Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pale Male Jr. Update, Blakeman on Brood Patches, and the Grumpy Cooper's Hawk

Photograph: Brett Odom
Junior accompanied by Charlotte's beak, March 22, 2008

Here's Brett Odom's latest update on the 888 nest site--


I'm in the office now on Sunday waiting for Charlotte or Junior to show up and for the sun to get in the right position. Since it doesn't appear that Charlotte is on the nest at 9AM this morning I'm guessing there are still no eggs. That would be a little too ironic, being Easter today.

I have attached a photo that I took yesterday. This is of Junior leaving the nest. Charlotte appeared from behind the glass after he left and flew off after him. You can just barely see her black beak, yellow cere and brown head peeking out on the right side of the window, about 1.5 inches up from the bottom when you open the photo to full size. The rest of her body is obscured by the window.

Brett Odom

Looks like Charlotte and Pale Male Jr. are keeping their reputation for being later layers.
Next up John Blakeman spies a brood patch---


A photo today at www.palemale.com shows the naked brood patch on the belly of the Riverside female. This is a remarkable photograph. The brood patch is seldom seen. It is usually covered by the outer body feathers. Here, in a photograph probably taken just as the bird has left the nest, the body coverts (small outer body feathers) have not yet completely closed back up, revealing the bare skin on the belly.

The brood patch lays against the eggs, conveying the mother's body heat directly to the eggs.

Incubation for most of the NYC Red-tails is probably fully underway now.

--John Blakeman

When I drove into the driveway of the house I spied this Cooper's sitting high in the boughs of a tree in the backyard. As you know I've had an immature Cooper's Hawk predating the backyard feeder for most of the winter. When she didn't take off, I thought, "Aha! I've pulled in before and I haven't seen her so she thinks this will be the same old story so she's staying put."

I took a couple of photos from inside the truck, got out, and figured when she saw me looking at her that would be it.

No, actually she turned her head, glared, and went back to her business. I went for another photo and she switched perches to a branch just a few feet away from the original one. I thought, that's odd.

A few minutes later I attempted to move over for a better view.

What did she do? Actually she turned out to be a mature he. Well he started screaming at me. He looked right at me and really gave it to me vocally. "Okay, okay, I'll go in the house." Actually I went in the house to get another camera as it was getting dark.

When I came out again, he called and took off after a songbird. He chased it through some trees, across the street and missed. He then turned around and yelled at me from the tree across the street.

I got the message and retreated sheepishly into the house for good.

Donegal Browne

No comments: