Thursday, May 8, 2014
“PALE MALE, an Update on New York’s Famous Resident Raptor”
927 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York. This address was made famous by a Red-tailed Hawk named Pale Male. He leads a celebrity lifestyle that has captivated the world’s attention with his seven former “wives” who have disappeared or turned up dead. The destruction of his nest in December, 2004, by the building’s co-op became front page news followed by an international outcry that included New York City Audubon Society, Central Park’s birding community, and even co-op resident Mary Tyler Moore. Now he is with Octavia, so named because she is his eighth (and current) wife since 2012.
Don’t miss this meeting as Paul updates us on Pale Male, followed by a feature presentation on DVD that was released in 2004 and narrated by Joanne Woodward. Join the close-knit community of bird-watchers who faithfully gather daily to follow the progress of this exquisite, powerful bird of prey as he hunts for food in Central Park, courts his mates, and raises his offspring year after year.
A Message from The Hospitality Committee
Many thanks to those who contributed to our refreshment table at monthly meetings this past year, from the creative table arrangements and decorations to providing drinks, cookies and other special treats. You provided the “happy ending” to our great programs. Your generosity is much appreciated! And so--o-o, take a bow Jean Chamberlain, Betty Evans, Marilyn Goll, Anne Kiehl, Paul Klahr, Eva Lydick, Jenni Neff, Barbara Reis and Judy Rizzo! To all our members: Have a cool summer! Back to top
Well here it is! The final President’s Message of our 2013-2014 season! Much has happened, and more is planned. Looking forward, our slate of officers is John Andes, President; Dave Krieg, Vice President; Edna Reid, Secretary; Margaret Marflitt, Treasurer; and Eva Lydick, Jean Lustig, and Lynne Jeffries, Directors.
Due to your generosity, our finances are in good condition and we’re able to resume contributions to several worthy environmental, conservation, and educational projects we had to suspend due to budget. Again, THANK YOU to all who contributed!
So many people gave their time and energy to make this a successful year. I want to recognize our birdwalk leaders Ellen Lamb and Paul Klahr (Paul also coordinates our excellent programs – a big thank you Paul); Jean Lustig, Anne Kiehl, and Judy Rizzo for the wonderful refreshments and social time after our programs; all who are involved in the production and mailing the Burrowing Owl -- Jenni Neff (editor), Eleanor Fumanti (layout), Margaret Marflitt (copying and mailing), Dave Krieg (mailing labels), Bob Hansen (website), and all who volunteer their time to prepare the newsletter for mailing; Phil Glaser, thank you for keeping us posted with conservation news; Pearl and Edna, greeting us with smiles each meeting (and Edna, thank you for working the book raffle too); Judy Rizzo for recording our year as historian (the album looks great!); and Eva Lydick for publicity. If I missed anyone, I apologize. Please know that everyone is appreciated!
Our year-end picnic will be on June 12 at Laguna Niguel Regional Park. Meet at Parking Lot 3 at 10AM to carpool to the park. Looking ahead to next year, we have a fun trip planned to Paramount Studios. We’re trying to set the date for Oct. 21. We’ll have an official announcement and sign-up form when we finalize the date and all the details.
Please join us for our last meeting for the season on May 8. Paul will talk about Pale Male, the famous Red-tailed Hawk that lives in New York City and then show a DVD about him.
Have a restful, rejuvenating summer. I look forward to seeing you back in September to kick off our new season!!
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May-June 2014 Birder’s Buzz
The 2014-15 Federal Duck Stamp will go on sale in June. The stamp shows a pair of Canvasbacks at the edge of a pond. The $15 purchase price goes toward conserving and protecting wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Each year, the duck stamp raises about $25 million.
Using the federal Antiquities Act, President Obama added 1,665 onshore acres near Mendocino to the California Coastal National Monument. The monument, which runs the length of the state, is filled with offshore islands, reefs, and rocks. Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, which is the name of the new area, will receive added federal protections. The newly added area contains the estuary of the Garcia River, prime Coho and Chinook salmon habitat.
The Obama administration is banning commercial trade of elephant ivory by prohibiting its import, export, and resale within the United States, hoping to protect species threatened with extinction such as the African elephant and the rhinoceros. Record high demand, coupled with inadequate preventative measures, has resulted in a global boom in wildlife trafficking, with the U.S. being one of the world’s largest markets. The biggest change will be that law enforcement will no longer have to prove that ivory it seizes was illicitly acquired; the burden of proof will now be on the owner to show it was legally obtained.
The San Diego Zoo got four new residents last October. Four Tasmanian devils are on loan from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia. The species is tough, fearless, highly adaptive, and highly reproductive. Yet it is on the brink of extinction. Cancer has wiped out 90% of these marsupials on Tasmania, which is part of Australia. The rapid spread of the disease is stumping researchers. Preservationists are hoping colonies of disease-free animals can be relocated to the main devil habitat area, once the population there is wiped out by the disease, and repopulate the wild.
The Cornell Ornithological Society and National Audubon are warning us about a new threat to the tropical birds and wildlife of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Palm oil has become a substitute for much of the trans fats we’re being told to avoid. Palm oil can be produced cheaply in Asia because of low labor costs and undeveloped land. Rainforests, which provides habitat for many birds and wildlife, are being cleared to create plantations for the palms. Please consider not purchasing products with palm oil. (Thank you Phil Glaser, for this important message).
A big victory was won for the birds that migrate through the Camp Perry, Ohio, National Guard facility. A wind power facility had been proposed at Camp Perry, which is adjacent to a national wildlife refuge and also part of the migratory route used by millions of birds. The decision to abandon the project was announced after the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) notified the Ohio National Guard that they would challenge the project in court, because it violated the Endangered Species Act, the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.
In late January, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco by the Natural Resources Defense Council against the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Navy to limit the Navy from training in biologically important habitats. The Navy’s plans to expand its underwater explosions, torpedo tests, ship sinking, and bomb training between So. California and Hawaii was approved, lasting until 2019. Population decline of whales, dolphins, seals, and seal lions have been linked to Navy operations. Marine biologists have shown that the explosions and other noise disrupt migrations, nursing, feeding, and other sea-life behavior. The Navy says its training is crucial to having combat-ready forces. Back to top
Bolsa Chica – Feb. 8 birdwalk: 51 species which included 12 species of ducks (no Mallards), an American Kestrel, and a Peregrine Falcon!
Crystal Cove – Mar. 8 birdwalk: 32 species of birds. Highlights: 2 Black Oystercatchers, 2 Surfbirds far out on a rock (hard to ID without a scope), a Rufous Hummingbird, Greater Roadrunner, and a Red-breasted Merganser (at Crescent Bay).
Caspers Park – Mar. 25 birdwalk: 30 species. Highlights: 2 early spring migrants - a Bullock's Oriole and a Black-headed Grosbeak. Also many Phainopeplas. Back to top