Sunday, July 29, 2012

Correction- The Hawk in Yesterday's Post with Pale Male Is Likely Zena!

Due to distance and bad light our man in the field, Jeff Johnson, may have misidentified Zena as Opera Star.  More on that to come.

Jeff Johnson Spends Some Time With Pale Male and Opera Star, the Healthy Fifth Avenue Fledgling

Correction!  Due to distance and bad light Jeff Johnson may have misidentified Zena as Opera Star in some instances in this post.  More on this coming up! 

 Photographs and italicized commentary by hawkwatcher Jeff Johnson, who's been out daily helping to document the doings of the Central Park Red-tailed Hawks during the crisis of the two poisoned fledglings.  And today, still soldiering on in what looks to be a day with poor light and  threatening rain.

Reached the Park just before 1400 and elected to probe quickly through the known haunts and then recon the west side more than I have been doing previously.

Oreo Antenna check from arch below Cleopatra's Needle.  1344 Metadata time.
 927 Nest check nobody visible.  Very overcast in the Park right now. 1404 Metadata time.
Jeff,  what is the grayish "something" which appears to be on the nest carriage, off to the right of the nest?

Still Hunt with "still no Pale Male". 1417 Metadata time.
Oreo Antenna perch check with no one visible. 1420 Metadata time.
 Beresford Tower check crossing The Great Lawn going west with no Red-tails visible. 1444 Metadata time.
 Rather than scan from ground level I moved along the path above the Park wall following Central Park West. Just south of a playground there near the corner of 84th Street was a Red-tail profile on the north roof tower corner.
1448 Metadata time.
 Building on 84th Street scene. 1452 Metadata time.

This is a building that is not visible from the Hawk Bench and therefore doesn't have an idiosyncratic name.

All these enlargements have been pushed in PhotShop CS6 and are borderline for ID credibility on their own. Based on looking at the Red-tail for almost an hour through 12x25 binoculars I think this is Pale Male. It's not readily apparent in these over saturated frames but the white patches near his wing leading edges and the dull grey coloration of his head and neck were  unmistakable through binoculars. 1452 Metadata time.
I moved steadily north trying to get better angles, but the distance for a 200mm lens can't be overcome. 
1457 Metadata time.
 Positive building ID. 1457 Metadata time.
  Note the street number on the awning.
 1504 Metadata time.  

Pale Male looks to be hunting and possibly watching prey patterns for later use.

1509 Metadata time.
 Pale Male readies himself to launch. 1510 Metadata time.
 Pale Male launched due south. 1510  Metadata time.
I scanned the Beresford and along the avenue south to the far wing of the American Natural History Museum and though I heard a Red-tail call near 78th Street it was distant so I headed back to the east side of the Park. Beresford SW Tower no one visible. 

Beresford NW Tower no one that is a Red-tail is visible. 
1514 Metadata time.
Back on the east side of the Park and a 927 Nest check shows a Red-tail in residence. 1603 Metadata time.

 It looks like Opera Star. Pushed enlargement. 
1608 Metadata time.
 1608 Metadata time.

Opera Star readies himself to launch. 1616 Metadata time.

Opera Star flew into the trees NNW of Kerbs Cafe by the Sailboat Pond. He wasn't vocalizing but he looks like he misses his early fledge days. 1622 Metadata time.

Had to depart the scene with Opera Star restlessly zooming from tree to tree and without having seen Zena anytime today.

Perhaps Opera Star is learning to get into silent, quiet, hunting hawk mode,  in hopes of nabbing one of those pesky squirrels that keep eluding him.  

Though no doubt being weaned by one's parents isn't the most comfortable stage of life for any creature, Pale Male, the savvy experienced parent,  has taught many fledglings hunting lessons plus his personal "tricks of the trade".  And  I think that Opera Star will have learned Pale Male's lessons well.  He will soon be a grand hunter, just as his father is.

Next up--Hawkwatcher, photographer, and videographer Lincoln Karim took some very interesting footage of Pale Male in the rain.  The Monarch of Central Park uses his wings as an "umbrella" during the worst of a rain shower to shield his torso from becoming saturated with rainwater.  

He's a smart bird that Pale Male.

Donegal Browne