Monday, April 09, 2012

Mama and Papa Are Back on the Air Thanks to NYC Audubon, Pale Male, Swainson's Hawks, Rosie of Washington Square Park, and Rue Anemones

 Great News!  Just in from Jeff Kollbrunner the chief watcher of Mama and Papa---The NYC Audubon Hawkcam is up and running yet again--THANK YOU NYC AUDUBON!
   Mama sits the nest. The color is grand on this cam by the way. Note the evergreen twigs.  As far as I know, no one has proven one supposition over another as to why late in the nest building process Red-tailed Hawks festoon their nests with evergreen.  Hypotheses range from the twigs being used as as an insect repellent to their being a symbol that this nest has been chosen by the pair to be "the" nest site over an other possible secondary choices. 
 And here is the word from Jeff--
We have good news to report regarding the Briarwood Red-tail Hawk pair Mama and Papa. I was able to work with our friends at the facility where the nest is located and we relocated the NYCA Hawkcam. We have the Hawkcam positioned with an excellent view of the nest and this season we may have the potential to see eggs when Mama and Papa swap nesting duties. Mama started nesting on March 3rd, so on or about mid April we should see signs of a hatch(s). At this time we still do not know how many eggs are in this seasons nest. For people not familiar with the Hawkcam it provides a 24/7 live video feed of the parent hawks as they raise offspring at the nest throughout the nesting season. As in previous years at this location there is a strong flood light above the nest that provides ample lighting to observe nesting activities during the night.

The Hawkcam can be viewed at my website at the following link the Hawkcam can be viewed on a computer and with smartphones.

All the best, Jeff

 P.S. If this year is similar to the past, the floodlights Jeff speaks about were not positioned on the hawks for our nefarious viewing pleasure but are part and parcel of the nest site.  The lights are on nightly year round to illuminate the building.  Therefore Mama and Papa knew they were there when they chose the site and obviously didn't find them a problem or wouldn't have used it. D.B.
   Rosie of Washington Square Park sleeps with her head tucked under her wing with her feathers ruffling continually.  The low temperature in Manhattan tonight is projected to be 46 F but the real kicker is the 38MPH gusts of wind.      HawkCam courtesy of
     Pale Male with another twig for the nest-Photo courtesy of
A Heads Up from Robin of Illinois- "It's a very cool map".
"According to eBird’s weekly migration forecast Swainson’s Hawks are moving up the Central Flyway into Colorado and Kansas this week. To visualize their entire migration cycle, take a look at this occurrence map:"
 Why do I say Rue Anemone are idiosyncratic?  Because there appears to be an almost endless variation in this species.  First off what appears to be petals are actually sepals.  Sepals ordinarily are the little multi-part "holder" for the petals.
And those sepals on any given plant of this species can have 6 sepals constituting 1 blossom and 10 on another of the same plant.  I've read that the most common color of Rue Anemone is white, but in this particular woods, most of the blossoms are a pale pink but when they open they are white. 
Some plants sepals are decidedly pointed.  Others are not like the specimen above.
More to come.
Donegal Browne

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