Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pale Male Courts the New Girl with Gusto, Red-tail on Red-tail Intrusions of Nests, and the Norfolk Eagle Cam

Pale Male and Lola in 2007

Pale Male has made his choice of a new mate as Lola has not reappeared. At this time of year the biological reproductive imperative takes over and he is courting the new formel he has chosen with great gusto and acrobatic flying. Check out the latest photographs at Lincoln Karim's--

The new girl is a very dark headed and backed hawk with a very dense dark belly band. There will likely not be much problem telling them apart.

I do hope those are not words I live to regret. Sometimes it isn't as easy as it may seem initially to tell two Red-tails apart but here the differences are almost spectacular.

As Lincoln had mentioned that he thought that Pale Male's new choice looked similar to Charlotte, Pale Male Junior's mate, I wondered if their eyass of 2007, Ziggy, might actually be dark enough and the right age to be Pale Male's new mate.

Remember Ziggy, who came down into the Ziegfield Plaza and caused such a hullabaloo amongst, rush hour pedestrians, the police, the park service, a homeless guy and eventually renowned rehabber Bobby Horvath thank goodness, as she stood grounded on the sidewalk?

I found a photo of Ziggy, and unless she has darkened appreciably with age, she isn't nearly dark enough. Pale Male Jr., who's coloration takes after his likely father, Pale Male, is...well...pale. And he is her father after all.

Karen Anne Kolling of Rhode Island had a question about whether Red-tails have the same sort of Red-tail on Red-tail Intrusions onto the the nest that Peregrines do--
Karen Anne said...

For awhile I was reading some peregrine websites. There have been some nasty battles, even to the death, when a peregrine is away temporarily from his or her mate, and another "moves in" and then the first returns. Does that happen with redtails?


Not that I've seen or heard about.

With Pale Male and Lola or any of the other Red-tailed nests I've watched, I have never seen an intruder actually set a toe on their nest. The pairs are on the job and keeping an eye on the mate’s location in the park plus the territory and the park located mate keeps an eye on the territory and mate on the nest as well.

Before the eggs are laid, some visitors are rather gently herded from the territory, whilst others have both Pale Male and Lola seriously hurtling at them at which time they beat a hasty retreat.

After the eggs are laid, gentle herding becomes a thing of the past.

Once I saw Pale Male signal Lola by flying back and forth in front of the nest as he wanted her to come back to the nest, then he flew off and took care of the problem himself. There are times where Lola will take off like a rocket from the nest after an intruder and PM will hot wing in and stand over the eggs.

Very occasionally when there are eggs they will both go after the intruder or intruders. The eggs are left for very brief amount of time.

I can't confirm their exact criteria for who takes on which intruders but it appears that Pale Male takes on the males and Lola takes on the larger females as she is larger. There have been cases in which the territory was entered by a pair of Red-tails. It appears in that case that they take quick turns fighting them off, with one adult on the nest a straddle the eggs.

On one occasion, Lola was on the eggs and Pale Male was on the nest doing a check in when a Red-tailed Hawk suddenly appeared on the edge of the roof of 927. Pale Male saw the hawk, flew up, landed about 2 feet from the visitor on the roof. Pale then just turned toward the second hawk, puffed himself up in a menacing stance and glared. The visitor then looked completely startled and flew off as fast as his wings could carry him. Pale didn’t even bother to chase him .

From Eaglecam alerting Jackie Dover of Tulsa

Hi, Donegal:

The Norfolk [VA] Botanical Garden eagle pair have built a new nest, about 125 feet from the old one. The eagle cam has been moved to the new site and is currently being tested before going live once again. A summary of this activity can be found at this link (Dec. 30 entry):


For some gorgeous photos of the eagle pair at the new nest, see the blog by Reese Lukei, of the Center for Conservation Biology:



For more information about these eagles and the camera--


Best wishes,

Jackie Dover

And from NYC Birdwatcher and astronomy buff Mitch Nusbaum--

A photo stream which has a good example of the notch in a Sharp-shinned Hawk's tail. The notch is often noted by birders as a field mark to tell this hawk from the similar Cooper's Hawk.


Donegal Browne


Anonymous said...

The Sharpie showed up as we were watching the irruption of Redpolls. For me a great opportunity for our raptor study but for the other birders, a disruption of our" Redpoll thing". They're were no casualties as Sharpie took wing. This was my first time seeing Common Redpolls.

Anonymous said...

multretThis was a screen capture from one of my videos which cannot be sent via emails