Thursday, April 07, 2011

Pale Male, Ginger Lima, Isolde, Norman, Washinton Square's Violet and Bobby, John Blakeman on Florida Eyasses Plus the Deer Guards the Goose's Nest

Photo courtesy of

After a day that included fighting off a Peregrine Falcon in front of her nest, Ginger Lima does the cute cocked head posture. But if you look into her eyes, you still wouldn't want to mess with her, coquettish posture or not.

Pale Male flies over 927 Fifth Avenue

The Fifth Avenue formel still hasn't taken to the nest. In fact it appears she prefers to spend a good bit of time standing vigil at her outpost on the west side of Manhattan, from one of Lola's favorite morning perches-the Beresford.

Photo courtesy of Rob Schmunk,
Morningside Park Hawks, Norman (right) has brought Isolde, who has begun sitting the St. John the Divine Cathedral nest, a nice juicy rat for dinner and is now watching her eat it.

For more on The Divines from Rob Schmunk, click the link above.

Photo courtesy of Christopher James/N.Y.U.

Well, it turns out the window ledge nest of the Washington Square Pair has stuck. And not only stuck but Bobby and Violet are the proud parents of three, count 'em, eggs!

They chose well, as the window and office overlooking this particular ledge belongs to N.Y.U. president, John Sexton and he likes them. A lot!

President Sexton has given the NYTimes City Blogs permission to mount a camera inside said office and now there is a Hawk Cam trained on the nest.

If you can't get out to one of the urban nests in person, there is now a fallback--

Many thanks to Rob Schmunk of the Bloomingdale Village Blog for the heads up.

Photo courtesy of wgrz. com/

When the goose nesting in the above urn lost her mate, this deer took up the gander's duties as nest protector. Fascinating.

From Robin of Illinois--

One of those attacked, is a life-long birder, and he stated:

"I just feel sorry for the bird cause he's got no place to go. He's just defending his little piece of the rock. Habitats are shrinking so much, they've become more aggressive," Canterbury continued."

And from Ohio hawk expert, John A. Blakeman-

The removal of Red-shouldered Hawk newly-hatched eyasses from the Florida nest is ridiculous. Those birds haven't got a chance to ever survive in the wild. The photo shows a forceps, probably with food. Those little things will imprint in five-minutes to some human handler. And who, where, when, and how are these birds to be hacked? Without proper and effective hacking, there is no chance they will ever survive in the wild --- if they so much as live to fledging.

You can't just grab some newly-hatched hawk eyasses out of a nest, bring them inside and feed them for 30 days and then toss them out into the wild. I could go on at length about this, but it just won't work unless there is a full-time dedicated staff familiar with the raising of hawk eyasses in captivity, with Red-shouldered Hawk feeding puppets, along with a proper hacking site. This all looks well and good. The results will be so different, I fear.


John A. Blakeman

Thank you, John.

Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

How is the goose getting food? Can she leave the eggs safely periodically to eat grass?

Donegal Browne said...

Interesting question. I didn't know the answer for sure so I've checked around and it turns out that as far as I can tell, ganders don't sit on the eggs. (Keep in mind that Mallard hens never have a consort during incubation, and they manage fine, unless a predator finds them, of course. Hence the adage for a victim waiting to happen being a "sitting duck" .) Ganders will stand by and protect eggs and give a good hiss when necessary, much as the deer is doing, without the hiss of course, but if the goose leaves the nest the eggs remain uncovered until she returns.

Sally said...

While I too think the removal of the two day old eyasses in FL was near criminally stupid and certainly bad for all the birds involved, does Blakeman mean to say that any rehabber who takes in orphaned raptor chicks should go ahead and euthanize them if they don't have the staff to hack them out? I realize that hacking is ideal, but raising the chicks with ghost suits on people and placing them with surrogate parents to imprint on, and giving prey training in a flight cage may be the best some rehabbers can do- is he saying that it is not worth the effort? I wonder what Bobby and Cathy would say to that-do they hack their chicks?

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Sally,

I'm sure John's comments referred to the fact it was sheer stupidity to remove the eyasses in the first place because we all know how difficult it is for humans to raise them so they are releasable and able to fend for themselves. We all know that rehabbers, are doing their complete best often without the money or facilities they may need through no fault of their own, to deal with eyasses that young who have been foolishly removed from nests due to ignorant members of the public.

Actually the Horvaths do have facilities to hack young birds, and they have an unreleasable mom Red-tail who feeds their RTH eyasses. Ziggy was fed by her when she went into rehab. This feeding formel is a wonder. It begs-she feeds it.

As to Red-shouldered young, I don't know the specifics but we all know they'll do their best in the circumstances they are placed in, as do many other hardworking wildlife rehabilitators, including yourself.

Karen Anne said...

I can't help thinking about the annual articles that appeared when I lived near San Francisco about a bird dive bombing pedestrians who got near his nest during breeding season.

Pedestrians learned to cover their heads when going by or use the other side of the street. I did the same thing in my backyard with a mockingbird.

God forbid humans should be slightly inconvenienced or have to use their brain cells for a couple of months to give an animal a chance, when we've covered most of the world with concrete or the equivalent, pushing nearly every other species to the breaking point.