Wednesday, May 13, 2009



I took the attached photos around 5:40 PM yesterday (May 12th). There are DEFINITELY two little bundles of joy in the nest. The nest is a lot deeper than it looks! I also got some GREAT video which I posted on youtube.

The man talking in the background is an older, retired gentleman named Dino. He is known as the birdman of the NYBG. The hawk flew right OVER us after it leapt off the building. I took it as a reminder that she could CLEARLY see us. : )

Please pass this on to the folks on the blog.

I'll be breaking out the cigars now. : )

Pat Gonzalez


Guess what Pat?
Because of Rose's postures I've just spent an hour scrutinizing your photos looking for a third eyass, but was having trouble pinpointing a third, when what should appear in my email box but an note from Chris Lyons.

From Chris lyons, one of the chief watchers of Hawkeye and Rost at Fordham--

I managed to get there this afternoon. There are definitely three eyasses--I was the first to spot them all, but several other observers shortly confirmed it, including Richard Fleisher once he arrived.
The male, unfortunately, did not put in an appearance while we were there. Still think he's Hawkeye, but it's not 100% confirmed yet. Rich isn't sure either, though he agrees they are very similar, and has been operating under the assumption it's the same pair, because of the location of the nest (it's a very reasonable assumption, but it'd still be nice to know).
It's definitely Rose, though--Rich even got a photo that shows the band on her leg. So that's 16 successful hatches over six breeding seasons. I'll keep trying to definitely ascertain the male's identity over the next few weeks.


This is one of the postures that made me feel sure she was looking at a third eyass.

This is a very typical Mom or Dad Hawk looking-down-at-an-eyass stance. But one is further right and the other left so I was niggled that there must be another.


Thank goodness you just emailed. I have been looking at Pat Gonzalez's photos for over an hour and I was sure there was a third eyass because of the way that Rose was looking down but couldn't really prove it from the photos. It was driving me crazy. Thank you!

I also wondered what the status of Hawkeye/Not Hawkeye was. Thanks for that update as well.

Anyone gotten a look at the male's eyes yet with any precision? The reason I ask was there was a shot of an RT on the NYBG site that had light eyes but it wasn't really clear if that bird was actually the male of the nest. It so it would have made him too young to be Hawkeye.


Next up--While waiting interminable amount of time for the bus to Port Authority from La Guardia Airport, I looked up and there was a pretty little hen pigeon working on her nest above the bus dispatcher's cubicle.

Thank goodness for urban pigeons for so many reasons.

Her Blue Bar mate appears and gives me a look. She's peering through the twigs of the nest while scooting some nesting material to a new position.

I found this position rather creative.

Blue Bar appears with a leaf and lays it on top of her.

Then he flies off. In the world of concrete airports any vegetative material must be flown from rather far away.

She sits up and flips a leaf over the edge.

She watches it go. Originally cliff nesters in barren areas, these birds can get away with limited material and successfully nest anyway. These feral pigeons ancestors have been domesticated for thousands of years.

Blue Bar arrives with more material--near his left foot.

She pulls it in and starts fitting it.

Another leaf falls. Blue Bar watches it go. The ledge is very narrow but they likely will make it work.

If you keep laying on it, it can't fall out.

Impressive coloring.

She settles in.

Shifts a little.

And falls asleep as my bus pulls up.
Contributor Karen Anne Kolling sends this news our way--
From the Derby UK peregrine blog:
Photo by Colin Pass, his caption:
No, I have not seen a white feral pigeon, honest.
Sad Eagle news from Jackie Dover of the Tulsa Hawk Forum

You may have already learned of today's incident with the bald eagles at Hornby Island, British Columbia. But if not, here's my post about it on the Tulsa Hawk Forum this afternoon:"A sad and freakish turn of events at the Hornby Bald Eagles' nest today. One of the eaglets--"Echo"-- somehow became stuck to or entangled in the belly feathers of a parent, and eventually fell to its death when the parent flew off the nest.
Here is a video of the event, though be advised that it is hard to watch.
Here are a couple of statements by prominent folks involved (see Hancock Wildlife Forum):
By Doug Carrick (who found the eaglet oound):
At 10:30 this morning I looked under the eagle tree and found Echo lying on the ground. I picked him up. He was soft and warm but absolutely still - no signs of life.Just when we realized that Echo was managing very well in dealing with his big sister and was getting his share of the food, this totally unexpected tragedy occurred. We are all upset.
It reminds us how tenuous life is, especially in the wild. We will miss little Echo but still have Hope.----------------By David Hancock:"What a sad day. Our followers and Doug have really said it all. The few calls I have just had were tear laced and provoked the same in me.
Sure hard -- bloody impossible actually -- to be an un-compassionate and objective scientist under these circumstances.This is of course a very unusual accident. In fact this is such an unusual twist of fate that I have never heard of it happening just like this before. Here where we have so many viewers, such good opportunity for observation and analysis by replaying the archival cams, and yet no clear answers.
How in fact did this accident occur? In the past there are examples of adults bringing string (binder twine left in the fields kills hundreds of raptors annually this way), small fish net pieces attached to a fish entangle the young, and there is even suspicion of a broken egg in the nest acting as a binder or glue to fix feathers to chicks and cause a similar tragedy. But none of this seems to be at play here.
So what is a logical explanation?My best guess at this point or suspicion is that either chick excavated (pooped!) while it was under mom. This excrement stuck her underbelly and possibly underwing covets -- a few long trailing feathers -- together and poor Echo had the misfortune of getting entangled in them. Certainly the excrement can be a strong binding agent. I have seen captive reared chicks stuck firmly to the nest with excrement. However, to have seen her fly off with the chick and then return safely with the chick still attached seemed a miracle in the making.
The downside was of course that the timing for the chick or mom still did not permit the separation. Life in the wild is not easy and we are constantly reminded in our viewing opportunities of this. The miracle seems more that some survive. I hope for some heavy rains so mom gets her belly feathers cleaned. Maybe others examining the footage will detect something I have missed in my quick replay and we will have a slightly more complete explanation.
Best regards,
Jackie Dover
KJRH Tulsa Hawk Forum

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