[Tweeters] pale male
ZINGIE at aol.com
ZINGIE at aol.com
Tue Dec 7 20:56:33 PST 2004
Just found the article on NYtimes.com but seems you can only check it through
AOL (the link doesn't work if you aren't on AOL). Here is the story:
Hawks' Nest, a Fixture in New York, Is Destroyed
By THOMAS J. LUECK
Published: December 8, 2004
nest constructed a decade ago by red-tailed hawks 12 stories above Central
Park, creating an unlikely wildlife habitat that has delighted bird lovers from
around the world, was removed yesterday, apparently by workers for its host
co-op apartment building.
City officials and naturalists reacted with anger, even though there appeared
to be little legal recourse for the nest's destruction.
Experts said that the fate of a family of uncommonly large and resilient
birds, which have reproduced prolifically from the nest, had been thrown into
doubt. So was that of the nest's most famous red-tailed resident, Pale Male, who
arrived at the building in 1993 and, according to detailed records kept by
several bird-watchers, has sired 23 youngsters.
"I am so outraged that they would do this without so much as a by your
leave," said Mary Tyler Moore, who has lived for 15 years in the co-op at 927 Fifth
Avenue, at 74th Street, where the nest was built in 1993 above a cornice in
clear view of Central Park.
"These birds just kept coming back to the edge of the building, and people
kept coming back to see them," said Ms. Moore, who recalled at first craning her
neck outside one of her windows to look up at the bottom of the nest. In more
recent years, she said, she has strolled frequently across Fifth Avenue to
Central Park for a better view.
"This was something we like to talk about: a kinder, gentler world, and now
it's gone," Ms. Moore said last night.
Exactly why the nest was destroyed was unclear. A man who answered a call to
927 Fifth Avenue's management office last night said no one was available for
But Ms. Moore said other residents of the building had objected to large bird
droppings and, occasionally, the carcasses of pigeons - which hawks prey upon
- that landed on the sidewalk in front of their lobby. She said her husband
had attended a recent co-op board meeting, and had been informed of its
all-but-unanimous decision to remove the nest, even though he had objected to the
Adrian Benepe, the commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation,
said his staff was unable late yesterday to determine whether removing the nest
violated any state or federal wildlife-protection laws, and would explore the
matter again today.
"Our domain doesn't extend to the tops of people's roofs," Mr. Benepe said.
"Regardless of legality, I am concerned about whether this was ethical, or the
right thing to do."
The story of Pale Male and his offspring has been well documented. Marie
Winn, whose 1998 book on the subject, "Red-Tails in Love," was the basis of a
Public Broadcast Corporation documentary called "Pale Male," said yesterday that
the nest had been removed once before, in 1993, the year it was built.
She said the nest was built amid metal spikes that were placed on the
12th-floor cornice to discourage pigeons from roosting, and that the spikes had the
unintended effect of providing a strong structure to brace a hawks' nest
against the wind. After it was destroyed in 1993, Pale Male rebuilt, Ms. Winn said.
That experience, she said, might provide evidence that Pale Male will again
But another of the bird's most ardent observers and proponents, Lincoln
Karim, an engineer who has observed the nest for years with a telescope from
Central Park, said he had seen workers take away the spikes yesterday.
Ms. Winn said the federal Fish and Wildlife Service ruled in the 1990's that
the nest was covered by a treaty adopted in 1918 to protect migratory bird
habitats and could not be destroyed.
But she said that more recent interpretations of the federal rules may allow
people to interfere with migratory bird nests if they do so in the winter,
when the nests are not used to raise offspring.
Colin Moynihan contributed reporting for this article.
Such a shame...
Zingie at aol.com
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