Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pale Male and Ginger, John Blakeman on As It Happens, and Eagle Success Story

Photo D. Browne
Pale Male flies into the nest.

Photo D. Browne
Ginger perches on the balcony.

Photo D. Browne
Just a few feather tips show from the bowl of the nest.

Once again hawk expert John Blakeman is interviewed on CBC's, As It Happens about Pale Male, Ginger, and Pale Beauty. The piece is in Part 3 of the program, the second story.


Click on the screen about Bald Eagle released item. Takes a bit to come up.

Remarkable that she made it!

Donegal Browne


Julia G said...

Love your blog, and I've been following the NYU hawks (nesting with 3 eggs on the 12th floor of Bobst Library in Washington Square) on the NYTimes and NYU camera live feeds.

Today I got a little worried because Violet was turning her eggs around 2pm and she looped the handle of the plastic bag the eggs are on around her neck for about an hour. This did not bode well for Violet's ability to fly, nor for the eggs which are currently resting on the plastic bag.

Shortly after 3pm she managed to free herself and fly off, and either she or Bobby is currently on the nest, with the plastic bag handle as a potential, although not immediate, problem. Reading through the comments, I noticed the same thing happened yesterday - Violet got snagged by the bag handle, then managed to free herself.

Any ideas who to contact, either proactively or if disaster strikes? Would local rehabbers like Bobby Horvath try to be on standby if one of the hawks gets caught again and tries to fly and is injured? My son goes to school there and I asked him to be on the lookout and ready to grab a box or something, but it would help to know what to do if one of the hawks falls and is injured. Thanks!

Donegal Browne said...


For whatever reason a number of the urban hawks have placed those plastic bags in their nest. We've always been worried about possible consequences but I think that Violet is the first case that's been observed (thank you hawk cam) of the hawk actually getting entangled. Thank goodness she's managed to extricate herself so far. One of our chief original worries was that an eyass would become entangled, but as we see a parent can have the problem.

First off, go to the main page of the blog and hit the contact me button. Contact me directly by email and I'll give you my cell number. Until we get something better organized, if there is an emergency call me and I'll start calling those experienced Hawkwatchers who might be closest, and who might be available to help.

Also as the Horvaths live in Long Island it isn't a quick trip for them to get to Manhattan oftentimes in an emergency, so NYC Audubon has hosted a group site in which many of the experienced hawkwatchers are members. I can spread the word to them that way as well.

In the meantime I'll contact some folks for their opinion on how to proceed if at all about the bag itself or take a wait and see approach.

If a hawk is injured, and needs to be rescued, for me the most important piece of equipment is a towel or jacket. Something to throw over the bird to cover her eyes before attempting to pick her up if that is possible.

With Red-tails, the most important part to get a hold of to avoid injury to the rescuer is the feet. Rarely does a Red-tail bite, she'll "foot" to protect herself, i.e. strike out with her talons. People often recommend wearing vet or welder's gloves. I found them so unwieldy in an emergency that I peeled them off and just made a grab for the bird's "ankles" from behind with one hand. After that grip is made the other hand can hold the back of the bird's head to pick her up.

This is the point when a cardboard box comes in handy, or in a pinch the hawk can be wrapped in the towel as long as you have control of the feet.

If it were a case where the hawk was being strangled by the plastic bag, I'd get an assistant to attempt to cut it off her.

More on today's post on the main page.

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Julia,

Get in touch via the contact me button I've got some thoughts for you.