Friday, August 24, 2012

Looking for Zena- August 22, Jeff Is Still Out Looking for a Sighting of the Present But Elusive Mate of Pale Male

As per the three previous posts in the last 24 hours, photos and commentary in italics by Jeff Johnson.

Made my first ever morning visit to the Park looking for Zena, thinking she may be cavorting with Pale Male during the earlier hours when we haven't been able to search for her.
Started at the 72nd Street entry with the intention of checking new areas to the west. 927 Nest check with no joy. Metadata time 0914.
 Bale of turtles congregate with a backdrop of pea soup green water north of Bow Bridge. Metadata time 0933.
(Well dear readers, didn't I tell you that Central Park is full of turtles so the two tries by Opera Star on Tangerine may not have been his first when it came to turtles.) 
No joy finding any Red-tails during a brief DE perimeter look along The Ramble and I proceeded back to the Sailboat Pond.  927 Nest check no joy. Metadata time 1000.
 Gently swaying in a breeze was Pale Male in his south cedar Hill pine. Same one he graced last evening and many other times. Metadata time 1007.
 Another angle. Metadata time 1009.
 Pale Male south Cedar Hill pine scene Metadata time 1010.
(Now there's a perfect Red-tail throne if I ever saw one.  Pale Male truly is the Monarch of Central Park.) 
He's very comfortably at ease in this perch. Metadata time 1021.
 Settles himself a little more suitably in a slight breeze.  Metadata time 1031.
 Though I was loath to leave his company I ventured over to the west as far as the Bridal Path hoping to spot Zena. Beresford, 241, and the cache tree  checks were no joy so I returned to the east side expecting that Pale Male will have flown to another perch. Metadata time 1042.
 But no, just like a true friend Pale Male was patient and waiting in the top of his pine.  Metadata time 1102.
 Pale Male scoping things out. Metadata time 1104.
 He launches to the SSE. Metadata time 1108.
 Continues to the SSE. Metadata time 1108.
 Banking now to the SE. Metadata time 1108.
 Soars due east. Metadata time 1108.
 Scanned areas down to the Sailboat Pond hoping he was going to rendezvous with Zena but no joy all the way to a 927 Nest check. Metadata time 1116.
 I had to depart scene and there was a Red-tail on the Oreo antenna watching me go. Metadata time 1124.
Pale Male?  Opera Star?  Zena? 

This is the fourth post in 24 hours so keep scrolling down if you missed one.

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

Looking For Zena 8/21--Jeff Johnson Searches for Another Personal Sighting of Pale Male's Mate

Late afternoon sortie into the Park the East 80th Street MET grounds entry. Oreo antenna check with nobody there. Metadata Time 1648.

