Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pale Male and Lola, plus the Raccoon with the Fig Newton, and Have You Seen a Sapsucker do THAT?

At 5PM Pale Male was circling above 72nd St. having just come off the Fifth Avenue nest after Lola's dinner break. She took her time eating and then returned to the nest for her post dinner activities. But before we get to that--

Here is a wonderful photo by Central Park photographer Eleanor Tauber of a raccoon eating what could only be, yes, a Fig Newton. I kept wondering why it looked rather thick for a Fig Newton and then saw how it was pinched between the "fingers" of the raccoon. Silly me. The reason it looks thick is because it's swollen having gotten the typical pre-raccoon dinner treatment. It's been doused in water.

Hawk Watcher and astronomy buff, Mitch Nussbaum came by today and asked if I'd ever seen a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hang head down. I told Mitch, "Hmm, they do have the proper toe arrangement but no, I don't think I have." Mitch then showed me this super photo of a confrontation between a Sapsucker and a Robin. The Sapsucker is certainly doing a Creeper imitation without a doubt. Has anyone else seen this before? It may well happen, even often, and I just may have missed it.

Ah, yes, back to Lola. It was full sun and in the 60's today. And Lola made the most of it.
For several hours with the sun hitting her full on,

She preened.

Then went back into the nest.

Sunned her back.

Looked fixedly for a full five minutes at something in the distance. For several hours Pale Male didn't show himself where he could be viewed from the Hawk Bench so perhaps she was watching him. Or she might have had her eye on that immature Red-tail, the Brown-tail as we way, that has been repeatedly intruding on the territory.

She spent time over the eggs but not sitting on them for some moments.

Looking around was an important activity. After all it isn't as if she has a terrific book up there to help her pass the time.

A number of times Lola did this. Whatever "this" is.

Then she preened.

Looked around.

And spent several minutes with her head in the bowl of the nest.

More looking...

More preening...

Then an ultra focus once again for several moments--

Straight out.

And other directions as well.

Her head goes back into the bowl--

And at 7:00 the rest of her went into the bowl again as well. But interestingly, perhaps because the warmth of the sun, she didn't sit all the way down. Look. Her tail and back can still be seen. That is a little unusual.

Also unusual was the complete lack of wind. Not a ripple on the Model Boat Pond. The Mallard hen sleeps while her drake keeps watch.

...and the moon rises over Woody.
Donegal Browne

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