Thursday, May 19, 2011

FLASH!!!! HATCH ON FIFTH AVENUE? And Battle of the Bath Part 3

April 2011, Photo courtesy of

Have they done it ?

On Thursday, Marie Winn of mariewinnnaturenews, and the author of Red-tails in Love, heard from Rik Davis, who spends his days at the Hawk Bench, that there might be a hatch on Pale Male's nest.

WHAT? Can it be true? Wouldn't it be wonderful!

Marie took to her heels and headed for the park.
For the latest report click her link above.

Though things are yet to be confirmed Marie saw what she took to be feeding behavior. And Marie, after watching this nest for many years, would be hard to fool. She has seen feeding behavior for many years.

The only thing I can think of that might fool us all, and no one has ever seen it happen that I know of, is if Ginger Lima had the hormonal urge to feed and being a new mom, she was feeding nothing. Though Red-tail literature says that a new mom is cued to feed initially by the sound of an eyass begging for food, so if correct that throws the feeding nothing possibility out the window.

Marie said she would try to give me a call from the Bench with news tomorrow.

This evening, I called my daughter Sam, who is conveniently back in NYC from college, and asked her (okay, I admit it, told her) to hotfoot herself down to the Bench Friday. Sam, though just a kid in 2004, was a diehard protester for the return of Pale Male's nest.

The news will have spread by Friday and the Clan of Pale Male will have gathered.

I can't wait for tomorrow!

In the meantime, as getting to tomorrow is a nail biter, it is time for TA DA, the third installment of 2011's Battle of the Bath.

You may remember that Red-breasted Grosbeak got tired of waiting on the stick pile for a chance at a bath. Starling, Grackle, and Red-winged Blackbird were taking forever so he did a surprise stealth attack from below the bowl. Shocking Starling so much he completely embarrassed himself. Eventually Grosbeak stared everyone out of the bath but Starling, he had his reputation to think of after all, and that's where this segment picks up.

Grosbeak leans in.

He pops in with a "smile" and Starling stops wallowing and stares.

FINE! He goes back to wallowing.

Grosbeak starts bathing.

Starling turns and looks offensive, and Grosbeak's posture reeks, just try it buddy. I'll leap on your face.

Suddenly Grosbeak stops short and Starling turns toward the park. If you look closely it rather looks like Starling is wearing a gorilla mask on the back of his head.

Grosbeak continues his focus towards the house.

Then Grosbeak turns away and goes further toward the far edge of the bowl.

WAAAAAAA! Guess who? It's Grosbeak's mate with her own surprise stealth attack and goodness-- where did Starling go?

This ends Part 3. To be continued...

Donegal Browne
P.S. By the way, the food that was delivered by Pale Male to the nest earlier in the day, and from which his mate was feeding, was a rat. The rat poison boxes have not been removed from Pale Male's territory this year.


Sally said...

Wonderful news! I saw it on your blog first! Thank you!

Regarding rat poison, the year the Riverside Park tragedy occured, the parents did fine, so apprently they either take a larger dose to be fully affected, or they didn't eat any of that particular prey? Does the female usually eat from the prey brought to the nest or does she go eat elsewhere? I cannot's hoping and praying we do not find out by experience this year!

Donegal Browne said...

It rather depends on the female. They do tend to get their own piece of prey for meals but some snack a bit while feeding. Then of course when the eyasses are quite little, not everything goes were it is supposed to go, so Mom does cleanup duty by eating the stray bits.