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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today's birds

Photo of bathing Chestnut-sided Warbler (5/3/11) by LLOYD SPITALNIK--

I ran into Chris Cooper, one of Central Park's ace birders, early this morning in the Ramble. Later he posted a few comments about his morning's birding adventures on eBirds, followed by a list of "notable birds." (That means that he doesn't mention American Robins, though there were great numbers of them in the park).

His comment and list follows:

Much improved from the last 2 dreary days. The big surprise in a 5+ hour walk (5:40 - 11 AM) was a male PINE W moving high and fast through the Ramble, singing as he went (which sent me on a desperate quest for a Mourning W, so I could claim to have seen the first and the last of the warblers on the same day; but no such luck).


Peregrine Falcon (1)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1-Strawberry Fields)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (2)
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (1-N end of Strawberry Fields, thanks to Jeff Ritter)
Great Crested Flycatcher (1)
Warbling Vireo (2)
Red-eyed Vireo (4)
Cedar Waxwing (20)
Northern Parula (4)
Yellow W (2)
Chestnut-sided W (1)
Magnolia W (12)
Black-throated Blue W (2)
BLACKBURNIAN W (1-N end of Strawberry Fields, thanks to Jeff Ritter)
PINE W (1)
Blackpoll W (7)
Black-and-White W (1)
American Redstart (7)
Ovenbird (4)
Northern Waterthrush (1)
C Yellowthroat (6)
Wilson's W (1-the Upper Lobe)
Canada W (3)
Baltimore Oriole (3)

--Chris Cooper

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Two Amazing Captures and a Pale Male PS

Photos by MURRAY HEAD -- 5/20/11

QUESTION: But the Grackle only captured one termite in the picture. Why call this story TWO amazing captures?

ANSWER: The Grackle's is the first amazing capture. The second is Murray Head's amazing capture of this rarely witnessed scene with his camera.

PS The chick[s] are still too small to be seen by viewers at the Hawk Bench . But food is being delivered to the nest and feeding continues.