Thursday, March 04, 2010

Red-tailed Hawk Update: Pale Male and Lola Part I

Photographs by Donegal Browne
Central Park was nearly at its winter picturesque best and the place was packed even with the heavy cloud cover and dim light.

When I got to the Hawk Bench, past the snow strollers, and kids zooming downhill at breakneck speed, there was Lola sitting on the Carlyle. Pale Male was on patrol giving us a glimpse here and there as he flew between buildings.

It was nippy on the ground but Lola looked like she was dealing with much more wind than we, the earthbound.

Then she took off for the nest.

She looked at it and immediately set work.

Possibly eye contact with Pale Male.

Working a twig into the side of the bowl.

Tussling a twig.
She stares at the bowl.

Peers at us on the Bench.

Checks the perimeter?

Then stares alertly.

Back to the twigs that just aren't quite right.

She does something to the bowl for quite a few minutes.

Changes position slightly and does whatever it is some more.

There is just something terribly unsatisfactory about that particular patch of twigs.

Lola does not give up and keeps at it.

She once again stares south.

And here comes Pale Male circling over Woody.
He heads in toward the nest.
Continued in Part 2, below.


Karen Anne said...

That's a very impressive nest. I keep hoping they will eventually get it thick enough to offset whatever that structure underneath it has done to disrupt the reproductive situation.

sally said...

Wow! Ihad never noticed Lola's brilliant white eyebrows before, but you really captured it in that shot on the nest!

Donegal Browne said...


That is what I hope as well, but when I was on the roof looking down, it seemed that the bowl itself receives a new lining each year as the grasses and bark from the previous year have deterioriated but as more and more of the sitting hawk disappears each season it seems that the bowl itself isn't rising just the sides of the nest. Also the bowl is right up next to the wall where previously the "eyebrow" masonry was flush up against the masonry of the wall itself, now there is a space because of the cradle. Cold air can blow under the cradle and be forced through the smaller space at the back with more of a rush right up into the edge of the bowl. They could be putting more twigs in that space which might help Let's hope that Pale Male and Lola have felt the breeze and have made that section extra thick.
Lola certainly had hed her head in the bowl for extensive work the other day. Fingers crossed.

Donegal Browne said...


Actually when I first saw Lola this season sitting up on the telescope on the Carlyle, I wondered if it was her at first her molt seemed so different. It was rather startling Her eyebrows stood out and her belly band seemed so much darker than usual. Part of the difference may be that the days I've photographed them this year so far have not been at all sunny so her dark parts may seem even darker. We'll see as the weather gets brighter.