Thursday, April 13, 2006

Donna's Field Notes for Wednesday

Field Notes 12 Apr 2006

Fifth Avenue Nest

Temperature: 64 F.

Wind: 5-10 MPH

Gusts to 18 MPH

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 61%

All times P.M. unless otherwise noted.

Watchers from yesterday reported Lola standing on the edge of the nest bowl and looking down frequently. Behavior that might suggest that young are pipping.

2:10 Lola deep in the nest. Eye through twigs.

2:20 Lola alert, quick looks to N and S.

2:47 Top of head and eye appears above nest edge, she stares W.

3:05 Pale Male arrives on nest left. Lola stands, takes off toward Ramble. Pale Male watches her go.

3:07 Pale Male walks to concave in nest, shuffles feet carefully along inside "walls" of bowl to get into sitting position. Lowers himself carefully with much fluffing of feathers, out of sight in nest.

3:45 Pale Male alert, scoping territory.

3:55 Pale Male stands, shuffles back down, stands alert, walks around bowl.

4:00 Pale Male has disappeared into nest.

4:19 Lola appears from the north, flies by nest, turns back, lands nest right. Full crop. (Lola's break of 1 hour 14 minutes is currently unusual. Her usual break time of late is around 20 minutes. Did she do her own hunting for this meal?) Lola waits, Pale Male does not get up.

4:21 Pale Male stands, looks at Lola, she looks at wall. He goes left, pause. Pale Male takes off, with an unprepared Blue Bar Pigeon in his talons towards the NW. (It appears Pale Male may have brought unprepared prey in for Lola previously, possibly at the last switch, which she has rejected and then gone to the Ramble to hunt her own dinner. She has refused to accept unprepared prey from him previously or possibly she just wasn't in the mood for yet another pigeon and wanted squirrel or rat?)

4:22 Lola settles carefully into the nest.

4:25 Lola stands, turns, goes back down tail to Bench. 2 Canadian Geese arrive at the Model Boat Pond to join the Mallard pair.

4:50 Pale Male lands nest left, very alert. (Crop full, waste not, want not.) Lola deep in nest bowl has turned without standing, very alert eye looking through twigs. Both stare fixedly into the the distance just N of the Boat House.

5:14 Blue Jays begin to scream to the SW. Pale Male vigilant to whole territory.

5:20 Pale Male still in place nest left, watching, very alert. Lola eye through twigs.

5:22 Pale Male is off the nest toward northwest Ramble, flapping, circling with purpose, gaining altitude and speed, he dives, lost to sight in trees.

5:50 Lola deep in nest, staring fixedly toward where Pale Male disappeared in the trees.

6:05 Exit.

With this week's holidays, many children are visiting the Hawk Bench for a first look at Pale Male, Lola, and the nest. The line was long at the scope but full of delighted faces. Eric, a young boy it turns out who doesn't know what a Cardinal looks like, watched the hawks for a good while. He asked me questions about them, we talked a long time, and he just glowed with excitement at the hawks' slightest move. When it was time for him to leave with his Aunt, he said, "This is one of the best days of my life ever." And if that weren't enough, as he walked away, he turned back to us and called, "A hundred thank yous!"

His Guyness, as Charles used to call him, Pale Male, the number one Ambassador of Nature, the avian magician of Central Park, has done it again. Another pair of eyes have been opened with such impact, that they are very unlikely to ever to see in the old way again.

Submitted: Donna Browne