Sunday, November 01, 2009

Red-tail Update-Odom on Charlotte of South Central Park, Cavert on the Art Deco Tulsa OK Hawk

Photograph by Christine Pittet
2009-Charlotte, Pale Male Jr's mate,
of the Southern Central Park Redtails

Photograph by Donegal Browne
2005-Charlotte and 2 eyasses on the Trump Parc nest

When I was contacted about the identity of the hawk in the top photograph, I identified her as Charlotte, but I also sent off an email to Brett Odom, who is one of the chief watchers of that pair these days for his opinion.

Here is Brett Odom's answer--

Hi Donna,

While I have never been so close to Charlotte as this picture has been taken, given the location and the very dark coloration of the body and the bright redness of the tail, I would agree that it is Charlotte.

I would be curious to know where Junior goes during the winter. It always unnerves me when he is gone.

Have you read the book Wesley the Owl by Stacey OBrien? I read it while on my honeymoon last month. It was a very interesting and insightful book about Barn Owls. There is a website at if you have not already checked it out.

Brett Odom

Thanks Brett! I too feel uneasy when a hawk disappears for the winter. This is an interesting case because in the other pairs in which one member takes a winter vacation in my experience so far it has been the female.

Some of Pale Male's mates disappeared during the colder months and Kay of the KJRH TV nest also took a lengthy sabbatical last winter. Red-tail expert John Blakeman has told us that as the female requires more calories than the male that they are likely to go south where the snow is less deep for easier hunting in order to fulfill their larger caloric requirements. Their other half , the smaller male, stays behind, guards the territory, and can often do well enough on the existing food supply. I also have the feeling that Mrs. M and Mrs. Steam also take a winter holiday from from the cold and deep snow here in WI.

It has been suggested that one of Pale Male's mates went to New Jersey for the winter as that may have been her natal ground. Particularly as Central Park tends to collect extra Red-tails in the winter due to the deep level of prey one would think there wouldn't be much of a reason to skedaddle other then to truly get out of town, take a vacation, and perhaps partake of the prey animals that Central Park doesn't support such as rabbits and voles.

If Junior is actually one of Pale Male's progeny his natal territory would be only a few blocks north of his own territory, and certainly someone would see him and recognize him with so many hawk watching eyes in that part of the park. So my thought is-- might he possibly be going back to the place where he spent time between when he left his parents and then returned to Central Park as a sexually mature bird and carved out his territory. Or perhaps it truly is a vacation. And Pale Male Jr. takes the time to escape the day to day and explore other parts of the world.

Which makes me even more nervous about his absence now that I think of it. But whatever he is doing, he has been doing it for years (He is a very experienced crafty little hawk after all) and one of the joys of the new breeding season is when someone reports the first sighting of Junior in the new season.

Photo by Cheryl Cavert

The latest installment of Cheryl Cavert's Tulsa Red-tail update--
A couple of weeks ago while heading into downtown Tulsa,

Photo by Cheryl Cavert
I spotted a Red-tail hawk on Boston Avenue United Methodist Church.

Photo by Cheryl Cavert
It it is a 20th Century Art Deco masterpiece that is on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a National Historic Landmark.

Photo by Cheryl Cavert
Its tower is 15 stories - 225 feet high!

Photo by Cheryl Cavert
These are a few views of the hawk at Boston Avenue UMC, Tulsa OK.

Thanks Cheryl! This building and it's possibilities for a nest site remind me of the Trump Parc in NYC where Charlotte and Pale Male Jr. had a successful nest in 2005. (See second photo from the top.)

Come breeding season this is one place in which I would camp out and watch to see if Red-tails are trading places some where on it.

In your long shot the hawk is perched on a form which obscures from sight and shields from the weather what may be the flat top of a pillar. A real possibility for a nest, be sure to check that out while you're waiting for some hawk flights in and out.

Tulsa has some wonderful opportunities for Hawkwatching. Enjoy!

Donegal browne

No comments: