Saturday, April 14, 2007

Katherine Herzog's Report From the Bench

Lola watches Pale Male coming in from a distance. G.S.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dear Donna,

No snow in the Big Apple but upstate NY is getting socked with the white stuff. In Manhattan the rain started in the early morning and is now, at 9:51am, raining steadily at around 40-degrees F. I can't help but think of Lola sitting bravely in her nest and Pale close by....dealing with this colder-than-normal, miserable, soggy weather.

The only slight change in the incubation routine, from the Hawk Bench Watcher's view, is that Lola is really almost in a trance with the nest incubation and is taking fewer and shorter breaks. When Pale delivers food (and it seems always to be pigeon, not rats, mice or squirrels) Lola takes it and flies somewhere to eat it in the park....but she returns, not like in the beginning of the incubation 25 to 45 minutes, but in 15 minutes or less.

When she takes a non-food break, she's been returning only after say, 10 to 13 minutes. Well, let's keep our fingers and toes crossed....we expect hatching to begin next week. Tax time, April 15th, has been the benchmark to start expecting the first hatching this year....but, as we are all aware from the last two disappointing years, don't count your chicks before they hatch. We'll all be delighted, to put it mildly, but this year the atmosphere around the Hawk Bench is discernibly muted and I think that's a good response....let Mother Nature take control of events and let's be pleasantly surprised if she smiles on us this year.
I wish you well and hope see you soon.


Here's to the third time being the charm! And keep your fingers crossed for the very wet hens, sitting tight, no matter the weather. Rob Schmunk and I have been discussing the possibility that bad weather may well be harder on the hens using tree nests.

Also a thought, it could be for the best that Pale Male Jr. and Charlotte changed nest sites with this season's weather as I've always suspected that their nest failures on the Trump Building could have had something to do with poor drainage, not to mention the high wind up there during downpours. The summer their second clutch succeeded was a very dry one.

So raise a glass to the five pairs of valiant nesting Red-tails...

Donegal Browne

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