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Octavia

Octavia, the female of the 927 Fifth Avenue nest was on the "Woody" building one block north of the nest late on Friday afternoon.  (Woody Alan no longer lives in the Woody building, by the way.)  Octavia was in to rush to leave, but eventually left and perched on a window railing at 70th and Fifth Avenue, which faces north and overlooks The Frick Collection's garden.

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Pale Male

Pale Male was on the "Linda Building" at 73rd and then his nest on Sunday afternoon.  This year was unusual in that Pale Male and Octavia weren't seen copulating in the spring by any of the regular hawk watchers.  Their nest failed this year, too.  It will be interesting to see what happens next year.

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Green Heron Fishing

The Pond in the southeastern corner of Central Park had a Green Heron on Sunday.  It was fishing for minnows when I found it on the far shore of the southwest corner of the pond.  Fall migration has begun slowly in the park.  Number are still very low, but we're getting interesting birds.  The highlights of the day for me were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Canada Warbler, two Northern Waterthrushs, American Redstart, Belted Kingfisher, Great Egret and Baltimore Oriole.

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Pale Male Eats A Pigeon

This evening I was lucky enough to find Pale Male and watch him explore the East Pinetum of Central Park.  He caught a pigeon and after a few flights, ended up eating it for about 3o minutes before being interrupted by an aggressive Gray Squirrel, which forced him to move to another tree.

(There are some pompous and misogynistic birders on Twitter and Facebook who have recently decided to immediately respond to the posting of any photograph or video of Pale Male, especially those taken by a women, with comments like "It can't still be Pale Male, it must be one of his offspring." 

The comments are based on the belief that a Red-tailed hawk can't be older than around 30 years.  However, the statements offer no proof that Pale Male has been replaced by another hawk, and generally have a tone that implies that the female photographer isn't a "real birder", but a "hawk watcher inclined to anthropomorphize".  While many hawk nests go through numerous changes of mates, generally unnoticed by observers, for the 14 years I've watched Pale Male he remains the same bird with exactly the same habits and perches. 

I missed his early days in the park.  There are only a handful of birders who have followed Pale Male since he arrived in the park.  I know most of them and they all are convinced Pale Male is still the original bird that arrived years ago.

I also find it incredible that these folks say that Pale Male might have be replaced by one of his offspring.  Natal dispersal is incredibly far for Red-tailed Hawks, up to 1,000 miles.  And what hawk is going to mate with its mother?  When the time comes for 927 Fifth Avenue to get a new male, it won't be one of Pale Male's offspring.  Anyone who thinks otherwise clearly doesn't understand raptor biology.

So, if you really believe Pale Male is Pale Male II, offer some hard proof.  Otherwise, don't insult the many wonderful female photographers in the park every time they label a photograph of the adult male from the 927 Fifth Avenue nest, Pale Male.)

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Ramble Red-tailed Hawk

A young Adult Red-tailed Hawk was hanging around the Evodia Field in Central Park's Ramble on Tuesday afternoon.  As fall migration heats up, we should see more and more visitors in Central Park.  A Northern Flicker, American Robins and a Gray Squirrel can be heard on the video's soundtrack.

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Inwood Hill Seal

At the north end of Manhattan, Inwood Hill Park has been the host of a Harbor Seal this summer.  Seals have used the same location in the past, and this may be the same seal that was at the park last year.  This seal is tagged on the right hind flipper and the number is 205 on a yellow tag with black letters.  The number is a bit worn and could be 295, but it's unlikely. 

This year's seal likes to come ashore near people, which makes it difficult at times to stay 50 yards away from the animal, as recommended by NOAA Fisheries guidelines.  I kept having to move farther back has it came closer to shore.

On Facebook's Inwood Times page, Donnalyn Carfi posted the following information.

For anyone that is interested in the Inwood seal, I heard from Mystic Aquarium see below:

I just received some photos today that are nice and clear images of the tag. So it is confirmed to be #205. This is indeed a seal that our Animal Rescue Program has rehabilitated. He was originally rescued in May 2017 in Scarborough, ME by an organization called the Marine Mammals of Maine. He was considered to be an abandoned pup and about one week old when he was admitted. He did well in rehab and we were able to release him in Charlestown, RI in October 2017. His name while in rehab was Bluebell.

I forwarded a link to my photos to Marine Mammals of Maine, and got a nice note back from their Executive Director, Lynda Doughty.  She shared that the seal was reported to them on 5/25/2017 and that he was rescued on 5/26/2017. He was stabilized and triaged at their center and transported to Mystic on 5/28/2017.

If you're enjoying Bluebell, I'm sure Marine Mammals of Maine or Mystic Aquarium would love a donation to thank them for their rehabilitation efforts!

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