Saturday, January 01, 2011

Willow Street Red-tailed Hawk, Banding Birds, Polar Bears Take on Spy Cams, Pale Male's Mate Lola, Plus the Franklin Red-tails are Back!

Photo by Mitch Nusbaum

In from Mitch Nusbaum, The Willow Street Villa Percher.
I must admit this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk is certainly giving Mitch and his new camera "the look".

Next, What's Your Opinion About Banding Wild Birds?

There has been a conversation going on amongst some of the NYC Hawkwatchers about the pros and cons of the banding of healthy Red-tailed Hawks as is sometimes done when it comes to young birds on or off the nest or even adult birds who can be caught for a few moments when they fly into a net or grasp a foot trap set by banders.

In the case of the foot trap it isn't like those nasty metal things with teeth. The hawks are lured down by a non-native bird in a box, often a pigeon or starling, (which they can see but, don't worry, they can't actually get to. It just wouldn't be fair, now would it?) and then the hawk's feet are caught in netting that is on the box, they're banded, and then released.

I think the conversation started because of the Old Gal, and the information that was garnered about her due to the fact that she had been banded before she was a year old. If she hadn't been banded, we'd never have known how old she was and how well she'd done over all these many years.

Wildlife Rehabilitators Bobby and Cathy Horvath band all the birds that come under their care before they are released and no bird has ever been harmed in the process. They are very caring and experienced.

You ask, what about others?

Banders do have to be licensed by the government or work under the banding license of a Master Bander who oversees their work. They also must be licensed to possess/collect as they do hold a bird for a few minutes who is healthy and not in the throes of being rescued due to illness, injury, or dangerous circumstances.

A momentary time out here. Let me reiterate, as sometimes there is confusion, any citizen may lay hands on a bird who is injured, ill, or in jeopardy in order to help it.

A bird in jeopardy is removed from the danger, say like a fledgling in the middle of the street, and released in a safe spot.

As for the other two categories, injured or ill, the bird must be taken to a licensed wildlife rehabber or a vet for care.

Okay, back to the main event. This matter of banding--

What is your opinion about healthy hawks being banded with those little metal ankle bracelets with the numbers?

Hit the Contact Me button on the right column of the page to send me an email with your opinion.

Next up from Robin of Illinois
, a wonderful video about what Polar Bears do when they spy a Polar Bear Spy Cam---

And from Hawkwatcher Jackie Dover of Oklahoma with news on the Red-tailed Hawk pair who nest right outside a window of the The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA-

Hi, Donegal--

Della Micah reports that renovations are underway--

Happy New Year!

Jackie Dover, in Oklahoma

Thanks for the news everyone!


As of January 2, 2011, Pale Male's mate Lola has still not been sighted in Central Park. Hawkwatcher Emma Cale reports that Pale Male appears to be watching for Lola's return.

Pale Male and Lola are often seen sky dancing by mid-January. Observations of the first copulation of the year range from the last week of January through the first week of February.

Donegal Browne

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