Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Franklin Institute Update, the Rare Wood Rail in New Mexico, Maynard the Crow, and Hawk Watcher Ed Quinn

Click to enlarge  
 Photo courtesy of
So far so good for  Pale Male's fledglings this season.

Many thanks to Linda Maslin for sending a link with details of the Franklin Institute fledgling situation. 
The third one is in rehab
  In from Robin of Illinois....exceedingly rare bird sighted for first time in U.S.

And more sad news on the hawk watcher front.  Many will remember "Ed and Dolly"  Quinn, an older hawk watching couple with more spunk than many people half their age. I just received news from Stella Hamilton that Ed Quinn has also passed away.

And last but not least, news concerning Maynard the young crow.  It was raining cats and dogs so I didn't take my camera with me, but late this afternoon, I heard the two caw response to a three caw callPlus the two caw call was higher pitched than the three Caw.  

Something I've learned of late is that fledgling Crows have a higher pitched call than the adults.

I took off in the direction of the calls.  The first stop may well have been the Walnut tree in which the Crows nested.  An adult Crow was at the tip top of the tree calling.  I looked up and there was a big nest, crow sized, above my head.  The fledgling then arrived in the tree and both birds took off.  After tracking them through several stops, I got a good look at the juvenile and due to two "warts" on the eye lid of the youngster I could identify it as Maynard!

Will wonders never cease, Maynard has actually managed to start flying.   Thank goodness I'm immensely relieved.  I'm sure his parents are even more so!

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another Seat on the Hawk Bench Is Empty and the Franklin Fledglings Are Down to One

Stella Hamilton, long time hawkwatcher and in many ways a guardian angel for the hawkwatchers as well, called me yesterday with the news that Kenturian, (Ken Brown) who had been watching the stars above Central Park and its hawks as well since the 1980's had died.

I got to know Kenturian well back in 2005, while watching the Trump Parc nest of Pale Male Jr. and Charlotte.  While many of us sat on Little Hill the closest vantage point in the park to view this nest with difficult sight lines, Kenturian and Ben Cacace, bit the bullet, and sat on a bench near the Great Lawn, deep in the park for the long view so they could see the in-flights of the Junior and Charlotte along Central Park South so all would have a better over all understanding of the pairs behavior.

Here is Stella's follow up email-

Dear Donna, 
 I'm sorry to break a bit of sad news , but a long time hawk watcher, dear friend, and guru to all , Ken Brown , has passed.   He was such an intelligent guy , who dabbled with nature, slug sex , hawks, and other raptors, astronomy and languages. That's right, slug sex. 

 I'm trying to spread the news to as many people in Central Park as I can.  So, please tell all you know who knew Ken.  

 Regards, Stella 

There is an added sad wrinkle to Kenturian's death, we don't know his next of kin, so that they may be contacted about his death.  If you have any information, and tidbits about Ken's extended family connections please contact me via the "contact me" info at the top right of the main page.

Ken had been ill with cancer but due to chemotherapy had been doing much better and had once again been a regular visitor to the Park to watch Pale Male's latest brood.  Another hawkwatcher of long standing was visiting relatives in Switzerland and Ken was apartment sitting for her while she was away.

Stella, who is an RN, realized the other day that she'd not seen Ken for nearly a week and she felt uneasy about it.  She asked around and found that Ken had been staying at Margaret's apartment and decided to go over and ask Ken if he needed anything in case he'd become very ill again.

Off Stella went to the apartment building and asked the doorman to call the apartment to announce her.  There was no answer.  She asked the door man if he'd seen Ken lately.  No he hadn't.   In fact it was possible that he'd not seen Ken for a number of days.

Stella explained the situation and they decided to check on Ken.  They went into the apartment and found that he had passed away.  And as this wasn't Ken's apartment there was no information in it as to who should be contacted.  Therefore if anyone out there can help in this matter please do get in touch.

Just in from Linda Maslin...

Hi Donegal,
Just wanted to give you the sad news – a second juvenile red-tailed hawk from the Franklin Institute in Philly has died from injuries obtained when he, too,  crashed into the window at the Moore College of Art nearby.  There is only one left besides the parents.
Linda Maslin

Thank you Linda.  Such sad news.  I was so hoping there  would be no deaths this season.  And the Franklin young have had such a good run, much as Pale Male's young had for many years. 

There is some good news, Maynard the unflighted Crow fledgling is still around...and still walking, much to his parents duress.
Can you see Maynard?  See the tree trunk center.  Maynard is just to the left of it tootling along.
One of Maynard's minders is up in the tree above him.  There were two cawing at him in an attempt to convince him to try and fly up to safety.  Maynard was ignoring them.
Maynard was busy pecking at leaf debris.  That's some progress, at least he's considering eating something on his own.  More cawing from the minders.  Get higher, get away from the people with the camera.
Okay, okay!
  Maynard climbs up on a rock but that's about all his stubby little tail and wings can do at the moment.  So he proceeds to lay down and get ready to roost.

The minders are hysterically cawing. Not safe!  Not safe!

 Maynard closes his eyes.

 I go over, pick him up, and put him on a tree branch.

Good night, Maynard.  Sleep safe and how about a little effort in the hop flapping department tomorrow.

Happy hawking!
Donegal Browne