Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Pale Male and Lola, A letter from Mai, and More Crows For Sadie

March 17, 2008 --7:11PM
Lola returns from eating the dinner Pale Male brought her.

Long time reader and contributor to the NYC Hawk blogs, Mai Stewart, responds to John Blakeman's thoughts about Pale Male, Lola, and the 2009 season.

Dear John,

I was so interested to read your email to Donna re the possibilities for PM/Lola in 2009.

I'm almost positive that the weather you described in your email -- persistently, even unusually, cold, rainy, windy days -- occurred last spring, esp. in March and April. I remember this, because I remember wondering at the time whether the raptors, and the eggs, could survive. I believe we had a lot of this kind of weather during those months -- perhaps even snowshowers, although I'm not positive about the snow.

What I don't remember as well is how much time Lola and PM spent off the nest, leaving the eggs uncovered. There's always plenty of prey here no matter what the season, so that's not an issue.

But I believe the weather was daunting, although, conversely, the Riverside Park hawk pair successfully hatched their eggs, and their nest was even more unprotected than PM/Lola's.

So we have a paradox here in NYC. (Nothing unusual about that!) Of course, last year, the failure to hatch at 927 was attributed to the steel structure on which the nest now rests, and questions persisted about PM's viability. But now, thanks to your observations and investigations, hopefully we have another cause, which gives us new hope for this year!

I'd love to hear, via Donna's website, from any other NYC hawkwatchers who might remember what the weather was like last spring, or who may have checked the meterological records, to confirm whether I'm remembering correctly or not.

In any case, as I once emailed Marie, I refuse to give up hope on the 927 nest until some incontrovertible, definitive facts become apparent which show that PM/Lola absolutely cannot reproduce!

Thanks so much for bringing this new information to light!

Happy New Year,


From weatherman Todd Hill's monthly weather snopsis for Staten Island, March, 2008.

In Staten Island, March of 2008, there were 13 days colder than normal
Lowest temperature was 27F on March 10th
Wettest day --- 1.21 inches rain on 7th
Peak wind gust --- 64 mph (northwest) on 8th registered at Newark Airport
Average cloud cover 61%

Snow-a trace

Rarely do the Crows venture into the patio feeding area. This morning two did. This bird walked across the iced over snow carefully looking down. ( Wisconsin had a January thaw and then froze over again, harder than a rock. When I stepped out of the car Monday into the driveway after my trip from the airport, I found myself sitting on the pavement in the blink of an eye. Nothing hurt but my dignity.) Then she'd punch through the ice with her beak, and I assume eat the tidbit, likely a sunflower seed, she'd seen through the ice.

Notice that the bird in the top Crow photo is almost out of the left frame. So of course I just had to creep over to the right for a better position.

Crow sees me and I think, DRAT she's going to fly away as usual when I'm seen. That's it for this photo op.

But instead of a burst of wings, she stood up and gave me a good hard look through the ice spattered glass. Well, that's interesting. That's never happened before. Does she recognize me? Have I finally reached the semi-okay stage with this Crow?

My jaw dropped. I must have changed status with this Crow anyway, because she leaned over and went about her foraging again.

Until a moment later when Pyewackit Cat raced over to see what I was looking at. Crow would put up with me or possibly put up with the cat, but not both of us together.
So there goes Crow with the other two members of her foraging party. But as she stayed once, it's a lot more likely that she'll stay at some point again. Hope must spring eternal when it comes to Crow watching.
NEXT UP--More gorgeous photos of Valkyrie of Tompkins Square Park taken by photographer Francois Portmann!!!
Donegal Browne

No comments: