Thursday, June 16, was a great day to spend with Pale Male's two young babies. They were on the ground quite a lot, and posed for a lot of photos and video. I found this youngster on the lamppost over the 72nd Street drive in Central Park in the early afternoon.
One of the babies has been nicknamed Skinny Dipper, because the young bird took a dive in the Conservatory Pond the previous Sunday and was fished out with a net by the police and taken to the Wild Bird Fund, where Skinny was blown dry with a hair dryer. The little swimmer was released by Ranger Rob on Monday, very robust and ready to get back to the hard work of learning to hunt. Apparently a day at the beauty parlor is good for both hawks and people!
The other baby I nicknamed Topper, because the kid likes to sit on top of the cedar of Lebanon near Fifth Avenue. But others called the bird Speedo, because while Skinny Dipper's belly band is higher and more diffuse, Speedo's is lower and looks more like a Speedo suit. So we'll go with Speedo. This bird I saw on the 16th going after squirrels.
I did a very long video of the two kids, set to music by Rossini and Mozart. Skip around if you get bored, but I especially like the two "chest-bumping" around minute 11.
Here are some of the still shots from a wonderful day of chasing hawks in Central Park.