When last we left Pale Male he had just prepared a meal for the fledglings or possibly for Little the eyass still left on the nest in Central Park while being attacked by a Northern Mockingbird pair, Mimus polyglottos. After finishing the chore Pale Male has flown out of the Park and landed on a building on Fifth Avenue near 65th St. One of his attackers has followed him and is continuing the harassment.
So far Pale Male just keeps his eyes averted and leans away from the Mockingbird.
Pale Male just keeps sitting there.
He appears to be attempting to look as stoic as possible.
One reason for making himself such an obvious target is to keep the Mockingbirds from attacking the fledglings. They are not used to such harassment and might be scared from a reasonably safe perch into any number of not so safe scenarios, like traffic for instance. Also it gives Octavia a chance to hunt in peace.
See the Mockingbird to the left of the aurette?
It looks like this one could be a rear attack.
Let's take a moment to talk about hypotheses or in laymen's terms "hunches". (By the way, hunches and hypotheses are not "fantasies", they are the staple of the Scientific Method and have been since the 17th Century. I previously thought that perhaps Pale Male's lean to the left, north, might have something to do with the fact that the Mockingbird was on his right, south. That was my mini- hypothosis which has proved to be incorrect.
Pale Male is still leaning left with the Mockingbird on that side. Therefore I posit the lean has something to do with being in position to take off with prey in his right talons or perhaps to see something through a break in the park trees.
The next thing I'm going to hypothesize about is that if you'll note, Pale Male began this Mockingbird episode by looking north while the Mockingbird was on the south. I have noticed that he tends to keep his eyes away from Mockingbird attacks.
In this case he seems to be shifting his gaze from north to south as things progress. I wonder as I've not seen her since I arrived if Octavia is traveling through the park and he's keeping an eye on her as Red-tailed Hawk mates tend to do with each other.
That can happen with eyasses as well, but in this case we know that Little is still on 927, Medium is full cropped on a railing not far from him on Fifth Avenue. We still haven't spotted Large but she would not be moving as fast as his gaze so the best bet is either Octavia or the watching of prey for future reference.
Pale Male increases his lean to the left, north and his face is pointing south. Where is Mr. Mockingbird at this point? And where is Octavia? We still haven't seen her.
Holding the position.
And here comes Mockingbird with a rear assault. Pale Male doesn't even flinch.
And Mockingbird appears looking south as well. Interesting.
They both look. ???
Mocker heads for his elevated perch.
They stare at each other...
And do it some more.
Then they're back to "the game".
Pale looks away. Mocker stares at Pale.
They hold that.
Has the Mockingbird now changed his focus in order to see what Pale Male may be seeing? I do believe he has and I love this moment. The Mocking Bird, instead of taking this moment while Pale Male is obviously focused elsewhere for a cheap shot decides to gather information that might be useful later.
Pale Male takes off obscured by trees. Drat!
As Medium is stuffed to the gills it seems unlikely that he will be getting the delivery, and we don't know where Large is yet, so I walk over to 927 just in case. I haven't edited this picture for your clarity as I have the others so you can actually see the behavior just to remind you that it was a very rainy overcast day with limited visuals. See Little way up there on the nest? Little has the best view in the area except perhaps for the Carlyle light fixtures. It has no overhang and lots of possible positions.
And there he is watching the action uptown from the safety of the nest. I remind myself that just because I might be lonely as the last to fledge, Little may be having the time of his life without those older siblings up there with him. He did seem to be having a grand time "killing" his dinner earlier.
The day before I'd seen Large just around the corner on 927 on a window balcony. We walk north. She isn't there today. Stella and I keep walking uptown. We keep hearing begging. We try to follow the sound and suddenly Stella says,"Look! Up there!"
And there is Large on a very narrow window ledge high above Fifth Avenue begging long and piteously. We know she is very hungry as she has a concave crop as well as constantly begging.
More to come. D.B.