Friday, March 29, 2013

Pale Male and Octavia, The Search for Rose of Fordham Continues, Rare Cooperative RTH Behavior!

Photo courtesy of
 The ever industrious Pale Male is still twigging for the 927 Fifth Avenue nest.
 Photo courtesy of  Octavia has developed the sleepy eyed hormonal look of a sitting formel.

 Hawkwatcher Al Olsen reports that Octavia had to wait almost three minutes beside the nest bowl after a break for Pale Male to give up sitting the eggs and make his exit.  Though I, and no one else I know, have ever observed Pale Male feed his eyasses, one gets the idea he thinks that prodigious hunting is a better use of his time, he has always displayed a grand fondness for sitting on the eggs.

No one so far has reported that Octavia has had to give him a poke with her beak to get him out of the nest bowl, on occasion, Lola, a mate of many years, periodically did oust him off the eggs that way.

June 2007, Hawkeye and Rose of Fordham 

Rose of Fordham has still not been sighted by any of her watchers and things are beginning to look grim,.

   I did receive some fascinating behavioral information from a birdwatcher at the NYBG.  Rose was observed hunting with her son called the Alpha Son or Jr.  They also double teamed the Great Horned Owls at their nest site.    I know of only two instances in which two Red-tailed Hawks participated in team hunting and both of them were bonded pairs.  Making cooperative endeavors by a mother and son even more rare.

  Mama and Papa in the Bronx were observed hunting pigeons in tandem by Jeff Kollbrunner and I observed cooperative hunting in the County M rural pair.

From  NYBG Birdwatcher-

On two occasions I saw Rose and Jr (as we called him) harassing the Great Horned Owls. It was unique behavior as he would land on a branch and the male owl ( defending the nesting female) would go into defense mode - shouldering his wings and hissing. Then Rose would suddenly appear on a branch in back of male owl- cornering him. I have never observed RT act this way before.  

Since then I've observed Rose and Jr flying and perched together. I ID her by band, color pattern and size. Last year I saw them hunting in the same manor, one distracts the prey - while the other goes in for the kill. 

I haven't seen Jr in quite sometime either. [Last observed by NYBG Birdwatcher about four months ago. DB] He was very brazen and people tolerant often buzzing the tops of our heads as he flew by. 

I watched Junior on the Museum bldg nest.  He was very aggressive in the nest and first to fledge.  I am certain it was this young male that hunted with Rose. 

Rose's favorite place to perch was the Native Plant Garden. The Garden has done extensive construction. Maybe this drove her away.   

There is another garden volunteer that photographs RT all the time. I will contact her and see if she has captured  any pictures of Rose, lately. 
Fingers crossed.
Donegal Browne

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