Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pale Male and Lola--One Adventure After Another

All photographs Donegal Browne
Lola comes over to retrieve her dinner. (But that's later. In the meantime...)

Temperature-72F, much warmer in the sun

Very sunny

Wind 0-10MPH

4:17:51PM In fact all times are PM. Today in particular you should pay special attention to the times as there are jumps in some sequences because they repeat several times over. Stranger and stranger. And therefore the repeat sequences are rarely illustrated twice.

Does that make sense?

So what's the photo? Look carefully, Lola, her head dappled by twig shadows, is peering out between the sticks.

4:20:14 And here comes Pale Male. He's low attempting to gain elevation by flying back and forth. The wind is currently zip. He struggles and finally manages to get up and land on Linda 4.

4:20:24 He's panting, wings separated from body in an attempt to cool himself. That must be some hefty squirrel he's got for Lola's supper.

4:20:39 He may be somewhat winded but he's still checking for intruders.

4:20:49 Still panting.

4:21:03 It's not only a hefty squirrel. It's a headless hefty squirrel. Pale Male has removed the head to save weight. No fool he. Squirrel heads not being particularly meaty anyway. He does a little jump and comes down in his patented railing grip. The posterior of each foot faces the other. That way he always has a good hold no matter the situation or wind change.

4 21 42 Still panting. I see he's left on the tail. Is the weight that negligible or is it aesthetic? Or perhaps Lola enjoys squirrel tail. As we don't find them around the park much, someone must.

4:21:32 Time to get serious. Pale eyes the distance and I suspect may have been waiting for some wind, his and the regular kind, and takes off.

4:22:00 Ta Da! He makes it complete with hefty squirrel.

4:22:19 Hefty squirrel in beak Lola prepares to take off. Actually lets get a closer look at that squirrel.

It's bigger than Lola's head. For a moment I was wondering if it might be a bit stiff and shall we say "enlarged" but I think it is just swinging out from her momentum.

4:22:48 Lola is off to the north and isn't flying all that high herself as it turns out. And she of course is bigger and stronger than he is. Because as most of you know, raptor species have reverse sexual dimorphism. The female is the larger of the two.
Did you notice? Yesterday Lola stayed out of sight for 9 minutes while Pale Male waited with her food. Didn't I tell you that was extremely unusual? Today from his landing to her taking off , the whole sequence, not just the wait for her to leave the nest bowl, was less than three quarters of one minute.
He of course often makes her wait before leaving the bowl. I think he naps.

4:24:32 Having watched where Lola went and then looked into the bowl, he now gets down into it.
4:31 Pale Male's tail appears at a steep angle. He looks to be shuffling around in there. Then his tail disappears and all is quiet.
5:14 I look at my watch. Lola has been gone quite awhile. I'm betting after how itchy she was yesterday that she's eaten her squirrel and then gone off for a bath.

5:16:38 Suddenly Pale Male's head pops up. No he hasn't become suddenly scrofulous. It's the twig shadows that make him look that way and besides he also looks rather hot. As I said I think he sleeps, and has now, after 45 minutes of sun beating down on him in an insulated spot, has awakened to feeling like toaster strudel.

5:16:47 Nope he isn't looking like his very dapper self that is for sure.

5:17:01 He carefully makes his way to the wall.

5:18:05 (Still paying attention to the times?)

5:18:23 He's sidled back into the nest bowl with his tail tipped up.

5:18:44 Now he's gone back to the side. What's he up to?

5:18:54 More panting and looking for Lola.

5:19:17 Back into the bowl, this time with head down.

5:19:51 He looks to be standing ("sitting very high"), straddling the nest bowl which would shade it, with his chin propped on the top edge.

5:20:22 More of his back, no head.

5:22:06 Once again tail and nothing else.

5 23 23 Lo and behold it's Lola circling in from the direction of Azalea Pond. Pointed out to me by a very nice woman and her daughter from Staten Island.

5:24:19 Lola looks into the bowl, stares at ?, "So what's wrong with you?" Note that Lola has landed and is walking with her talons curled under. That's proper nest decorum. (I wonder if Stormin' Norman at the Cathedral has figured that out yet? Let's hope it's innate.)

6:24:26 Note the depth of color to her feathers. This is a bird who has had a bath and is truly enjoying preening herself.

5:24:47 Look closely and you'll see the damp feathers above her eyes.

5:25:11 Lola stares down. I don't have a photo of it, but as Pale Male came out instead of following his movement Lola continued to stare down into the bowl.

5:25:21 Pale is out of the bowl. He has his talons properly curled.

5 25 34 A couple of heat expelling pants while Lola watches.

5:25:42 Lola goes back to staring into the bowl. Either that or she's getting her face out of the way for his take off.

5:25:53 And he's off.

5:26:14 Lola sits high.

5:26:33 Down she goes.

5:26:56 And back up again.

5:35:20 Lola stares fixedly at something. A fly perhaps though I haven't seen one up there yet this season.



Still watching

5:54:43 This is a new position.

5:55:56 Just for some perspective.

5:57:39 Same stance.

6:00:13 A close up of how she is positioned. One wind drooped. Where are her feet exactly? Is her tail covering the bowl?

6:00:55 Speaking of the bowl, she seems to be looking down into it.

6:01:22 She moves to the side, head down.

6:01:33 Standing on edge she looks out.


6:01:59 Preen under wing

6:02:47 High, head to north.

6:03:26 High peek through twigs.

6:05:14 Lower peek through twigs.
Donegal Browne

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

Looking at the "Still watching" photo, I suddenly had a deja vu of old dinosaur movies.