[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

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...

Simone Cook
Seattle, WA
Zingie at aol.com
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