Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pale Male and Lola---A letter from Palemale Irregular Charmain Devereaux

Pale Male waits, and waits for Lola to return--the withdrawl from the nest is in progress.
I found Pale Male on the nest waiting for Lola heartbreaking. Particularly as we had hoped to find useful information from collected eggs less degraded than those retrieved last season. The reason? If indeed human intervention had caused the problem, perhaps there could be some way of correcting the human induced failure. Now with each day degrading the eggs further, that hope is fading.
Charmain Devereaux, longtime hawk watcher and Pale Male Irregular, expresses what many are thinking in her letter below--
(The letter is also addressed to Marie Winn, author of the wonderful book RED-TAILS IN LOVE. Marie has been the voice of those concerned with the Fifth Avenue nest failure. )
Hi Marie and Donna—

I've just returned from a week in Chicago trying to help my elderly dad with his housing, and have been trying this morning to catch up on your websites to see what's been happening.

Although there are surely plenty of wonderful wildlife stories going on in our area, I'm afraid that my sentimental favorite has continually been with Pale Male and Lola, as they struggle again with an unsuccessful nest. Between both of your accounts, I'm pretty distraught over the DEC's recent inability and lack of interest in retrieving and testing the eggs' fertility. Their response letters to you, Marie, were fairly dismissive, and there was no doubt that they did not hold the importance and timeliness of the egg testing as critically as most of the hawkwatchers and other advisors have.

First, to both of you, a THANK YOU. I appreciate your letters and efforts trying to maneuver around the bureaucracy to gather the help and support that is needed.

Do we have any recourse—any other outside sources (other than the DEC)—that can help us with prompt egg retrieval and testing? Could Len Soucy help in this area? Can we gather up donations for the test from the hawkwatchers? Or must we call it a day? While I'll love them and continue to follow them in awe, regardless of their nesting success, I feel that only through the DNA testing can we be certain of a fertility problem, or "something else"(cradle construction), in which case we can proceed accordingly.

I do believe in miracles, and these two red-tails have continually beaten the odds. I'm just not ready to admit that hoping for miracles is all we have left.

Donegal Browne

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