Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pale Male and Lola, Blakeman I.D., 79th St. nest vs the road, and urban Robins

Eleanor Tauber took this photo of an acciptor in Central Park which I published previously and asked if anyone would like to take a stab at an I.D. John Blakeman took the bait and here is his email with some very helpful tips on the differences between a Cooper's Hawk and a Sharp-shinned.

The accipiter is almost surely a Cooper's Hawk. I make this designation from the very long, discernible neck the bird has. Sharp-shinned hawks seem to have their heads compressed down into the shoulder, with no neck.

I'd like to see the eyes of the bird. Sharpie's seem to look like they just stuck their toes in an electrical outlet. The eyes look big and bug-eyed, even startled.

There is one trait here that leans toward a Sharpie. The thickness of the tarsus, the leg above the foot, is rather thin. From this, I'm guessing that it's a tiercel (the smaller sex) Cooper's.

--John Blakeman

Gail Randolph asked for a photograph showing the position of the Intrepid 79th St. Hawks nest in relation to the road. Here you go, Gail. Can you find the nest?

Walking along the sidewalk past an apartment buildings, I noticed this Robin's nest. It's in a small tree that is growing outside a building with no lawn. And as we all know, Robin's are very dependent on lawns for food. In this small space between the sidewalk and the building there is only a small tree and a few bushes, without any grass at all. Robin's having successfully increased in population due to human yards have now moved to the completely urban--almost.

Down the street is Central Park. The Robins have to fly a little further for provender for the young but I expect that this nest is less likely to be predated by Crows as pedestrians are constantly walking past than it would be if located in the park.

Raptor biologist, Dr. Charles Preston, makes a visit to the Hawk Bench to see Pale Male and Lola's nest.

Lola flies past Shipshape.

Then past the Carlyle Hotel.

And once again takes over the nest from Pale Male who has been spelling her during her break.
In a week or so we should know whether or not there will be a hatch for these two. Are your fingers still crossed?
Donegal Browne

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