Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where is Pale Male's New Girl?

Photo by Francois Portmann,
A younger Valkyrie, before her red tail, of Tompkins Square Park does a little showing off for the crowd.

It was suggested by a reader that Pale Male's new girl who is so very dark, might be Valkyrie (or Dominatrix as she's now sometimes called downtown) who is also dark and has spent her time down in Tompkins Square Park for several years now.

I contacted Francois who said he'd look into it.

Then I received an email from birdwatcher and pro photographer Francois Portmann saying in part--

I saw Valkyrie/ Dominatrix yesterday at Tompkins Square Park, so that settles it, she’s NOT PMs new girl.


Good, I thought, that takes care of that question and went on to my next email, and another question from another reader of the blog about whether Pale Male's new girl had a red tail or not.

I'd remembered checking that early on and it appeared to me that she did, even though I was having to decide from the bottom as opposed to the top which is a much more saturated orange.

But, I thought, one can make mistakes when it's 4 in the morning, perhaps I should just go re-confirm my decision on that and went to check Lincoln's photos on .


As far as I can tell, on the posts of 1/10 and 1/11, the photos of hawks that aren't Pale Male are photos of yearling hawks who's tails have yet to turn red and are brown and barred. Also note that Lincoln never says in the captions for those days that the other hawk or hawks on the posts for 1/10 and 1/11 are Pale Male's new girl.

After re-checking the tail of the hawk Pale Male was courting on 1/05 through 1/09, I still saw it as red.

Therefore we haven't completely nixed Valkyrie for the post of Pale Male's new girl though her juvenile feathers are lighter than the bird Pale Male was courting--adult plumage does differ.

As Valkyrie, or any other female with a red tail, (I'm open to being corrected on this; go take a look.) appears to be in Lincoln's published photographic record of the 10th or the 11th, whichever the day as Francois was writing a few minutes after midnight, it doesn't conflict with Francois' sighting of Valkyrie downtown. Though it is a very unlikely chance that she is the new girl, Valkyrie/Dominatrix is still in the running.

Donegal Browne


Sally said...

How far is Tomkins Square from Pale Male's Territory?

sally said...

I agree, the pictures Lincoln has posted the past couple of days do NOT include the new gal, nor does he mention her. I wonder if she has moved on? The pictures on the 9th do show a red tail from underneath I think you are correct, and I thought I had seen in one post a mention of her red tail and light eyes. Maybe that was you, not him?

Donegal Browne said...

HI Sally,

As the hawk flies in miles, I don't know. Tompkins Square Park is on the Lower East Side. And it's about 70 blocks give or take, downtown from Pale Male's nest area and a hand full of cross town blocks east into Alphabet city.

Crosstown blocks are longer,roughly the equivalent of 3 to 4 of the N/S downtown blocks.

Donegal Browne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sally said...

Ok, so am I blind, or is it the light, but the bird in Lincoln's pics today in flight seems to have light eyes and dark chin, but the one perched seems to have darker eyes and at least some white on the chin area? I wish he was narrating these pics so we would know if he followed the bird and knows it is the same one. Are there any other watchers around, anyone on the bench or otherwise to corroborate these observations?

Donegal Browne said...


According to Rob Schmunk of, Google Earth says it is 3.5 miles. I assume that GE is following the roadway as opposed to as the hawk flies so shorter if Valkyrie happened to make the trip.