GINGER.