Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Urban Hawks-Pale Male Jr., Charlotte, Kay & Jay plus Ospreys, Eagles, and Dinosaur Hip Bones

Photograph of Charlotte heading for the nest by Brett Odom
Where did the bark/dried stalk come from in Charlotte's beak? Did Charlotte go and get it and leave the eggs? Or did Junior just drop it off at the door and take off again?

Here are some thoughts from Brett Odom, chief watcher of Pale Male Jr. and Charlotte, the Southern Central Park Red-tails in NYC--

Hey Donna.

I just thought that I would provide some additional info you wondered about with regard to my question to you. I had also thought about the air coming from the vents being warmer than the outside air, but didn't think it would be warm enough to keep the eggs at the 99ºF which is my understanding the temperature at which most avian eggs need to be incubated. There was no rain on this day so that is a plus. The eggs were dry.

As for leaving the nest to hunt. I have not seen Jr. in the past 5 days. So I haven't seen him bring any food for Charlotte. That isn't to say that he hasn't brought any prey to her, though. The layout of my office keeps me from having an eye on the nest at all times. I could easily miss a drop off.

Also, I'm not sure where the stick came from. I turned around and Charlotte was already on the ledge with the stick. I don't know if Jr. dropped it off, she brought it in or if the wind blew it off and she went and retrieved it.It's Monday morning at 9:15AM and I can tell that one of them is sitting on the nest now. I just can't tell who it is yet through the grimy window. I only see movement whenever they move their head.

Photograph by Brett Odom
And a second email from Brett when he caught Junior in the act--

Well, I sent out that email to you this morning a little too soon. I just happened to turn around and see Jr. at the nest today. I didn't see if he brought food or anything with him. I just noticed him perched on the ledge and then he took off for the Park.

Hi Brett,

Thanks so much for the updates. Also got your second email saying that you'd seen Jr. Sounds like he is doing some very quick ins and outs. So he most likely has been doing his support-the-nest job quite swimmingly as he always has though it is difficult to catch him at it.

Even at Pale Male and Lola’s nest on Fifth Ave, which has a very broad view to catch the hawk coming and going plus numbers of people watching, we still miss switches at times because everyone for whatever reason looked away at the same moment. Personally I think the hawks try to time their switches to just those sorts of moments.

They do keep an eye on our eyes so they are aware of where we are looking.

Also sounds like Junior brought the stick, dropped it off, and zipped back out again. He is a busy bird who seems to be taking his many responsibilities seriously.

By the way, in 2005 Junior did a wonderful job teaching Little, the fledgling tiercel, his personal bag of very clever pigeon hunting techniques. Junior started training the moment that Little was off the nest.

Which could be something to look forward to watching this upcoming season if all goes well.



More very helpful information on the weather during Kay and Jay's nest absence from Kentucky Sally of the Tulsa Hawk Nest Forum--

It was 36 degrees in the morning after she left because I remember checking that, and the eggs were in the sun for a while when she first left, and the temperature warmed during the day. According to Wunderground the temp warmed quickly in the morning to 40 at 10:00am, 45 by 12 and 50 around 2:00pm, reaching 60 by 4:00pm. Wind was very still in the morning and increased a bit by evening.


From our Blackwater Eagle and Osprey reporter Robin of Illinois--
The Blackwater Osprey Cam web log, has links to a variety of other osprey cams around the world. Finland has some spectacular ones but these pictures are from the Kentucky Osprey Cam (link above). The first photo shows the light color that the osprey are soon after hatching, and the second one shows the osprey young in their "reptilian phase."
See the lizard-like creatures sleeping on the left side of the nest? Those are young sleeping osprey. Dinosaurs as progenitors of birds?

As to Dinosaurs being progenitors of Birds? Absolutely. Back when dinosaurs were “definitely” considered cold blooded the progression wasn’t noticed. Then a few flying dinosaur fossils were found if for one place China, in which—Wow! Those look like the images of feathers on that dinosaur fossil! Then the debate began, starting with “Are you sure those weren’t FAKED?” More feathered Dino fossils were found. Hmmmm. Then paleontological anatomists and avian anatomists began some cross pollinating talk and got into the game. And my, my they realized that there was a portion of the hip in birds and in dinosaurs that was exactly the same.

According to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, it is now “believed” that yes, the progenitors of our avian friends are dinosaurs. Also if you have watched birds very much live and keep their movement in mind as you watch the Jurassic Park movies you will see that the special effects folks used birds as models for the movement of the dinosaurs. I particularly found movement similarities in Jurassic park to be acutely familiar from watching Quicksilver, my African Grey Parrot.
From the Blackwater Eagle Cam and Robin of Illinois http://friendsofblackwater.org/wordpress/eagle09/,
Lisa posted this close up photo of what the current eaglets would look like up close, with their gray down and their pinfeathers growing in.
Lisa writes: "The beaks and talons of young bald eaglets grow faster than other parts of their bodies, and by about mid-April, their beaks and talons will be close to adult size. Full-size beaks allow the eaglets to feed themselves and full-size feet allow them to hold on tightly to the nest when they're moving around during windy weather or when they're flapping their wings in practice for eventual flight." Further down in the web log, she has links to some awesome photos from the Norfolk Eagle cam, adults, feeding their eaglets.
Our favorite Squirrel rehabber, Carol Vinzant, isn’t only interested in Squirrels, here is her offering for today—

Madeleine Pickens is trying to start the world's biggest wild horse sanctuary. The Bureau of Land Management wants to allow shipping horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter instead.
Click on this URL to take action now
Donegal Browne

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