Minutes later as I'm crossing The Great Lawn to sweep the west side I saw a Red-tail in the SW Beresford tower. Metadata Time 1652.
                                   Extreme enlargement.
By the time I reached the 81st Street CPW entry the Red-tail had flown. Metadata Time 1706.
 Beresford NW tower check also no joy. Metadata Time 1706.
 Back near the East Side drive an Oreo antenna check with no joy. Metadata Time 1714.
 Then moving south to go toward the top of Cedar Hill I was amazed to come upon Pale Male nested in a tree fork SE of that crossed sword King (Prince ?) Jaglello statue. Metadata Time 1715.
 He was patiently scoping things out from his perch. Metadata Time 1718.
SE of King Jaglello scene with Pale male in the upper left corner of the frame. Metadata Time 1719.
I  continued on to the Sailboat Pond checking the 927 Nest hoping that Zena would make an appearance. Metadata Time 1744.
I waited on the west perimeter of the Sailboat Pond and was a little creeped out by the "Hitchcock" like gathering above me. Metadata Time 1746.
 Ventured back to the south MET grounds and found Pale Make in some dense tree cover. Metadata Time 1823.
 He moved to an adjacent tree. Metadata Time 1824.
 He seemed to be preoccupied with something. Metadata Time 1825.
 Closer frame shows him using a lot of beak motion. Metadata Time 1626.
 Moving to a more westerly direction it's obvious now that he's having  dinner. Metadata Time 1830.
 I didn't see him carry anything up there which doesn't mean anything as I didn't have eyes on him until a few minutes ago. He had plenty of time to hunt and cache his meal.Metadata Time 1832. 
Pale Male scene south NET grounds. Metadata Time 1833.
 Back to the Sailboat Pond still hoping to see Zena with no joy. Metadata Time 1843.
Checking back with Pale Male who has decide to visit another tree.  Metadata Time 1859.
Another check of the 927 Nest at theSailboat pond with no one visible.  Metadata Time 1908.
 I make a last sweep along the south perimeter of Cedar Hill on my way out of the Park and there's a Red-tail shape gently bobbing in the top of this pine. Metadata Time 1927
 Pale Male taking in the setting sun !  Metadata Time 1928.
 Looking at him from a more northerly  perspective. Metadata Time 1931.
 South Cedar Hill scene with Pale Male in the almost spindly top of a pine. He launched due east a few minutes after this frame was taken. Metadata Time 1934.
 I hastened back to the Sailboat Pond hoping Pale Male ha a date with Zena planned but no one visible even as an overflight  at the time this frame was taken. Metadata Time 1940.

Had to depart scene disappointed with not having spotted Zena.
Many thanks Jeff, for taking us along on the trail of Pale Male and  as Zena is out there you will find her, and as you'll take us along we're all very much looking forward to it.

Speaking of Zena, earlier today I mentioned I'd had a couple of possible hypotheses as to where Zena might be when she was missing beyond the first and unthinkable, that she had been poisoned.
One thought was that as two of her fledglings had disappeared, well for her as they'd gone off to rehab to be healed that perhaps she'd gone far afield to look for them.  She may have.
But also, first, do you remember when one of Mama and Papa's eyasses disappeared from the nest and the theory was that the little one had been stolen in the night by a Great Horned Owl?
Mama then became so super vigilant that she even lost some of her trust in her major watchers for a short time and began to sleep off the nest, (the weather had improved thank goodness) because it gave her an advantage in protecting it. 
 She became hyper-vigilant.

Now for part two of my thought which has to do with new Red-tail parents-- in these cases the behavior of new Dads, Vince at Fordham and Norman at the Cathedral nest.  Both were very young as Zena is when they first became parents.

While Hawkeye and Tristan were older very experienced Dads, who provided ample food for the family they also had more of tendency to be in evidence around the nest area not only to the eyes of their mates but also to the poorer eyes of hawkwatchers than did their replacements. 
First lets take Vince.  Vince was an excellent provider for Rose while she sat the nest.  He caught on to that part of the role right off but then he seemed to go missing for great swathes of time.  Eventually it was discovered that for at least part of the time during those mystery absences that he'd flown over to the NY Botanic Gardens and was sitting quite close to the Great Horned Owl Nest having a staring contest with the Great Horned Owls in the daytime.  

For whatever reason it appears that Vince knew the owls were a possible threat and he was letting them know he was in the game and he was serious.  He was being, as we've seen before, the hyper-vigilant new Dad and taking the possible war to their front door.  And he did keep Horned Owl Dad awake in the daytime when he would have no doubt much preferred to sleep.   
Next up our crazed Storm'n Norman of the Cathedral Nest.  Previously Tristan and Isolde had always had periodic attacks from their neighbors the Kestrels, the Crows, and the Peregrines from just outside the territory.  Mostly a pesky annoyance but still conceivably dangerous if the resident pair weren't paying close attention.

Norman, who took awhile to catch onto the fact he needed to feed Isolde before he completely stuffed himself would also be gone for great gaps of time while Isolde would come up for air from behind St. Andrews elbow hungry and obviously be looking for him.  (Eventually Norman did get the food thing down.)

We later realized that Norman had been extending his and Isolde's territory and had been spending great amounts of time defending those new boundaries.  Attacks on the nest took a steep down turn along with the rise of sketchy food deliveries.
It is a small sample but perhaps we could say that young hawk parents have more of tendency to defend borders and menace possible enemies in their early parenthood than older Dads who at least anecdotally become more interested in hands on, or shall we say talons on care of the young. 

It was reported that once the Fifth Avenue fledglings were off the nest that Zena rarely if ever participated in their feeding or training. 
 Is it possible that as a young mother, having spent many weeks caring for and beak feeding youngsters, that once they left the nest, her urge like the young dads, was more toward the defending-the-territory-and-menacing-possible-interlopers category?

Aggression towards interlopers is wired into Red-tails.  And the young have lots of energy to bring it on.  Whereas does it make evolutionary sense that the older more experienced parent might do better in the training role?

Therefore perhaps Zena was far less in evidedence once the young were off the nest because she was defending the perimeters of the territory whilst the hawkwatchers were sticking close to the nest and the "action" of watching Pale Male mostly feed and train the young? 
Remember that Zena did come and watch over the second poisoned fledgling when she was on the perimeter of the territory and may have been watching from distant perches all along as she guarded the perimeters of the territory and with her hawk eyes also watched the fledglings both from carefully selected perches.

Then when the two poisoned fledglings "disappeared" this could have made Zena even more diligent in looking for them somewhat further afield as well as defending the territory even more scrupulously.  Placing her even further away from the familiar well trodden routes of hawkwatchers.

It's a thought.

If you've not been by earlier today, there are two previous posts you won't have seen,  so keep scrolling down.

Happy Hawking!

Donegal Browne

Looking For Zena 8/20 (Yes, Zena's Been Sighted but Jeff Is Still Looking For Her.),Where Might She have Been, and a Brown tail Goes to Red-tail

 Photos and italicized commentary in this section by Jeff Johnson

Entered the Park from 72nd and 5th Ave thinking Opera Star might be hunting along the playground area.
927 Nest check with no red-tails visible. Metadata time 1320.
 From midpoint between Alice and Cedar Hill a Red-tail that looks to be Pale Male in this push enlargement alighted on the antenna. Metadata time 1323.
 From midpoint between Alice and Cedar Hill a Red-tail that looks to be Pale Male in this push enlargement alighted on the antenna. Metadata time 1323.  [Up right.]

 Red-tail continuing south in this second push frame. Metadata time 1324.
Doubled back to the Sailboat Pond and checked the nest with no joy and didn't see any overflights. Metadata time 1327.
Made my way over to the near west side Bridle Path glade that I believe I spotted Zena in on the 14th of Aug. No Red-tails visible. Metadata time 1401.
Close look at tree fork where I think Zena had cached some food on the 14th. Nothing visible from his angle. Metadata time 1402.
 Beresford SW Tower check with no Red-tails visible. Metadata time 1408.
Beresford NW Tower check with no Red-tails visible. Metadata time 1408.
 241 Building check with no Red-tails visible. Metadata time 1417.
 Back to the east side playground near 77th Street looking for Opera Star, but no joy. Metadata time 1446.
927 Nest check with no joy. Metadata time 1450.
 Going back to the west side a Red-tail flew almost directly over me as I reached the south tip of Cedar Hill (push enlargement). Metadata time 1504.
 It looks to be Pale Male flying due east (pushed enlargement). Metadata time 1504.
 Ragged looking left wing doesn't appear to affect his flying prowess at all. Metadata time 1504.

[Pale Male, being an adult Red-tailed Hawk, is undergoing his yearly molt and no it doesn't seem to affect his flying.] 
Disappears going due east. Metadata time 1504.
I scanned and waited hoping for additional passes but saw none.  In a failure of situational awareness brought on by scanning treetops and sky too much, I had never noticed that Still Hunt is quite visible from the base of south Cedar Hill and looks just a menacing as from the East drive. Metadata time 1509.
Once again going to the west side a Beresford check proves no joy. Metadata time 1525.

Skirted back to the Winterdale Arch to provide visual orientation (looking west). Metadata time 1527.
 Elected not to proceed on over to Central Park West and went back to the Sailboat Pond. 927 Nest check with no joy. Metadata time 1638.
 I was departing scene by going north up 5th Avenue and happily found Pale Male in a tree he often perches in opposite the Three Bears on the south MET grounds.  Metadata time 1708
 Pale Male pushed enlargement. Metadata time 1708.

[He is such a beauty, isn't he?]
Pale Male turning lengthwise pushed enlargement. Metadata time 1708.
 Pale male showing his six. Metadata time 1708.
 He flew a little ways NNW into this tree along the south side of the MET. Metadata time 1714.
 Pushed enlargement. Metadata time 1714.
He seemed full of energy and leapt into the air very quickly.Metadata time 1716.
Bulleting due west. Metadata time 1716.
Banking toward a tree in the west. Metadata time 1716
 Metadata time 1716.
Pushed enlargement. Metadata time 1716.
Pale Male was restless, as if he had to be somewhere. Metadata time 1717.
Pale Male effortlessly curved off due SW and I so wish I had been able to continue following, but I had to depart scene.
An update with photos from Pondove,  one of the chief watchers of Bobby and Rosie who nest on the Bobst Library overlooking Washington Square Park.

Dear Friends,
  I know many of you have not been in chat since Boo and Scout left but thought you may be interested in a few things. Although we see Bobby and Rosie just about every day, our NY people haven't seen Boo and Scout in a few days so we've been looking in the nearby park, Union Square but don't spot them. Yesterday I went over to Madison Square Park. For those of you who are not local, Washington Square Park is on 5th Avenue and 8th Street, Union Square is on 14th Street and Madison on 5th Avenue and 23rd, so they are all pretty close.
[Violet, the indomitable, Bobby's previous mate was also observed at Madison Square Park on occasion.]
Madison is not that large a park but has many trees to go through. I walked around, talked to the park officers and was told that there are several red tailed hawks. They actually have been seen here for years. I was about to give up when I spotted one in a tree. I took 3 pictures which I will enclose. The hawk looks very red in one picture but it's just the lighting. I sent these to John Blakeman. Notice the tail. I couldn't figure it out but JB did in a wink. The hawk is in its second summer, meaning it is 1 year and a few months old, like Pip. First moulting. You will see the red coming in, so I thought you all might like to see what that looks like.

JB sends his regards to everyone and as you know, he is busy with his prairie association and writing a book. 

I think I sent everyone the info about Ranger Rob performing at the nightclub this Saturday night. If you didn't get that email and would like to go, please email me and I'll send you the specifics. The proceeds will go to WINORR, Bobby Horvath, so it's a great cause!

OK, here are the pictures of the Madison juvenile. Love to all, Pon
 Photo by Pondove
                                                               Photo by Pondove

Photo by Pondove.

This is Pondove's shot that shows the brown tail of a yearling molting into the red tail of  a budding adult.
   Great documenting photo Pondove, thank you!

 A query from Lynne B. about the two previously poisoned Fifth Avenue Fledglings--
I often check in on your website and am so happy to see the updates.  I've been a Pale Male watcher for years!!

I was wondering if you have any information about Pale Male's children.  I know the 2 hawks were taken to the rehabber after being poisoned, but have not heard how they are doing. 

Do you have any information?

Thanks so much!

Hi Lynne,

Grand to hear from you.  The word in the park is that the Horvaths are going to keep the "kids' in residence until the poison is removed.  Haven't heard that direct from the Horvaths  but that's the current word.