Monday, March 18, 2013

Octavia Sits the Nest. The Plaza Pair Copulate. Plus Four Winged Birds.

A heads up from Sally of Kentucky, concerning two pictures, featured on  

 Pale Male and Octavia in similar flight positions.
This is Pale Male.  And the quick field mark for that identification if you are watching the Fifth Avenue nest?  Pale Male has a distinct sub-terminal band on his tail.
And Octavia's sub-terminal tail band is nearly nonexistent.

Plus yet another fascinating tidbit from Robin of Illinois-Early birds had four wings?

"More than 100 million years ago, birds living in what is now China sported wings on their legs, a new study of fossils suggests.  Researchers found evidence of large leg feathers in 11 bird specimens from China's Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature. The feathers suggest that early birds had four wings, which may have played a role in the evolution of flight, scientists report in a study published today (March 14) in the journal Science."
And a Clarifying Update on the Downtown Plaza Pair from Budding NYC Hawkwatcher Al Olsen in Case You Were Still Confused-
Talked to two hawk watchers who  thought that Mr. Plaza didn't have a mate. I told them about Stella and Katherine's observations when they saw O [Octavia, D.B.] and Pale Male uptown copulating and the Plaza pair copulating down south at nearly current time.  Seems someone is telling  them that isn't true.  It is. I was in park that day.
  I have been trying to track the southern hawks for  days now, more or less successfully. Have seen both hawks and copulation. 
Yesterday, I located the male on the Essex sign.   He flew west just as another hawk (his mate) flew off Crown building.  Crown hawk landed in big London Plane tree in the edge of Park by the wall and leaned forward in "the position". It was Plaza female. I'd lost Mr. Plaza but after five minutes or so he flew in and copulated with Mrs. Plaza.  They sat together for about six minutes and she flew back in direction of Crown. 
It can't be Octavia because she is sitting on the nest at Fifth Avenue and is said to have laid an egg or eggs besides the reliable observations of Stella, Katherine, and others.
Many thanks for the clarifying observations Al, and keep those updates coming! 
Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne 

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