Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The New Nest at the NYBG, Which M Red-tailed Hawk Is Which, Corkery on The Nest of Astoria Park, and New Condor's Nest

The new Red-tail Nest at the New York Botanical Garden


When I arrived at the NYBG I made a b-line for the library building so I could photograph the hawk nest. At first, I thought that there was nobody home until I looked at the photographs. There was definitely a head there. I took some more pics before I left. The attached was taken at 4:37 PM. See the head?

Sorry I couldn't get better shots. I was too scared I'd get scolded by one of the employees for walking across the lawn. : ) Even with my binoculars it was hard to make much out.

Hope these help.

Pat Gonzalez

Many thanks Pat! No apologies necessary. It is clear that this is a bit of a tough site to photograph. This site for nesting though similar to the one at Fordham appears to have less square footage and less head room, though quite cozy none the less.

Can anyone tell if there are pigeon spikes along the edge of the "floor"? They tend to help keep nesting materials in place.

Pat I hope you don't mind, I cropped your shot in order to get a better look at the sitting hawk.
And you did manage even at the ground angle to get the sitting bird's head. She (or he) of course is not exactly posing for the photo as she's quite hunkered down.

A detail that if mentioned before bears mentioning again to those who may be visiting this nest, hoping to help identify if Hawkeye and or Rose are involved. Rose has a band on her leg that she received while in rehab with the Horvaths. If we do find that the female is banded, we can get the numbers and definitively prove whether or not she is Rose.


I decided this was Mrs. M on my visit of April 17th. Why? See what I suppose could be called the expression on her face? I see it as an expression of aggression, the "Don't you dare try it" look. And the lines of the face look particularly "hawkish" or as Francois Portmann expresses it, "Eagle-ish" that I find typical of a female. There is a sleekness about her face. We do have to take into account that it was a warm dry day so her feathers lay flat.

On my visit to observe the Ms on the 20th of April, this bird was sitting the nest. I think it is Mr. M. Mr. M has a tendency to have more of an expression that broadcasts, "I'm invisible or would like to be". It had been raining for the previous two days so his head feathers are particularly fluffy, though I think they have a tendency to be a little that way even on dry days compared with the Mrs. Somehow he looks rounder and almost cuddly like the round headed eyasses on occasion. Does this help protect him from possible aggression accidentally doled out by his larger mate? Rather like what research has found to be the "baby" face in humans, that innately makes us want to nurture and protect those creatures wearing it?

I've now come to believe that Mr. M is the one who when intruded upon moves twigs to obscure himself.

Here he puts his conspicuous eye behind the twig.
Here is his profile. While not the exact angle of the Mrs. above, notice that his brow and beak length ratio appears shorter and smaller.

I couldn't get them to load tonight, but I have several photographs in which Mr. M's head disappears into the nest. I've tried to figure out what he was doing as he wasn't rolling eggs or that sort of nest duty. I think now, that he was moving twigs subtly higher to disguise himself
Young California Condors
Frequent contributor Robin of Illinois discovered this wonderful news about the Condors--
First condor nest in 70 years found near Pinnacles Monument in California.
Condor Nest Found Near Pinnacles Monument;First Nest Found Near Park In Over 70 Years PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT, Calif. -- The first condor nest located near Pinnacles National Monument in more than 70 years has been verified, park officials said Monday.

A male condor released at the monument in 2004 has paired with a 6-year-old female condor for breeding. It is also the first condor nest since are-establishment effort introduced California condors back into the park in2003.

Prior to the re-establishment effort, California condors were facing extinction and no new condor nests were known to have been found at the park in nearly seven decades before 2003, said Carl Brenner, chief of interpretation and education at Pinnacles National Monument.

The nest site is located on a private ranch outside the park, but the National Park Service said it is working with the ranchers on a nest-monitoring strategy. “This has been a rewarding opportunity to work with our community toward common goals. Both the ranchers and the condors will benefit from the continuation of successful ranching operations,” said Daniel George, condor program manager at Pinnacles National Monument.

Brenner said biologists will closely monitor the nest to see if the new first-time parents can succeed in incubating the egg and rearing the chick.During a recent visit, biologists saw the male condor stand and briefly turn the egg. Condor eggs take about 57 days to hatch and park officials said that if the new parents are successful at rearing the young condor, it would take its first flight in October.

There are currently 23 free-flying condors at Pinnacles National Monument and the current world population of California condors stands at 322. The California condor was put on the federal endangered species list in 1967.

Thousands of hours and dollars spent from 1967 t0 2009 and the population is 322. Over 40 years of work, and we're glad we've got 322. But once again it shows how hard it is to help nature re-succeed after we've driven them to very near extinction.

Photograph by Michell Nusbaum
The Inwood Park Nest- Mitch reports that Ranger Rob believes they may well have had a hatch.

Here the male has landed on the Tulip tree nest. Last year there were 2 eyasses.

Donegal Browne


Chris said...

I don't think the numbers on the band are needed, assuming there is a legband. If the female is banded, the odds of her not being Rose are pretty small.

True, Bobby Horvath has released a lot of young hawks with the same type of band, but this one would have seen quite a bit more wear.

I still haven't had a good look at either adult at the NYBG. I still see Red-tails at Fordham sometimes, but from a distance.

Once they're feeding young (knock wood) it'll be easier to get a good look.

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Chris,

You're right that Rose's band would certainly have wear. And by looking, I'm assuming that you would be able to recognize Rose but most of the rest of us wouldn't. I give you that if the female has a band that it would most likely be Rose, but there are those who like their IDs with proof positive so if we were able to catch the numbers with a scope it would be all to the good. Personally, your positive ID would be enough for me.

Is there three or four banded females in the city that we have followed? There is Rose, Athena in Astoria Park, the Houston Street Mom, and ? It seems like there is one more. Anyone else remember?

Athena is accounted for but Houston Mom and Rose haven't been matched with a nest as yet this season. Interesting that none of the named males are banded.

You're right a feeding bird is a bird that can be scrutinized. (Knock wood)

P.S. I'm hoping that the NYBG mom is Rose.