Thursday, April 07, 2011

Pale Male, Ginger Lima, Piebald Grackle, Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel, and 888 Peregrine on Eggs!

Pale Male flies by with prey.

Still copulating! And still with Ginger Lima...

I looked out the patio door today and WHOA!

No, he hasn't been in wet paint.

Wisconsin, capitol of leucistic and albino fauna, has come through again. This is a piebald leucistic Grackle. In other words, the bird has true species colors in the areas that are not completely devoid of pigment. Somehow the streaks and speckles make him look less fierce than your typical Grackle.

This bird happened to be under the feeder alone so I don't know how he gets along with other Grackles. In the past when there have been leucistic birds in the yard they've been treated, at least to the human eye, by other members of their species as if they were true colored. Though I've not watched a leucistic Grackle before. Stay tuned.

I'd noticed that the entrance to Chewy's burrow was open and lo and behold today, Chewy, or a relative was out in the feeding area stuffing those Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel cheeks.

In regards to a question about a possible nest in Tompkins Square Park, which would mean two urban hawk nests only a mile apart with the addition of the Washington Square nest. A response from Francois Portmann, pro photographer and worldly bird watcher-

There is no RTH nest in Tompkins Square Park. Bird photographer Dennis Edge who visits the park daily confirms: "I saw a squirrel building the nest mentioned, RTHs sometimes sit on squirrel's nest" Hope that helps,

Photo by Brett Odom

And from our watcher of the 888 nest site, Brett Odom--

Hello Donna.

Yesterday (April 2nd. I missed it in my box for a week. Sorry. D.B.) I managed to take a very blurry photo of one of the falcons on the 888 nest ledge. I haven't brought in my tripod to work yet which is why the photo is not in focus. I will bring it in with me on Monday. As you can see, the falcon is not perched, but laying down which is what it was doing on the 29th. I'm not the expert, but I would imagine this is how a bird would lay when brooding (is that the correct term) eggs. This was late in the day and the falcon was still like this when I left for home so I do not know if she, I will use the female pronouns for now, actually had any eggs she was covering. The sun was also on the opposite side of the building so she wasn't attempting to warm up by sunbathing. I would be interested in knowing your thoughts.

I have attached the original size photo so you can zoom in without loosing too much sharpness. Once I have my tripod in, I will attempt to take some better photos. You might not be able to tell, but this is the exact spot where Charlotte and Jr.'s nest is located. It is behind the glass immediately to the left of the falcon. As you can see, the plastic shopping bag I wrote you about last year is still on the nest.


Brett, you are using brooding correctly. I used to think that brooding was only used in regard to hatchlings, as opposed to eggs, but I looked it up and it's both sitting on eggs and/or sitting on eyasses. :-)

It looks to me that she is sitting on eggs. As Peregrines don't really have much in the way of nesting materials usually, the nest is called a scrape, I'd suggest that her rather mantling stance is her way of sitting eggs in chilly weather.

I love the fact that the plastic bag is still there.

Wish I knew where Charlotte and Junior have gotten to.

Keep it up Brett, I can't wait to see what happens with the Peregrines next!

Best, D

And last but not least, the link for the now famous Iowa Eagle Cam,0,1096929.story


melody said...

Did Brett mention which side of the 888 7th Ave. Bldg the falcon sits on? I work across the street on the 56th Street side and might be able to get access to the upper floors.


Donegal Browne said...

It turned out that she wasn't sitting on eggs after all, at least not yet, but we've begun to wonder if the falcons have a scrape in one of the similar vent areas on another side of the building. I'll ask for sure which direction that particular niche faces. Ordinarily Red-tails in NYC prefer a western exposure but not always. 927 is, Trump Parc was, St. Andrew isn't.

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Melody, I emailed Brett and I'm waiting for him to get back to me.

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Melody,

Here is the scoop from Brett--

The old nest is located on the east side of the building. The building is L shaped and the east side actually has two sides to it. It is the side closest to 7th Avenue, right above the Redeye Grill.