Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pale Male and Lola Have a Late Dinner and The Guy Blowing Up His Pants

Wed, March 14,'07 - Warm, partly sunny - 60's F, 2:30 - 6pm
(Central Park NYC-Hawk Bench):
Just when you think you know something about the Hawks, they do something different...just to show you who's boss. I went to Central Park at 2:30pm and waited, and waited, and waited for Lola to be relieved by Pale at the nest.

Pale had replaced Lola for incubation duty for at least an hour in the morning hours, as told to me by Ric Davis....but when would he return?

The hours rolled on and finally at 5:45pm as the light was fading and dark clouds replaced blue skies with the imminent promise of rain....Pale comes flying in to the rescue with a partially consumed pigeon in his talons....Lola immediately consumed the morsel in the nest, not as I had previously opined that she would not eat at the nest thus keeping her nest parasite-free.

Perhaps since the light was fading she decided to keep the meal and devour it at the nest. Who knows? And she's not talking....only indicating that they have a rhyme and reason known only to themselves.


I have noticed that early in the brooding phase that Lola does tend to eat on the nest, quickly and with purpose and then gets right back to sitting the eggs. Once again we may be coming across an arc of hormones that first becomes strong enough to get a hen to the nest, an urge forceful enough to keep her there until she's finished laying plus a little longer before it completely ebbs so she doesn't suddenly find herself laying another egg over on Stovepipe while she's having dinner. An experienced mother like Lola might know if there were another egg being created to be laid but a inexperienced young mother wouldn't. Once or twice a year I find a perfect fresh egg of any number of species in a bird bath or on the ledge of a platform feeder where a young hen has stayed too long from the nest and egg pops out. Those hens with the strong "stay-on-the-nest-til-it's-done hormones" were the ones who had more eggs to hatch, and therefore a better change of progeny that lived to reproduce. The gene for the strong staying put hormone was a biological advantage.

Particularly for individuals of a species in which Dad is capable of delivering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. D. B.

Chapter 2

The other day when I was out looking for the guy who was shooting in the wildlife area at Storrs Lake, I rounded a curve and saw all this stuff sitting in the middle of the lake. Now remember that it was 70 degrees and sunny. The other side of the lake was full of paddling birds and this side was awash with water in any number of places. Good grief, did somebody really want a fish that badly that they'd be willing to risk going through the ice for an icy swim?

Or had whoever already gone through the ice? There's a thought

Nope, there he was a good ways off from his equipment and...
What is he doing?

Well, after grilling a number of my cousins later, I found that what he was doing was inflating his life-preserver pants.
Life-preserver pants?

Who knew? Well, probably lots of people who ice fish, but then again we don't do all that much ice fishing in New York City.

Donegal Browne

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