Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Isolde Has a Hatch! Unenlightened at Riverside Park, Fostering Red-shouldered Hawks, Whooping Crane Shooters Found

Photo courtesy of
Riverside Mom and one of the eyasses

Urban Hawks reports that the grotesque folly hasn't ended at Riverside Park even yet. The hubristic and intentionally unenlightened continue to make fools of themselves and place the hawks in further jeopardy . This time a Riverside Park's employee who insists he'll remove the food that has been left for Riverside Mom to feed her half orphaned eyasses.

"John Herrold isn't the only Park's employee at Riverside who's shooting himself in the foot, by the way.

Paul Evans, Parks and Recreation Manager got into an argument with a park's patron on Sunday when Evans told the patron he would be removing the rats that had been placed around the nest. (I find it odd that Evans didn't know about a program approved by the Parks Commissioner. More mismanagement by Herrold?) Pamela Langford, a long time hawk watcher explained the feeding program and the sadness many felt over the father's death. Instead of being understanding, Evans told her something to the effect of "What do expect, these hawks shouldn't be in New York City."

For more on this bizarre scenerio plus plans for a possible protest on June 20th if things continue to go to hell in a hand-basket go to

Photo courtesy of Rob Schmunk at
Isolde and Norman look at their eyasses. I'm so excited for them! This is a nest I've watched for many hours and hawks dear to my heart. (Okay, I know, they are all dear to me.)

Actually just how many young are up there is unknown but Isolde has been observed tearing prey and feeding it to someone or someones in the nest so there has been a hatch.
For more great photos and Rob's observations, click the link above.

Photo courtesy of the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
In from Tulsa Hawk Watcher Jackie Dover, I'd seen documentation about Red-tailed Hawks in Alaska raising five or six eyasses in a nest but I've never seen it done before by buteos. This is a crack pair!

This was posted on the Face Book page of the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey (they're the ones who rescued the red-shouldered hawk babies in Sarasota, Florida, plus the osprey chick from Tampa. I don't know whether the two babies in this item and photo are those same two. But interesting. FIVE babies! They said that these parents have done this before. "One of the most amazing and endearing traits of raptors is their excellent parenting. They are such good parents that they will also take in a foster chick or two. We placed eaglets in foster nests this winter, and those youngsters are now flying. Recently we placed two Red-shouldered Hawk chicks into a foster nest. It's pretty crowded, for the wild adults were already caring for three of their own. We knew that this pair could handle the extra mouths to feed, since they have been called upon before to add to their brood. Staff at the Center, along with a volunteer climber, gave them some extra room by installing a nest platform next to the nest."

I guess experienced Whooping Cranes aren't really all that important after all-- once things get to court.
Thanks to Robin of Illinois for the link.


Karen Anne said...

The fine for killing the whooping crane was $1, and the court costs were about $500.

The estimated cost of raising a whooping crane and training the yearling crane to migrate? $100,000, most of it raised from private donations, including from school children.

And that doesn't count the enormous amount of work that project staff and volunteers put in, living on the road for months each year with each set of first year cranes so they get imprinted on migration.

Donegal Browne said...


Thank you for your concise listing of the facts concerning the Whooping Crane killing. They are a travesty. In most places you can't even buy a candy bar with a dollar. Obviously the death of this bird was deemed insignificant by the parties concerned. How could it have been made significant to them?

Anonymous said...

John Herrold was also in the news last year regarding the uncommon "double dipping" salary arrangement he has with both the city AND the non-profit Riverside Park Fund.

For example, NYC paid John Herrold $94,099 to run Riverside Park in 2008, while at the same time the non-profit Riverside Park Fund Inc. paid him an additional $33,000. (Unfortunately, it seems that being well-connected is the primary consideration when choosing a park administrator.)