Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pale Male and Zena Go For It, A Fifth Hawk In Manhattan Found Dead Plus Momma and Papa Have EGGS!!!

 Photo courtesy of    Pale Male and Zena copulate high atop the Carlyle Hotel with a floodlight for a perch.... 
  And they're copulating multiple times a day. Things are going just as they should, and of course according to a possible new schedule.   They are a new couple after all

Which is very good news!

By the way, you'll notice that Pale Male's beak is open in the photo.  During copulation male Red-tails are downright noisy.  They make a loud, staccato call which auditorially reminds me a bit of perturbed gulls or begging eyasses.

Obviously Pale Male is doing a dynamite job because Zena is looking a bit cross-eyed, don't you think?
                        Fifth dead Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk found-- Peter Cooper Village

 I received word that a fifth Red-tailed Hawk, was found dead in Manhattan.  This bird is a brown-tail.   A good Samaritan who happens to publish the New York City Squirrel Blog let me know and also had some questions about who to contact.

For those who don't know, it is the DEC, Department of Environmental Conservation (Or in some states- the Department of Natural Resources) who takes charge of dead wildlife that is protected. 

Now back to the original comment from the Squirrel Bloggist--

Hello - I tried the link to contact you but it doesn't work for me on the little netbook I'm using at the moment. We found another dead hawk yesterday in Peter Cooper Village. It is banded and I was wondering who to contact, who might want to come over to identify it.

Hi Nutty Admin,

I was very glad to see on your blog that you found  officers from the DEC to retrieve the hawk's body.

Thank you so much for your perseverance and care.

Did you happen to jot down the number on the band?  The reason I ask is that some of the rehabbers, the Horvaths for one, band birds before releasing them after treatment.  We might learn something of the hawk's history that way.

In the photos, thank you for thinking of it, I don't see any injury.  Did you see anything that might be a physical clue at all to what happened to her? As the bird was so close to the building one wonders if she died perched on the building and fell, or perhaps hit a window, or was blown into the building by wind and injured.

That said have you seen rat bait boxes in the neighborhood?   I assume you live in the area?  Do you know if poison is being used in your building?  The reason I ask is not to cause trouble but some folks have had some luck  with clean up campaigns in their buildings, along with getting rat proof containers for garbage plus  gotten to know sympathetic supers and owners who are amenable to at least  try to  reduce the use of poison.

Thank you again.

Next up-- Momma and Papa do it again!  News from chief watcher Jeff Kollbrunner of

I wanted to let you know in case you did not read on my website that Mama overnighted for the first time on Friday March 2nd, she was in a mostly upright position late that evening. On the following Saturday March 3rd Mama and Papa started nesting, we observed Papa deliver food to Mama at the nest and she would fly off to eat on a nearby chimney. Papa stayed on the nest until she was finished eating and upon her return to the nest Papa would fly off to eat the remainder of the food. It was clear from their behavior that there were eggs in the nest as they both kept low in the nest bowl at all times. So another Red-tailed hawk nesting season is underway.
This season will be a dangerous one for them and their fledglings as the local mature trees opposite and near the nest have been clear-cut for a major Expressway expansion project with much rat poison distributed in the area very close to their nest. This project has at least four more years to completion. There are no branching opportunities for the fledglings, just razor wire, local streets, heavy construction equipment and rat poison. Unfortunately, there will be another smaller construction project starting a bit to the West of the nest very soon that will remove many more trees and probably more rat poison will be distributed as well. This area is of great concern as it is the typical training ground for Mama and Papa's fledglings over the years for the first 4-6 weeks.  
All the best, Jeff
Thanks for the update Jeff.   We've all got our fingers crossed for them.  I'm just glad that Momma and Papa are old hands at parenting and the "kids" will benefit from their many years of experience as the territory changes.

Donegal Browne

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rosie Of Washington Square Park's Scabby Eyelids

 A photo by Francois Portmann, of Rosie of Washington Square Park.  I took the liberty of cropping it  so you could see what wildlife rehabilitator Bobby Horvath is addressing in his email printed below.  
                       (My apologies to Francois.)

Hi Donna,

I blew the pictures up . There appears to be crusty growths on the eyelid. Possibly pox virus but cannot say for sure. I know its been going on for months so its a slow progressing condition whatever it is.

Its only affecting the one side right now I see . It doesn't look like it has any affect on the vision in that eye yet. Only time will tell if it eventually ceases or continues to grow and become an issue on that side.   

Do watchers observe her scratching it at all like it bothers her ?

There's really nothing that can be done without having her in hand to get a scraping for testing and diagnosis. Even then she would need to be contained for a period for probable antibiotic/medication treatment once it is determined what it is.

Now is obviously not a good time for this to be considered and hopefully if it gets worse it  will hold off long enough till her to fulfill her necessary duties during this breeding season .

Thank you Bobby  for taking a look.  I don’t think you’ll get any argument from anyone on that recommendation.

As whatever the malady may be, as you say it has been going on for awhile without appearing to  affect Rosie’s vision or handicap her in any way, that her duties as a Mom during breeding season,  trumps scabby eyelids on an eye that works just fine every time.

And do write in the comments section as per Bobby Horvath's request or click on the "contact me" button to report any scratching or other behavior that might suggest that Rosie is dealing with any symptoms caused by  the "scabby eyelids" of her right eye.

Now,  run do not walk to Francois' site to see his spectacular photos of the spectacular Rosie protecting her dinner from a brown-tail in Tompkins Square Park.  She is one hot hawk!

Also James O'Brien over at The Origin of the Species Blog has some gorgeous pictures of the Divine Isolde of  The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.  

Some good hawk news for a change.  

Isolde and Norman appear to be doing just dandy so far this season.

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne