Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pale Male, Ginger Lima, Bobby and the New Girl of Washington Square Park, Violet in Rehab, Newville the Rural Hawk, and What Is That Lump in the Tree?

Photo courtesy of

And there's the sweet face that launched thousands of news stories, the original urban hawk himself, Pale Male.

As always Pale Male looks in fine fettle and ready to begin yet another breeding year. After his very fruitful season with Ginger Lima last seasin, there is every reason to believe that this year will be fertile as well.

"And once again the hawkwatchers will gather to encourage the next generation."

Photo courtesy of

Speaking of Ginger Lima, could her crop be any fuller? She's consuming all those calories in preparation for creating the eggs that will, if all goes well, be laid yet again on the nest secured by pigeon spikes on the cornice at 927 Fifth Avenue.

Both Ginger Lima and the New Girl at Washington Square Park remind me ever so much of Isolde, formel of long standing, of the nest behind St. Andrew's elbow at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. See the almond shaped eyes, the mantle of head color that comes down onto her breast, thick defined belly band and a hawk that leans towards the dark end of the Red-tail coloration spectrum as well.

Photo courtesy of
I wondered if it weren't about time for Bobby to show Washington Square Park's New Girl the ledge nest.

Sure enough, Washington Square Hawkwatcher Deb Rosen, who has a view from a window over the park, sent a note, and the 28th was the big day.

Deb said-- Bobby went up on the nest, and looked over the edge. He waited. His new mate flew up. It looked like she did something with the sticks and went on and off the nest a number of times during the day. D. Rosen

Of course male Red-tails always show their mate an alternate nest site just in case the formel takes umbrage with the one that was used before. It would be a disappointment if she chose the alternate as it might not be able to host a HawkCam. Though as housekeeping took place Bobby's new mate must be at least considering it.

Besides let's face it, there aren't that many top notch nesting spots around Washington Square Park so keep your fingers crossed.

A Violet update from the Horvath's WINORR Facebook page--
WINORR- Wildlife In Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation wrote: "The good leg shows early stages of bumblefoot which we aren't suprised by. We are hopeful it responds well with treatment and rest ."

Photo Donegal Browne
This is Newville the Red-tailed hawk. I think Newville is a tiercel. I like Newville he lets me stand across the street from him without immediately taking off. By the way, it looks dark but it's only a little after noon.

Well Newville, who had been nicely ignoring me, has now focused on me so I suspect he'll be off the wire and heading somewhere else very soon.

He's up but does do a bit of a flyover to take a good look at me.

Curiosity satisfied he banks.

He heads for the treeline.

And just like Pale Male does when flying along Fifth Avenue, Newville goes for the treeline and flies through it. Either most Red-tail parents teach their offspring this tactic, or if you're a Red-tail its just so obvious you do it, or it is one of the few wired in behaviors.

Between the branches.

Into the next tree.

And the next. Normally I'd have cut the sequence already because we all know Newville is going to keep going until I loose sight of him but when looking at the photos I discovered something I'd not noticed in the field.

Go to the left of the photograph, the left tree, and the right big branch which has broken at some point and a secondary branch has taken over and is pointing up.

Today's mystery is-- what is that lump in the tree?

Here's a crop of the next photo in the sequence. Newville right and what appears to be an animal lump on the left.
Double click on the photo and you'll get an enlargement.

What do you think it is?

And yet another view with Newville a little closer. Of course Newville knows what the lump is but he isn't talking. Very boring of him.

Anyone have a suggestion as to the lumps identity?

Then Newville is past the mystery lump and going into a copse of trees that is thicker than the previous one deep treeline. He goes deeper and deeper. Eventually I see him fly into a group of trees but I don't see him fly any further.

Look near the top of the photo, center. Is that Newville perched in that tree?

Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

On the Facebook WINORR page, the Horvaths say Violet is going to have surgery. Not sure what the goal exactly is, if there is any chance of saving her leg. They also have photos and a video of Violet being fed.

Just a note that they depend on donations to fund their work with rescued animals. Donations can be sent to:
202 N. Wyoming Avenue
N. Massapequa , N.Y. 11758

Anonymous said...

I say it's a squirrel's nest or a small bird's nest of some type

kartek said...

It might a squirrel nest, which often looks like a ball of leaves in the tree.

sally said...

you have such good eyes!

Donegal Browne said...

Thanks Sally. Unfortunately not good enough to figure out what the lump is though. :)

Donegal Browne said...


Could be. Though from what I'm remembering squirrel drays tends to lie on top of a branch rather than perpendicular to the side of a branch. Yes?

Donegal Browne said...


It could just be focus but somehow this doesn't look leafy and rough enough to me. In fact it almost looks almost like fur to me.

Donegal Browne said...

Thanks KAK!

Kartek said...

I have seen groundhogs in trees so you never know. If you go back and the lump is in same spot, it's probably not an animal. Otherwise, it could be a gall or some defect on the tree that caused it to enlarge.

Donegal Browne said...



It took me awhile to get back to the spot where the lump is and there are galls on some of the trees nearby but I compared with the photo and there is no longer a lump on that tree.

I think you nailed it. When I first looked at the photo I thought Ground Hog but had never seen one in a tree so dismissed it. I looked again. It could very well a chubby ground hog. {I know, I know, they're all chubby. :)}