Monday, July 14, 2014

Stella Hamilton in Central Park with Pale Male and Fledgling, NYC, Quicksilver the African Grey Parrot Excavates, Stella's Ceiling, and the Native Plant of the Day, Orange Butterfly Milkweed

 All Red-tailed Hawk Photos by Stella Hamilton

Once again longtime Hawkwatcher Stella Hamilton was out with her cell phone camera in New York City's Central Park looking for the Monarch of Central Park, Pale Male, and his family.  And as usual she was successful in her quest. 

5:57PM  Pale Male at the Pinetum

7:27 PM Bugsy on enclosure in Central Park at 79th Street.

7:29PM Bugsy at enclosure at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.  Area closed for construction at the Three Bears Statue. 

Next up Quicksilver the African Grey Parrot is back excavating the chest of drawers in the laundry room.   

Periodically today I'd hear this dreadful grinding noise
 coming from the laundry room.  I'd go inside and Silver would trot out from under the chest of drawers, give me a kissie noise, and trot right back under the piece of furniture.
He was using the charming distraction defense in hope I'd forgotten why I came in.
I can play that game.  

So I'd say hello and go back to whatever I was doing.  Then this evening he was off in another room watching television, so I whipped into the laundry room and pulled out the bottom drawer of the chest.

WOW!  He's been making big progress at gnawing himself an easier access to the bottom drawer from the rear.

Of course Silver heard me open the drawer and was back in the room like a shot...
Look at the extremely concerned expression on his face.  He's working on a nesting cavity and wants to make sure I've not ruined it in some way.  I walked out and evidentally he decided all was well for he soon returned to the room with the television to continue his viewing pleasure.  He was watching a DVD of West Wing.

 Speaking of viewing pleasure, I've known avid hawkwatcher Stella Hamilton for ten years and she had never told me about the painting her very talented brother had created on the ceiling in her New York City apartment until today.

Pale Male
Note Stella, the photographer in the mirror below.

Pale Male on the right and one of his mates, Lola perhaps, on the left.
Photo D.B.
And last but not least, the native plant of the day.  
As many of you know the number of Monarch Butterflies that completed their migration last year was  only 15% of the number that had arrived the previous year.  Things are not looking good for the species at all.  Lack of habitat, wintering grounds, mowed verges, towns which outlaw the growing of milkweed, genetically engineered monoculture croplands, herbicides everywhere which destroy the plants they depend on for successful reproduction...

Photo Donegal Browne

Asclepias tuberosa,   Orange Butterfly Milkweed

Monarch Butterflies need to lay their eggs on milkweed.  When the eggs hatch the larvae feed on the handy milkweed plant.  If it isn't one of the milkweeds the larvae starve and no more butterflies.  

If you don't like orange milkweed, there is also pink milkweed, white milkweed, yellow milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Common Milkweed...

When things look dire, as they do now for so many species, instead of getting utterly depressed, we need to do what we are able to do and this is a simple and inexpensive way to make a big difference.  

Collect seed this fall, its free. Look up how to treat it for best germination.  You can start them in the house.  You can broadcast them on disturbed earth to overwinter, on bare ground, on the verges of rustic roads...

 Go for it!

 Happy Hawking!

Donegal Browne

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