Monday, September 21, 2009

Rose and Hawkeye at Fordham and the Thresherman Cranes

2007- Rose of Fordham prepares a pigeon on top of the nest building. A fledgling is on an adjacent roof where he is standing on a pipe, possibly a piece of antenna and now he's gotten there he doesn't really know what to do with himself. He's been pacing back and forth on it. Like most RT Moms with a new fledge, Rose would prefer if he were closer to the nest site. She is preparing the prey in what would be his full view if he turned around. She seems to be going about her business but she is also completely aware of what the fledgling may do at any second. Why?

Because when a fledgling sees food he flings himself at it. (Note how she got him off the precarious pipe? He'd been walking back and forth, back and forth but the moment he saw food he automatically flew to it. She got him off the pipe and gave him dinner. Kind of a two in one technique on Rose's part.) Which he has done. In order not to get taloned by her son, Rose has taken a last second dive off the building. The youngster stands over the prey right where Rose was a few seconds before and looks after her. Looking like he is wondering why she took off. Self preservation would be the answer to that but he hasn't realized the danger he can be to a parent when his instincts take over.

More on Hawkeye and poison from Margo of VA--
Damn!! What must we do to convince the "authorities" that poisoning is not going to solve the rat problem, and that, if they will just let the wonderful hawks do what they do so well, kill rats, that everyone will be way ahead of the game.
My heart breaks to think of the void in the life of Rose. Hawkeye's death is so very senseless and underscores how truly thoughtless and self centered some humans can be. There needs to be a ground swell of indignation of the type that brought back Palemale and Lola's nest.
Damn, I can't stop crying.

Margot Treybig
Hardy, VA

Well said. With excellent sanitation and raptors, there would be no excuse for poison.

And as we were talking about ways to keep garbage from feeding large populations of rats, I just read that to prevent infestations of insects and rodents that the Smithsonion, they freeze all their garbage until right before it is picked up. That of course would work, wouldn't it. :-) Wouldn't want Old Abe's hat or Dorothy's ruby slippers gnawed on, now would we?

Regarding Hawkeye and Rose, they were together and bred successfully for many years. Though, as they were already a pair, and nesting, when they first came to the attention of watchers we don't really know their ages nor how many years they were paired. They were well bonded as Hawkeye waited for Rose when she went to rehab at the Horvath's for an injured wing. She was hurt during nesting so Hawkeye didn’t’ have a strong biological imperative heavily urging him to re-mate immediately.

I just thought of something. Rose saw Hawkeye being picked up and as she went to rehab herself, I wonder if she might think there is a chance that he'll come back. I don't know if they think in that way or whether they stay "present", but they do memorize prey movements for future use, so are not completely "in the moment" all the time.

Of course Rose is still missing half the team that holds the territory. Before too long the territorial lines for breeding grounds will be hardening up again and soon she may be having to protect the territory from interlopers all by herself. Which can be difficult when the intruders come by in pairs. Isolde at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine nest, didn’t have to hold the territory for very long as Tristan's disappearance occurred hard on the time she usually ovulates. It's thought that she took off and found Norman when she was sure Tristan was gone. Norman was very young and inexperienced but the biological imperative spoke and she took what she could find.

If Rose stays in the territory of Fordham/NYBG and I suspect she will try to hold onto it as she and Hawkeye were so successful there, she may have to protect the natal grounds for awhile by herself, which could be trying. Even so, she does have the advantage of knowing the area very very well and she is no young dummy but rather a smart experienced clever Red-tail female of good size and maturity. Eventually she'll like a male who comes by and he'll be allowed to stay or she'll go find one she does like.

And it will all start again. Even so, Hawkeye will always be missed.

The Thresherman Crane Family takes flight on the 21st.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I'm seeing a hawk I presume to be Rose perching on various sites at Fordham University--perches she and Hawkeye tended to favor. I haven't been able to get a good look.

Only way she'd lose the territory would be if a rival pair pushed her out, and I don't know of one in the area right now. She does need to take a mate in the next few months, though.

I wondered too if she made the connection between Hawkeye being taken and her own capture and rehabilitation. I don't believe science has a definite answer to that question right now, but we can be sure she was mainly living in the moment, as animals wisely do, at least in her waking hours. Anybody who has lived with a bird knows that when asleep, they give every sign of having a dreamlife, like us. Her relationship with Hawkeye was the most significant of her life, by far, and I don't see how she wouldn't be seeing him in her sleep. But perhaps over time even those memories fade. And perhaps it's rank sentimentality to ascribe such feelings as love and loyalty to what some scientists consider little more than feathered instinct machines--

On the other hand, there was Loren Eiseley's story of a pair of American Kestrels--hope this link works.