Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pale Male and Beauty, Crow Strangers, Jane's Screech Owls, Milton Red-tailed Hawks, NYBG Great Horned Owls,

Photograph courtesy of palemale.com
Pale Male checks to make sure every twig is in the particular place he wants it and whether any new additions would add to the accommodations.

Bernard Atkins of New Jersey asked if since there were no eggs yet, might there never be eggs this year.

Well, Bernard, the Pales continue to copulate prolifically, with Pale Male bringing many gifts of food to Pale Beauty, but as they started to copulate later than has been the norm at 927 Fifth Avenue for some years, it wouldn't be unusual for egg laying to be later in the season as well. Also keep in mind that as Pale Beauty is a three year old, she may not take to the nest until the last minute. (I find a pigeon egg in my terrace water bowl once or twice a year, left my a young female who wasn't aware she was about to lay it. I've not heard of hawks doing that by the way.) There is a very very slight chance that Pale Beauty isn't completely mature yet, and she may not lay eggs or the eggs might not be fertile this year due to immaturity. (Ever crack open a chicken egg and find virtually no yolk? That egg was laid by a not quite mature hen.) Though I doubt there will be issues as Pale Beauty has her red tail after all. Immature eggs is more common in two-year-old females, though two year-old males seem to have less maturity issues. Fewer things in the system to be immature perhaps?

There is a flurry outside the patio door. It seems that it being Spring that the squirrels are being frisky. And beyond their first favorite Spring thing of chasing each other round and round, their second favorite thing is startling Crows.

Wait! I don't know that crow. In fact I'm not sure that I recognize any of these crows. Besides the resident C Group Crows very rarely visit the feeding area and the second they notice me they're gone. These Crows are more human habituated.

After checking for speeding squirrels this crow leaps off the glider.

And checks out the food situation. Notice he has a bit of a lump under his "chin".

Suddenly the scenerio begins to look a little like the movie High Noon.

Lump Throat gives me the eye and then circles round. Just in time...

...for their "skirts" to be lifted as a squirrel blasts by.

They both look at me. Hey, I didn't do it.

Back to the Gunfight At The OK Corral.

They stare.

Whoa! There goes another squirrel who screeches to a stop by the pole of the sunflower seed feeder.

Just in time for the second to startle the crows yet again. The squirrels may be chasing each other but they do make a jump at the crows along the way if they're close enough.

Squirrel duo chases around the pole and the crows give it up and head for a squirrel-less area.

The day was very overcast when I was driving down the street to the library when what should I see but two Red-tails courting above the car. I pulled over.

This one is particularly contrasting but can anyone tell what position this hawk is in? A backwards roll? The two Red-tails circled out of sight into a copse of pines.

Photo by Peter Richter http://queensraptors.blogspot.com/

Flushing Meadow Park Update 2-14-11

(Also known as the Unisphere nest.)

After Monday's hawk release I paid a quick visit to the Flushing Meadow Park nest in the evening to find that Bobby and Cathy are in full swing, and have decided to use their nesting spot from 3 years ago above Indonesia on the Unisphere. I also managed to get a picture of Cathy sleeping on the inside of the Unisphere, a common occurrence for her.

Hawks, Bobby and Cathy, were named by Peter for wonderful wildlife rehabbers Bobby and Cathy Horvath.

Photo by Peter Richter

A note on the Unisphere hawks from Jeff Kollbrunner of jknaturegallery


We were at Flushing Meadow Park on Sunday 3/13 and decided to swing by the Unisphere Red-tailed hawk nest. It appears that they are also sitting in their nest now as well, maybe Peter has a more accurate time when they started to overnight. The entire time we were present one of the pair was sitting in the nest during late afternoon to early evening. At one point repositioning itself before settling back down in the nest bowl. I will send you an image.

Best, Jeff

Soon all our urban hawks will be sitting those nests and hatching will be here in no time!

Photo by Pat Gonzalez

It looks like the Great Horned Owls in the NYBG have done it again! From Pat Gonzalez--


I’m not 100 percent on this, but I believe that there is at least one great-horned chick in the owl tree. I had mentioned before that the forest edge trail, which gave the best view of the inside of the tree is closed. There are issues with the amount of damage done to the area near the tree by folks stomping all over the plantings and soil. So I began to look for gaps in the trees along Azalea Way, the road in front of the tree as well as waaaaaaaaaaaay on the other side, inside the Native Forest from the Sweetgum trail. It was from this trail earlier today, that I shot the attached photo. I noticed that the female owl inside the tree kept bending over, looking at something in the tree. Notice in the image how she is bent? Now, look further down from her head. Notice something white? And do you see the eye open? I don’t want to give out cigars just yet, so if anyone wants to give their opinion. I’ve uploaded a short video that I made from the spot where I saw the tree. I used landmarks to make it easier to find. Look at the NYBG map for the Sweet gum Trail which you can enter from Azalea Way right before you get to the Stone Mill Road. If anyone has any more questions please e-mail me.


For the wildlife photographers on this list, you’ll need your telephoto lenses/teleconverters/digiscope equipment, etc. to get that clear shot because it is quite far away.

Pat Gonzalez

A lovely photo of Olivia the female Screech Owl from Jane of Georgia, plus an update below.
Hi Donna –

Like mad dogs and Englishmen, here’s Olivia out in the mid-day sun today!

Lots of nesting going on here in my back yard – a chickadee and a titmouse have each decided on a seasonal rental and a bluebird is checking out a nice studio apartment, as well.

Tulip magnolia and both cherry trees are in full blossom. Dogwoods and azaleas will open this week.

All is right with the world!


Jane, not only do I envy having your owls but the understory in the Southern states in Spring is downright breathtaking.
And more from Pat Gonzalez,


I passed on my owl photo to Robert DeCandido who confirmed that yes, threre are at least TWO great-horned owl chicks in that tree. He spotted them there this past Saturday the 19th. I'm so happy right now because the nest last year failed. The last time there was an extended family was back in 2009.

I've attached a box of cigars, please share them with anyone who loves owls. : )

Pat Gonzalez

I haven't forgotten about Part 1a of Eagles Nest. It will go up along with some great pix from pro photographer Francois Portmann!

Donegal Browne

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