Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pale Pale and Pearl/Paula/PB Copulate! It's Eggnant Time Again...

Photo courtesy of palemale.com
02/20/2011 Pale Male and P copulate on the top of the grate above the warm chimney of the Oreo Building.

If you're wondering what eggnant means, here is how this Central Park Hawk watcher descriptive term started.

One day, I believe in 2005, the first season after the nest had been destroyed and rebuilt, many hawk watchers were standing around the Hawk Bench trying to decide when the late and beloved Lola would lay her first egg of the season.

A female Red-tail as the span of copulation days draws her nearer to laying eggs begins to look heavier not only physically but also in her behavior. She begins to look, well, sort of hormonal, which no doubt she is. She tends to perch, feathers a touch ruffled, not looking as alert as usual, not nearly as ready to leap off a ledge to chase an intruder as she had been a few weeks before, nor even hunt for herself. Lola had truly begun to look--whatever this was. When long time watcher of Pale Male and his mates, Stella Hamilton, burst out spontaneously, "She looks eggnant!"

Immediately chorused by eggnant? Yes! Eggnant, that's exactly it!

From then on the descriptive term for that heavy, still, earthbound hormonal look in a female Red-tail has been expressed by a much simpler term than the previous long string of adjectives as just-- EGGNANT.

Therefore now that copulation has started, the next milestone in Red-tail season is the laying of the first egg, which is cued by eggnancy in the female.

Do remember that as no human has a view of the bowl of the Fifth Avenue nest, we've not real idea when the first egg actually is laid in the nest.

Traditionally the hawk watchers, bereft of any other signal that an egg has been laid, start the day count for a future hatch, the next milestone, from the date of the first night the female sleeps on the nest.

It is quite conceivable that there is actually no egg in the nest when the first night is undertaken. Or even that it doesn't take a day or two for an egg to appear, but as there is no other signal to start the count, the first overnight has to do.

Courtesy of palemale.com


Central Park Bird Watcher Amy Bateman reports that earlier today, just as she was walking on the sidewalk of Fifth Avenue on her way to the park, she heard this amazing, loud, caterwauling above her, looked up, and there was Pale Male copulating with P, his new mate, on the corner of the roof of the Linda building.

Note P's expression above. Obviously Pale Male has not lost his verve in that department in any way. (That's a joke.)

You may have been wondering why I am calling Pale Male's current mate, P?

Marie Winn of mariewinnsnaturenews.blogspot.com/ , author of Red-tails in Love, has been calling Pale Male's mate, Pale Beauty. A number of the readers of this blog found that name lovely but too cumbersome in it's multi-syllable-ness and vastly preferred the name Pearl, a reference to her luminous paleness.

Whereas, as of yesterday, www.palemale.com/ began to call Central Park's First Female, Paula.

Fascinating that all the names begin with P, isn't it?

Until things settle out or the dust settles as is sometimes the case, on what she will be called, I suppose I could call her Three P or Triple P.

But when it comes to the least key strokes, P is the easiest to type, hands down. And the least likely to get people throwing brickbats, metaphorical or otherwise, at me.

Considering my current situation in Wisconsin, I've enough on my plate without brickbats. Speaking of which I'll be back in NYC for some days in the end of March and the beginning of April.

I can't wait.

Donegal Browne

1 comment:

meg said...

since the title of the Post is "Pale Pale", Perhaps that Provides a good solution.