Thursday, February 28, 2008

Copulation? Attempted Copulation?

New Guy looking---just what expression is that? Did he copulate with Isolde successfully and is stunned, or was he unsuccessful and is now humiliated and horrified?

3:29PM As I walk up Cathedral Hill two Red-tailed hawks, both flapping, zoom to the east just south of Cathedral House.
3:44PM A Red-tail comes out of Morningside Park, to west through the trees, towards windows of Plant Pavilion, and lands on air conditioner already occupied. View obscured by tree branches, I hear the Red-tail "gull calls" that are heard during some kinds of begging and during copulation. Both birds same spot, some wing flapping, brief interlude. Copulation? An attempt at copulation? Had it been Isolde and Tristan I'd say definite copulation but the above bird certainly isn't Tristan. Though that doesn't rule copulation out at this point.

3:46:39PM Male on the left and female on the right looking at each other. Interesting. It looks like eye contact. But they both may just be keeping watch in opposite directions.

3:53:31PM At this point I'm thinking this is Isolde but I'm not positive. I've not seen the belly band and in fact I've not seen Isolde for some time.

3:57:39PM New Guy takes off to the west into Morningside Park.

4:01:28PM Female watches sparrows on sidewalk.

Female looks out at park. I notice her eyes.

In this light the iris of the eye can be seen to be a different color from the pupil. She doesn't seem to be shifting at all so I can see the band therefore I figure I should shift in an attempt to make the ID.

4:15:41PM As I shift she slightly shifts as well opening herself up. Her head color comes down on the shoulder and breast as is the case with Isolde. The belly band is similar. (When I get home I email Rob of and he confirms Isolde. With the state of flux with the Cathedral Hawks one can never be too careful.)

4:18:50PM Rob and I have decided that there just might be some problem with the insulation around these air conditioners. A similar situation to the spot Doorstep Dove uses in Wisconsin by the patio door. There is a warm air flow through the cracks.

Isolde at times looks tired and stressed today.


4:24:44PM Gary, a local security guard who has been looking for Tristan or his remains, watches as Isolde goes south through the treeline. What I don't understand is that no one I talked to, and it was a fair number of people who searched today, has not even found a feather. Even if the body was predated by feral cats, or drug off by the local opossum, there should be a good number of hawk feathers laying somewhere.

4:30:46 Look carefully between the two tree trunks. There is a Red-tail soaring and circling above the park.

4:30:57PM And there are two Red-tails circling with each other here, though impossible to see in this size. See below.

See the two pale spots slightly high and center.

4:38PM Isolde returns but now she's sitting on the left AC where New Guy was previously sitting.

4:39PM Isolde watches something in particular.

4:42PM Red-tail comes out of park curves back into treeline and flies N
4:44PM Isolde comes off AC and follows N in treeline. I lose sight of her at about 117th. I remember Rob saying something about a "usual roosting spot" up there. I head north.

4:48:52PM As I walk toward 117th, there are a number of territorial type birds, Mockers and Blue Jays sitting on the stone fence seemingly looking west. This Mockingbird took time out from looking west to glare at me.

Then he goes back to fixedly looking west. I don't see any Red-tails to the west. In fact I don't see any Red-tails anywhere. And as it's getting darn cold out here, at a few minutes after 5:00 I head back down Cathedral Hill and towards home.

Donegal Browne


Robert said...

Picture #1... two thoughts.

FIrst, light eyes. New guy is young.

Second, that's the usual look from hawks looking down at you looking back up at them. "Why are you looking me? What, do I look fat from that angle?" look.

Anonymous said...

No feathers, I am still holding out hope for Tristan.

Donegal Browne said...

Karen Anne,

So am I.

Donegal Browne said...


Or perhaps, heaven forfend, he thought I looked horrifically fat. Gadzooks now there's a thought.

Yes, that is the look for looking back at us while we're looking at them with some birds but with his body tension and stance, I just couldn't resist the somewhat tongue in cheek comment. You can see he's wound up tight trying to make good and he has the urge to do SOMETHING so Isolde looks on him more hospitably. But so far I haven't seen any gifts and I'd say Isolde noticed. Therefore she isn't exactly being cuddly, even for a Red-tail, copulation or not. She made him go stand on his air conditioner. :-0

Yes, New Guy most definitely just got a red tail. Isolde is going to have her wings full if she takes him on. But much better chance for him to be successful with an experienced mate. Pale Male's first successful nest was with an experienced female. And from what I hear, Pale Male had to teach young Lola a few things when it came his turn to take on a young mate.

Something about Charlotte, makes me think that Jr. isn't her first mate either. Once she had a rather exasperated attitude about the age of the food he brought her while she was sitting. She looked at the prey, and took off the nest like a dynamo, leaving Jr. standing there holding his offering while she disappeared out of sight. Then he put down the stiff pigeon, his little wings slumped, and he walked toward the bowl, with a little glance over his shoulder and dutifully sat on the eggs.