Sunday, March 14, 2010

SEND THOSE THANK YOU NOTES, 1 Fifth Hawks, NYBG Update.Rabid Cat, the Cops and the Coyote in Chelsea

Photo by Donna Browne
Lola and Pale Male on the 927 Fifth Avenue Nest

In regards to sending thank you notes for the new policy on rat poison in some areas of NYC during breeding season, some suggestions from Robin of Illinois—

GREAT idea ... I did send a Thank You note to Bennepe and asked if he would suggest the rat baiting cessation program to the NYBG as there are nesting pairs in that area too.

Do we need to be worrying about the Unisphere pair too?

Thank you for thinking of it. I hope LOTS and ALL of your readers send thank-you notes to Commissioner Bennepe as in his position public opinion and numbers really matter!

Great idea yourself Robin!

When sending your thank you note please include Robin’s idea of asking Commissioner Bennepe to suggest the rat baiting cessation program to the NYBG, I'd add in memory of Hawkeye, and for the area surrounding the Unisphere which also has a nesting pair. And what about Isolde and Norman up at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine...they eat many rats now that the pigeon population has been so reduced in the area.

Here’s the link, and remember numbers DO matter so send the link to your hawk loving friends so they too can say thank you as well!

Photograph by Zach Lemle

From Zach--
Here is an establishing shot of the building, 1 Fifth. The bottom of the picture is roughly the 18th floor. This is the view of the front. The nest is in the rear, but you can at least see at what level it is. I'll try to get a shot from the roof of a building on 9th street that can see the back on 1 Fifth.

Photograph and commentary from Zach Lemle-- The arrow points to one of the little outcroppings that the hawks have chosen to use...except the arrow is not where the nest is the same little outcropping but the one in the back of the building. There are 4...if you go clockwise and consider the arrow to be #1 then the nest is in #2, the northeast corner one. The arrow is of of the northwest corner.


Here are highlights from my latest adventure (Thursday, March 11th). So sorry for the bad quality. It was cloudy most of the day.

9:47am - Shortly after leaving the Webster Cafe (2 1/2 blocks away from the garden entrance) after a nice breakfast, I see a small hawk, (kestrel? peregrine falcon?) in a tree by the Metro North overpass. What a cutie! A good omen.

10:00am - I entered the New York Botanical Garden through the Moshulu (pedestrian) gate.
11:12am - saw a sharp-shinned hawk in a closed-off section between the wild-wetland trail and forest. At least, I think it is a sharp-shinned hawk because of the red eyes and the seemingly square tail feather. He took off before I could put on my zoom lens.

11:41am - FINALLY spotted a red-winged blackbird along the wild wetlands trail.

12:53 - While looking out for Rose and Vince, I see a brown, wet fur-ball dive into one of the twin lakes. The muskrats have entered the building. Of all the images I shot yesterday, this is the one I'm proudest of. I love these critters!

1:11PM - While shooting the muskrat, a large turkey vulture flies right over me. This is the third time I've seen one of these at the garden this year.

I also shot some video which I've posted on youtube. I've saved the best for last, check out the muskrat squeezing himself under the walkway. Wow!

Pat Gonzalez
The New York skyline, where eagles roam: NY Times

New York is getting wild again. The cabaret laws are still strict, and the smoking ban is still in place. But in the last few weeks there have been sightings throughout the boroughs of creatures more commonly seen on the Discovery Channel.

A coyote, already a familiar sight in Central Park, took in the late-night scene at 24th and 12th in Chelsea. A seal sunbathed on the sand in Great Kills Park, on Staten Island. Opossums staked their turf in Brooklyn. And a dolphin may have gone for a swim in Newtown Creek.
No member of any species should go for a swim in Newtown Creek.

Most strikingly, perhaps, bald eagles — those powerful symbols of American strength and solitude — have been making forays into Manhattan, that isle of iniquity off America’s eastern shore.


Animal General

Dear Bill Walters,
I am writing to share a veterinary alert that Animal General received today from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regarding a positive rabies test in a cat in Riverdale.
*On March 5, 2010 a feral cat in the North Riverdale section of the Bronx tested positive for rabies. This is the first animal to test positive for rabies in the Bronx in 2010.
*The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encourages owners to ensure that their pet are up-to-date for rabies vaccination.
*Veterinarians will consider rabies in the differential diagnosis for any patient with a history of exposure to a potentially rabid wild or feral animal, and/or if presenting with progressive neurologic disease.
*To date this year, a total of 69 animals have tested positive for rabies, including the cat mentioned in this alert.
*There continues to be an outbreak of raccoon rabies in and around Central Park in Manhattan for which a Trap, Vaccinate and Release (TVR) program has been implemented to help prevent further spread of the virus.
*Maintaining vaccination against rabies is required for all dogs and cats in New York City, including indoor pets. Any unvaccinated dog or cat that may have been exposed to a rabid animal is required to enter into 6-month isolation in an approved facility or be euthanized. If a pet is up-to-date with its rabies vaccine but potentially exposed to a rabid animal, a booster vaccine should be given as soon as possible, and the animal should be confined and observed for 45 days in the owner's home.
*Any healthy pet dog or cat that has bitten or scratched a person is required to be confined and observed by the owner (in most instances) for 10 days.
*Additional information about rabies is available on the DOHMH website at including summary data for NYC. DOHMH has also recently published a guide to human rabies prevention, available at
If you have any questions about your pet's rabies vaccination status, please e-mail or call our receptionists at 212-501-9600 to schedule an appointment if your pet is overdue. I'd like to remind you that Animal General does not charge for vaccines, so if your pet is overdue please call to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Best wishes, Karen Markham

That isn't everyone's news of the day but it's time I got some sleep so, until tomorrow--

Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

What happened to the pigeon population near the Cathedral?

Donegal Browne said...


I wondered the same thing as I had gone to church at the Cathedral perhaps 10 years earlier and there were hundreds of pigeons around the Cathedral, then I got a theatre job that made going to church there, because of the commute, impossible--couldn't make the matinee. Then when I began watching Tristan and Isolde there were pigeons but not nearly the number previously. I then began talking to people and asking about it. Turns out that there had been a number of pigeon feeders back in the day, one woman in particulr who had a connection at, supposedly anyway, the hospital cafeteria for left over bread, rolls, and other pigeon yummies. The woman passed away and the hawks moved in, hence the pigeon population severe reduction. At times there are no more than a hand full that forage directly around the cathedral as opposed to the previous hundreds.

At least that is the story I was told.