Hey Tom, what about us??
Wood Ducks photographed on 12/28 by MURRAY HEAD [two of a Wood Duck Quartet seen by Murray on The Pond at 59th Street]
Pale Male & Lola News Bird Sightings, screech-owls, owls, Central Park, Moths & More
Violet tending eggs in the nest last April
For those following the Violet saga, here is a note from Murray Head, followed by a report by John Blakeman
Per Cathy Horvath in an email to me earlier this morning, "T
And from John Blakeman
Make no comparisons with human mating or dating practices or ethics. These are wild red-tailed hawks, with very different biological instincts and behaviors.
Yes, Bobby has “taken up” with a new mate, so very quickly upon Violet’s capture and removal from Washington Square Park (which is best for her, given her declining state). But the appearance and acceptance of the new formel (female) is quite typical, particularly at this time, the very start of the reproductive season.
At Christmas Eve, upon learning of Violet’s “rescue,” I predicted that a new formel would be in the area within a few days; a week at most. I was wrong. It was just a few hours, the very next day. Understand that this was not perfidy, indiscretion, or selfishness on Bobby’s part. It’s pure, natural, and quite perfect red-tailed hawk biology.
So let’s watch what happens. There is now the highest chance that the new pair will fledge three eyasses this summer. In the meantime, hawkwatchers in Washington Square Park should be looking high above, to watch some thrilling courtship flights in the coming weeks. Bobby and the new formel (“Noelle?” – Seems right, since she appeared on Christmas Day.) will loft together into the sky in circling soars. Then, Bobby will soar much higher, with “Noelle” just a few hundred feet above the building tops. From his height several hundred feet above, Bobby will fold his wings and descend in a thrilling, accelerating dive directly at his new mate, soaring below. Just as he’s about to strike the new formel, at over 200 mph, she will instantly tilt sideways and allow Bobby to plunge through her formerly-occupied airspace.
Bobby will instantly open his wings and divert his momentum in a U-shape flight back upwards, bringing him back to the level of the formel. It’s one of the most thrilling avian flights on the planet. Only a few get to see it, and so seldom in cities. New Yorkers in January and February need to be looking above the trees and buildings in search of these red-tail spectacles.
Here’s to a wonderful new breeding season at NYU and Washington Square Park—and to Violet’s peaceful care and passing now in the least stressful conditions. My best regards to the Horvaths, the New York Times, NYU, and all the WSP hawkwatchers who are making all of this possible.