Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Happened to Ginger Lima? And Lincoln Karim is Arrested.

 Long time Central Park Hawkwatcher Stella Hamilton reports late this evening,  that Lincoln Karim was arrested for not turning Ginger Lima's body over to the DEC today upon their request after not transporting or mailing it to the New York State Pathologist on Monday for a necropsy. 

All photographs in this post courtesy of http://www.palemale.com/

Ginger Lima as she was found after apparently falling from the tree she had roosted in the evening before.  After more investigation it  appears she was originally found by a pair of tourists late in the day on Sunday,  who happened on hawkwatchers which included Lincoln Karim and Stella Hamilton, while looking for a park ranger to report the dead hawk.  Hawkwatchers returned to the spot and Lincoln Karim retrieved Ginger Lima's body.

Later in conversation with members of the DEC, Lincoln agreed to be responsible for either transporting or mailing her body to the state wildlife pathology lab for a necropsy.

 Here is a closer view. (What a beautiful hawk she was.) Note that there is no visible injury to her head or anywhere else that we can see. If she had been injured by a Great Horned Owl in the night or a Peregrine Falcon by day ordinarily damage would be visible.

Nor does there appear to be any copious bleeding from Ginger Lima's mouth, nor were any distinct neurological anomalies observed in her behavior on Saturday, both possible symptoms of ingesting a creature who has been poisoned and then hence poisoning the hawk.  (There is a faint smear of blood on her beak but that is often the case with hawks as they eat their food raw.)

It has also occurred to me as a  possibility, that like Alex the famous African Grey Parrot who was found dead in his sleeping cage after a normal and active day at only 26 years of age (life span is 50 years plus for Greys), Ginger Lima may have had an enlarged heart or other congenital defect which suddenly killed her.

I spoke with wonderful wildlife rehabilitator Bobby Horvath this evening and he answered a question that I had been wondering about previously but had never remembered to ask.  Hawks do on occasion ingest a bone or other material they shouldn't have and it can then puncture an organ, leading to internal bleeding and damaged organ function which also can lead to death.

As you can see, a necropsy is the only way we will ever be able to find out exactly what caused Ginger Lima's death, if then.  Sometimes even through the best offices of a wildlife pathologist, particularly if the body is deteriorated, exact cause of death can be difficult to ascertain.

Stella Hamilton and other hawkwatchers report that on Sunday though Pale Male appeared to be grieving for Ginger Lima, another female had been waiting in the wings and Pale Male allowed her inside the territory.  He even went so far as to stand with her on the nest.  Though the New Girl presented herself in copulation posture, it is hard on breeding season after all, Pale Male has not yet been observed availing  himself of her offer.

Normally the formel of Pale Male spends her first overnight on the nest, the point when watchers assume that there are eggs or are about to be, the first or second week of March so Pale Male will likely be working to fertilize eggs very soon.

And from the New York Times--

February 27, 2012, 5:57 pm

Pale Male’s Mate Lima Is Found Dead in Central Park


The body of Pale Male’s mate Lima, under a tree on Cedar Hill in Central Park.
If only she had just smelled the rat, but no. Lima, the red-tailed hawk who had been the female in Pale Male’s life for more than a year, ate the rat.
That was on Saturday. On Sunday, Lincoln Karim, a wildlife photographer and Pale Male chronicler, found her dead under a tree in Central Park. He speculated that the rat had eaten poison that, in turn, poisoned her.
Lima arrived after Lola disappeared in December 2010, Mr. Karim said. “As soon as the hawks acknowledge that one is missing or dead, they immediately get a new hawk,” he said. “When Lola went missing, this female” — Lima — “showed up right away.”

Just in from Stella Hamilton, 11:52 EST 

Currently hawkwatchers Stella and Domenic are waiting at the precinct house for Lincoln Karim to be released pending a standard background check which uses fingerprinting to make sure anyone arrested is not wanted for any outstanding crimes. 

MORE TO COME VERY SOON, AN UPDATE FROM JEAN SHUM- Jean watched the Red-tailed Hawks in Pale Male's territory today and there are now THREE.  A possible bonded pair plus Pale Male!  

Is Pale Male in danger of losing his territory?  If it comes to fisticuffs, and Pale Male hasn't taken a new mate by the time they break out with another RTH pair, the territory could be in jeopardy.  Or is it two females who are fighting each other who are the new extras in Pale Male's territory?

Donegal Browne- Keep checking back for more. 

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