Pale Male

I caught up with Pale Male after he had raided a squirrel's nest and taken a baby.  Luckily, I arrived after the damage had been done.


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Model Boat Pond Bats

Tonight there continued to be a large number of bats at dusk flying around the Model Boat Pond. 

(Pale Male roosted on a building a block south of his nest.  He's done this two other nights this week.)

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Bats, Bats, Bats

My study of the bats at the Model Boat Pond in Central Park continues.  I used a flash to photograph the bats tonight.  I was able to get a few good shots of the bats.   I think it's going to take me weeks to learn how to shoot these bats!

There were one or two Silver-haired Bats in with the mix of Eastern Red Bats and Big Brown Bats. 

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Even more bats

I've somehow become addicted to watching the bats at dusk in Central Park at the model boat pond.  I even invested in a Echo Meter Touch bat detector so I can see spectrograms of the bat's echolocation sounds.  The detector is identifying (with 80% certainty) an almost even mix of Eastern Red Bats and Big Brown Bats.  The Eastern Red Bats appear earlier in the evening followed by the Big Brown Bats.

Walking around the lake and out the west side of the park, I was able to detect two more Eastern Red Bats and two more Big Brown Bats tonight.

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Central Park Bats

This time of year, if you sit near the hawk bench at the Model Boat Pond at dusk, you'll see lots of Chimney Swifts feeding.  But as it gets darker, almost like magic, there are fewer and fewer swifts and in their place you'll see bats. 

Using a "bat detector" to monitor the pitch of the echolocation sound, I discovered the bats are primarily two species, Eastern Red Bat and Big Brown Bat.

 

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Squirrel Standoff

It was too hot to stay too long watching the Tompkins Square Hawks.  Plus the punk bands celebrating the TSP riot, were a little too loud.  But I did get to see two fledglings and Dora.  There was a funny squirrel/hawk standoff too.  A squirrel climbed a small tree that the hawk was in, and then realized it wasn't a good idea.  Luckily, no one was hurt.


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Father and Child

Tonight, Christo acted almost like it was late fall. He spend the evening in the park, casting a pellet, visited the flag pole and did some hunting.  It was nice to spend time with him.  One of the fledglings was also in the park and on nearby buildings.  A nice evening, finally with some normal temperatures too.


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Another Self-Caught Meal

This evening, a fledgling caught another Rock Pigeon and had a meal of it.  While it was eating both parents, arrived and Christo, the male gave Dora a pigeon to eat.  Humorously, the fledgling who had just eaten a whole pigeon, stole the pigeon from Dora.


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Dry Ice

New York City has begun to experiment with Dry Ice (frozen CO2) as an alternative to using rat poisons in city parks.  The technique has turned out to be very effective and as been used recently in a few parks with known Red-Tailed Hawk populations in Manhattan.

Articles about the program have appeared in the New York Daily News and on NY1.  For years there has been tension between hawk lovers and rat haters, and this solution seems to be a wonderful alternative to rodenticide use, that works for everyone.

Kudos to those who wrote letters of complaint after the death of the hawk earlier this year downtown, and many, many thanks to the Department of Health and the Parks Department for finding a safer rat control solution.


Rock Pigeon For Dinner

Today we watched a fledgling do at least fifteen hunting runs before finally catching a Rock Pigeon in Tompkins Square Park. It was exciting to watch and may have been one of the fledglings first kills.

The hawk's sibling hunted a different way.  It stole the pigeon leftovers from its sibling!


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High and Low

It looks like the fledglings at Tompkins Square Park are growing up and venturing farther and farther from the park.  They've been venturing down to 4th Street and Avenue A, on churches and public housing.  They've also been on the top of the Christodora Apartments frequently.

But there has still be at least one fledgling near the pool each day.  But this might not last long.  As July turns into August, the fledglings are going to get harder and harder to find.


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Tompkins Square Park

The first sighting of the night was a hawk on the top of the Christodora House.  It was exploring the scaffolding.  The second was hanging out by the General Slocum memorial.  It started to hunt, and ended up by a family feeding squirrels.  Luckily the young hawk didn't catch any of them.

Near the end of the evening this hawk flew to Avenue A and 10th Street to beg a parent for food.  The parent wasn't having any of it, and so the young hawk tried to catch some pigeons.


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Pale Male

I couldn't find the Fifth Avenue fledglings today, but did get to spend a good deal of time watching Pale Male on the bridle path just south of the Central Park Reservoir.  Octavia flew in and out briefly, but otherwise Pale Male just relaxed in the hot weather.


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