Friday evening, Sept. 2, 5:15 p.m. Pale Male is perched in a tree over Iphigene's Walk in the Ramble. He has been hunting in the area recently (I last saw him here on Aug. 24). Is he aware of the little brown rabbit that someone abandoned in Maintenance Meadow? Is that why he is hunting here?
Pale Male swoops down to the west side of the restroom building and catches a small rat. He takes it back near Iphigene's Walk and eats it swiftly. He sits some more, looking around.
5:35 p.m. Pale Male swoops back to the building and grabs another rat. He subdues it with his talons, and this time flies south with it, then heads east. When next seen, he is hanging upside from a small tree by one talon, batlike, the rat in his beak. Is he in trouble, or a trapeze artist? We held our breaths.
After what seems like forever but is actually about a minute, he lets go of the tree and lands on the ground, repositions the rat in his talons, and flies back to a tree over Maintenance Meadow and has his second course.
Once finished, he flies north over the 79th Street transverse and perches in a pine tree, surrounded by soft needles.
I put together a video of the evening dramatics with the famous red-tailed hawk. It's a Bird! It's a Bat! It's Pale Male! is one of my favorites!
I was able to take some nice photos. This was a truly remarkable evening with a truly remarkable bird.