Friday, June 06, 2008

Pale Male and Lola's Eggs: Linda Maslin Makes an Offer, Plus The Gracklery

So close and yet so far, the dilemma of how to gain a timely egg retrieval?
Today I received an email from long time Pale Male watcher Linda Maslin.
I have been following the saga of Pale Male for at least 10 years. I am very upset that the eggs will not be retrieved on time for the important tests to be done. I would be willing to donate money if others would to have NYC Audubon hire people to retrieve them. Can this be done?

Linda Maslin
Blue Bell, PA
Linda, excellent question and I don't know the answer but I think it's feasible. There are five factors that I know would be necessary currently for someone to arrange. As to the sixth I would be overjoyed to donate my time and equipment to work toward an egg retrieval timely enough for a diploid test and DNA samples. As to the needs:
1. The continued cooperation of 927 Fifth Avenue to allow access.
2. The continued cooperation of NYC Audubon to liaison with 927, supply
spotters, and borrow a ladder.
3. Permission of the required agencies in charge of migratory bird's eggs.
4. The ability to finance the job, for insurance and the necessary
tool for retrieval from the roof which is similar to a telescoping handled basket fruit picker. .
5. A person to collect, disperse, and be in charge of donations.
6. I have the harness and rigging that I used when I lay on the roof to
photograph the nest. There is no reason the same position, equipment,
and set up couldn't be used as it was safe and allowed for both hands to be
free to manipulate a camera. Therefore both hands could be free to
manipulate the retrieval device.
Anyone game?
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...well sort of--Bloggers at it again.
This afternoon I looked out the bedroom window, which faces a hedge, and discovered a Gracklery. More than a dozen immature Grackles had all somehow been convinced to group in the hedge as opposed to following their parents around begging. Do young Grackles take an afternoon nap? Did the adults have to do any emergency mobbing of the local Cooper's Hawk.? I've no idea but there all the youngsters were.

Blogger has decided not to upload any more photos for the moment so the rest of the Gracklery photos must wait for Blogger to behave. Here are the last three of the sequence---more to come eventually.

3:19:00pm The gapper. He doesn't make a sound, nor jiggle his wings while the parents aren't in sight. He just sits stock still with his mouth wide open and waits. It is a singular technique amongst the group.

3:27:35pm Grackle fledgling is in a state, but then again they're almost always in a state at the sight of a parent.

3:28:09pm Dad forages back and forth while the fledgling wails.
3:28:33pm And in goes the food.
4:06:38pm I discovered today that House Finch are particularly fond of the seed heads of dandelions.

4:18:50pm Toupee Goldfinch looks as if his rug has fallen even further into his eyes than usual.

4:21:25pm Doorstep Dove sits on the edge of the bath warming her feet.

4:23:20pm Robin having banished Doorstep goes about his own bath but keeps a wary eye that he himself not be banished.

Donegal Browne


Anonymous said...


Were you able to see how many eggs were inthe nest? From your photo it looks like there was obviously atleast one, but from the angle the rest can't be seen. Keep us posted if there is to be a fund raiser for egg retrieval. Also I caused a stir on Marie Winn's site about filling the gap under the nest cradle with insulation which might potentially cause the lack of warmth for incubation but that was shot down by the Audubon, is there a way that can still be taken care of as well? Until Pale Males fertility is known, the failure to have chicks reasoning needs to be looked into.


Westboro, MA

Karen Anne said...

I'm a little worried about the insulation idea. Might it start breeding bacteria and so on?