Sunday, April 16, 2006

At the Hawk Bench Saturday: Excitement, Anticipation, Anxiety

Big crowd at Model-boat Pond, looking for signs of a hatch - 4/15/06

Lincoln filming at the Model-boat Pond - 4/15/06
Three building from left to right: Woody's, Hawk Building, Dr. Fisher's

Dog at Hawk Bench, one day before Easter Parade - 4/15/06
Photos by M. Winn

Donna's quick report about hawk activities
yesterday - 4/15/06:

Hi Marie,

Beyond the looks into the nest bowl, Pale Male and Lola's rhythm has changed but as to what it means I'm not sure. Yesterday [Saturday] when I arrived at around noon I
was told that the hawk hunkered down in the nest was Pale Male, later when the hawk stood up during a break in the rain and I got a good look, I realized that it was Lola. She sat the nest without a break from around 11AM, was still on it when I left at 4:45. I hear she was still there at 8. No breaks off the nest and no eating during that time frame.

Pale Male brings food to the nest and leaves it. She doesn't get up for regular switchs and doesn't eat on the nest though food is lying there. (Is the food awaiting the begging of eyasses, perhaps?) You saw today that she gets up periodically to preen, and earlier she did stand and look down with alertness. At 3:04 both she and Pale Male looked down with focus.

Eventually Pale Male picked up a rather stiff squirrel from the nest, took it over to Stovepipe, placed it on the edge of the masonry for her, and perched on the back railing, waiting. She still did not come to eat.

Finally at 6:45, she left the nest for her Stovepipe squirrel, ate, sat on the Oreo antenna, soared around above the Fifth Avenue buildings and at 7:27 took the nest back from Pale Male. Pale Male then picked up and left with yet another squirrel from the other side of the nest.

Jim Lewis told me late this afternoon that someone in the early days came to the conclusion that the hawks preferred to feed their very small babies on squirrel.

On Thursday Pale Male made a celebratory flight which I thought might be about the fact that he had a squirrel for Lola but on reflection, that flight was similar to the flight he made last year after an "event" of some kind occurred on the nest. The one when he was sitting the nest and recalled her back to it by crying and flying back and forth in front of the nest.

I've begun to wonder if they aren't waiting for the eyasses to beg for food. I have Easter obligations so I won't be able to get to The Bench until late in the day tomorrow, but if there was a Thursday hatch tomorrow might well be "the day" if there is to be one. Unless of course as you well know, there is a confusion about the "first night on the nest" or Lola just decided to sit early.