Monday, April 14, 2008

Pale Male, Lola, and the Intruder Plus the Plum Brook Station Eagles!

3:34PM Lola does a little housekeeping. Moving twigs from one place to another.
Pale Male perches atop stovepipe, with one foot up, scoping the territory.

4:10:45PM Lola reappears and rearranges more twigs. Makes some twitchy moves--dislodging poorly placed sticks? Then settles back in. Pale Male on Stovepipe.

4:43PM Lola rises, turns eggs.

5:22PM Pale Male his moved to the spire on top of a building past the trees and the Oreo building. A troupe of high school students comes towards the Hawk Bench.
FREDERIC LILIEN, the filmmaker of the Pale Male documentary, is at the Bench today. He's the one center with the big grin. One never knows what will happen with Frederic around.

Suddenly we're having a lovely energetic choral concert--very New York.

Unfortunately while we're enjoying the concert, the hawks have done something and we're not sure what. Lola has come off the nest, leaving in unattended, and flies above the Villa Building.
Pale Male lands on the nest.

Pale Male covers this bowl but is very alert.

5:51PM Lola lands on Stovepipe, alert. She then takes off for the corner of the Green Awning building (or Barbara Walters)

Lola takes off again and goes north.

Then appears in the south. Lola flaps back and forth to gain altitude.

5:57PM Lola lands back on the nest.

Waits. Scratches her head.

Pale Male leaves the bowl. Lola watches sky.

Pale Male is off. Lola bends her head down in an unusual manner and stares.

Lola continues to look fixedly in bowl.

Then she rather rambunctiously gets into the bowl. Thinking that should be it for a bit I take this chance to run over to the facilities at the boat house.

On the way back I even take a photo of a cute squirrel. I have now become the sacrificial birder. Which means-- I left so more happened. Exactly what depends on who you talk to. There is a ruckus and a hawk and perhaps two in the west line of trees with a mob of smaller birds raising the roof and mobbing.

I'm just getting back trying to figure it out what's happening, when Bruce Yolton, calls that there is a hawk in the tree above him. The hawk then takes off and lands above the Hawk Bench.

It's an immature Red-tail, likely the one Pale Male and Lola keep having to usher out of the territory lately.
On the way to this perch the immature attempts to snag a pigeon out of the tree above me, feathers fly but the pigeon flies NW and the young Red-tail lands in the London Plane with nothing but some loose feathers in her talons. (Pigeons that hang out at the Hawk Bench tend to be quick or they don't last long.)

The hawk then chooses another perch in the next London Plane tree down. Then she's off to the NE.

See the man on the bench with the tense posture looking over his shoulder? He's rather startled. He just had a Red-tail fly rather closely over his head.

In the meantime, there is a Red-tail in the sky to the N. Who now?

The Red-tail comes round from N to S then swings toward the nest.

Pale Male lands on the nest and checks north, one look. No lola. Perhaps he stashed food for her and she went to eat it?

In very short order he hustles toward the bowl.

Gets a good angle to fluff down--

6:57PM And disappears from sight. By now Lola is back on Stovepipe.
7:05PM Exit.


The Bald Eagle's nest at the NASA Plum Brook Station here in northern Ohio now has two eaglets. They hatched over a week ago, but until this weekend, we couldn't see any little heads sticking up above the nest rim. Today, both of the eaglets are visible and are being well fed.

Just as everyone in NYC thrills to the hatching of Red-tailed Hawk eggs there, the NASA employees are just as excited to learn of the new eaglets at their facility. It's not rocket science . . . but it sure is exciting.

The pair took last year off, producing no offspring (as eagles are commonly wont to do from time to time). I believe, however, that this is the first time the pair has produced two eaglets. The nest is four or five miles inland from Lake Erie and the fish-filled marshes there that have held eagle populations for hundreds of years.

Bald Eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, are fish eagles, and the several related species in the genus around the world prefer to capture and eat fish. Consequently, the birds typically nest near lakes and streams where they can drop their talons into the water and pluck out finned prey.

But the Plum Brook pair, along with the majority of Ohio's now 160-some eagle nests, are located at inland sites, away from preferred streams and lakes. The lake sites are saturated. Like the Red-tails in New York City, these birds have adapted to new nesting sites and new prey. These inland Bald Eagles are acting more like Golden Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks in capturing and consuming medium to large mammal prey. Plum Brook Station has a large White-tailed Deer herd, and there have been reports of Bald Eagles killing young fauns. They also spot and feed on dead dear, either roadkills, or natural deaths. They also consume roadkill raccoons, woodchucks, muskrats, and other medium-sized prey. With two eaglets, the local pair has found plenty of food this winter, even with our severe and lingering snowfall.

Here's hoping that NYC Red-tails will soon hatch, especially our beloved pair at 927 Fifth Ave. It would be so nice to be able to watch eaglets and eyasses grow up and fledge everywhere.

--John A. Blakeman

You can say that again!
Donegal Browne

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