Friday, December 31, 2004

Visiting Pale Male

Even though I already saw Pale Male this morning as he flew lazy circles above a panicked flock of pigeons outside my office window, it was a pleasant day today, so I visited Pale Male and Lola's nest site early this afternoon. Unfortunately, neither bird was present. I sat alone on a green bench a small distance away from the hawk fan clique. They were crowded together on their usual bench directly across from the model sailboat pond (formally known as the Conservatory Water) in Central Park. The hawk fans appeared relaxed and almost bored as they talked and joked with each other, their telescopes packed away or standing as lonely sentinals, covered with black cloths. It was almost as though the recent hawk nest drama had never occurred.

After watching large numbers of people, English sparrows, rock doves ("pigeons") and eastern grey squirrels for almost an hour, I felt chilled so I moved on. I strolled around The Ramble and was surprised to find Pale Male sitting in a large tree near the bird feeders. These feeders, each containing either suet with peanuts, black-oil sunflower or thistle seeds, daily host scores of hungry House Finches, American Goldfinches, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Northern Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers and White-breasted Nuthatches, while a small and late-migrating flock of American Robins whinnied overhead. Unexpectedly, these birds were not intimidated by the hawk's presence, even though he watched them intently, bobbing his head in anticipation from time to time.

Suddenly, Pale Male swept low through the bare trees and landed on another branch approximately 23 meters (75 feet) away. He stared at a squirrel that hung upside down on a tree truck, motionless, chattering an alarm. A minute later, Pale Male again flew through the trees and landed on a bare branch that was high over a paved walkway. None of the people below noticed him at all. He watched them for a moment but seemed to grow bored. A few moments later, he moved on again, disappearing through the trees in the direction of The Lake.


© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

5 Peer Reviews:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the update on Pale Male and the Central Park Hawkwatch. I hope you'll continue to share news of your visits with the hawks and the other birds in the park. I enjoy reading your blog and I wish you well in the New Year.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Girl Scientist! With heartfelt wishes for a new job and a more propsperous future. G.

5:44 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Thanks for the good wishes, G, and I hope that you also have a great new year! I told myself that things can't get worse for me than they already are, except ... they can get worse, so I shall try to keep that thought out of my head.

Regarding Pale Male and Lola updates ... I am pleasantly surprised to learn that many people around the country and the world really care about them so I will post updates on their activities at least once per week and more often after nesting activities commence (Keep in mind that I peek in on them -- and that Pale Male visits me on my office window ledge -- more often each week, though). Hopefully I will also add my weekly Central Park Birding reports here, along with my usual weekly essays -- the original and most compelling reason I started my public blog.

Do I know how all this will work out for my dedicated readers, many who have disparate interests? (Yes, I love all of you, thanks so much for reading!) Well, no I don't know how it will work, but here's my plan; I will sort my blog entries into three categories, using key abbreviations in the title so you can quickly locate entries that interest you. My essay topics, of course, will have no constraints on them and will cross all boundaries.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


visiting again ...
It seems that a rare boreal owl has been making news as well ... what is called, a 'life bird' sighting for some ...
( also, on another note, the search button gobbles up some text ... )


6:12 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Ah, I am happy to see that our cute little boreal owl is in the news ... I have seen her (him?) every day so far. This bird is not a "life list" bird for me because I was lucky enough to see a nesting pair in their tree in Lake Louise, Alberta (Canada) for my first sighting of this species. However, this particular bird is quite special and is a new addition to my USA, NYstate, NYC and Central Park lists! (Gee, I keep a lot of bird lists, don't I?)

In other really cool bird news right now, my friends in the Seattle area have regaled us east coast birders with tales of two remarkable "life list" birds right now .. a Redwing (Turdus iliacus, lost from Europe) and a Baikal teal (Anas formosa lost from Asia), along with a smorgasbord of other rarities. If I had the money, I'd be back in my old stomping grounds alongside my many birding pals!

Last but not least, thanks for letting me know that the search button was causing some problems. I believe I have fixed that now.

11:27 AM  

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