Wednesday, May 02, 2012



According to people on the chat, and the presence of a large white prey item in the nest, apparently FI [Franklin Institute D.B.] has decided to supplement mama with rat and she took it. She still remains off the nest a lot, even with prey in the nest. The eyasses look good on the cam. 

Sally also wrote... They are saying that the male chooses the nest, so it is unlikely she will stay.  But - Isolde is still nesting on the cathedral with a new mate in Norman after losing Tristan; Rose is at Fordham with a new mate; Intrepid stayed in Riverside after she lost Builder. Who says mama at Franklin will not bring in a male to HER nest?  They don't read the books we print about them, do they?  ;)

Indeed Red-tails are funny that way, aren't they?  They just don't give a flip about what is in the  "Red-tail literature".  
In my experience the females stay-- if well bonded to the site.  Which Franklin Mom is as she's had previous success there.

 The only NYC example where a female didn't stay that comes to mind is Houston Mom.  It was a terrible site for nearly every reason and the year she used that site, her mate and all three of her eyasses "disappeared" out of her life.  
Her mate died of Frounce and because there was no place for the fledglings to branch off the ground, all three were taken into "custody" of one sort or another.   Mom was seen in the area the next year but then she too "disappeared".  It was a horribly bad place for Red-tails.
A female who has lost a mate, I think, wants to hold onto whatever security that she has left.  She's spent time defending that patch of ground.  She knows the enemies and the prey patterns. She knows which humans are trustworthy.  She's the queen and all she has to do is attract a mate.

James O'Brien of the Origin of the Species Blog, observed Isolde circling very high, then take off with purpose.  She soon returned with Norman. This was within days of Tristan's injury and disappearance as breeding season was upon her.

No NYC female with a juicy territory and boffo nest site  has ever had anymore trouble finding a mate than Pale Male has.    
And that, I think is the reason that Isolde and Rose, for instance,  ended up with very young tiercels.  These were unterritoried males out looking.  The boys would have to have been total dopes not to go for a territoried female with experience.  These formels were the raptor model of those rich landed widows who know how to handle herself in all those British novels.

A male may choose the territory as part of his attraction for females but he doesn't choose the site.  That is the formel's decision.  And also keep in mind that a female also chooses the territory because she accepts the tiercel in the first place.  That's one of his selling points. 
If the formel doesn't like the territory she won't fight for the tiercel. (Yes, I believe sexual dimorphism exists in RTH's because the females fight each other for the right to the tiercel and the territory. Package deal.) 
 I firmly believe, Franklin Mom won't leave the territory unless she can't attract a mate to the territory.  And as urban nest sites are as rare as hen's teeth, she'll stick to the cam ledge as well if at all possible.
As to Franklin Mom staying away from the nest even though food is being supplied.  Sadly she likely does not know what has happened to Dad.  She's still looking for him in case he needs help.
Also a single parent will often stay off the nest in a spot where, if a predator goes for the nest, she can come down and nab the bad guy from above. 
Donegal Browne  (Scroll down for previous post of today.) 


Karen Anne said...

Can the eyasses eat prey in the nest without Mom feeding it to them?

Anonymous said...

I am a FI hawkaholic who read this post on subject of territory with great relief and hope for our Mom. I suspect what you say is true, it certainly makes sense. I did reference you on our FB page (hope OK) Thanks for all of your writings, I have been a fan for many years.
Donna Caesar