Pale Male and His Family
Pale Male is an iconic red-tailed hawk who resides in Central Park and has a nest on Fifth Avenue in the 70s. He is 25 years old, and an amazing feathered celebrity. He is with his eighth mate now, named Octavia, and the two hawks had three babies in 2014, three babies in 2015, two babies in 2016, and in 2017 once again have three kids, who are now leaving the nest and learning to hunt. Such a distinguished family certainly deserves a separate page on this Web site!
Pale Male Family Videos
Pale Male and his family, like every family these days, has had quite a number of videos created about him (check out urbanhawk.com and palemale.com, to see some really good ones). I've put together a gallery of the videos I've done, and you can enjoy them here. The most recent videos show the three new kids of Pale Male and Octavia in 2017; other videos include Pale Male and Octavia near the Met Museum on Christmas Day 2016; Pale Male eating a rat behind the Metropolitan Museum of art; one with Pale Male eating half a rat on the ground, then Octavia eating the other half; Pale Male hanging upside down, batlike, with a rat in his beak; and Speedo Hawk, one of the 2016 babies, showing off hunting skills.
Two of the Kids on June 9
Two of the three kids hung out on Fifth Avenue, one in a tree next to Central Park and the other on a Fifth Avenue building, on June 9. Pale Male checked in on them, and you can see him in the Hawk Babies! video in the gallery.
The Kids Start to Leave the Nest
The Class of 2017 includes three baby hawks this year, and two had left the nest by June 2 (the second returned to the nest — apparently the kid could go home again). I've added a video to the gallery, and here are some photos of two of the three kids.
Uptown Nest, Downtown Nest
The Fifth Avenue pair have had another successful nest in 2017. Pale Male started handing out cigars for what appears to be two eyasses around April 18. I put together a film celebrating the Central Park pair as well as the brooding pair at Tompkins Square Park, Christo and Dora, covering my sightings from May 10 through April 18. You can watch the video in the gallery. Here are some of the photos of Pale Male and Octavia.
Pale Male and Octavia in the Hawky New Year! Series
Pale Male and Octavia have been seen during January 2017, and the videos of the two have been included in the Hawky New Year! series, which can be found on the Hawky New Year page. Below are some photos from the series of Pale Male and Octavia.
These shots of Pale Male are from Jan. 27 and 28, 2017, in the Hawky New Year! series, Part 9. Octavia appears in the video, but the photos were not very good.
Christmas Day 2016 With Pale Male and Octavia
Dec. 25, 2016, was a great day for chasing Pale Male and Octavia. We found Octavia perched high in a tree just north of the Met Museum; Pale Male was nearby, just south of the Reservoir. He then flew to the Met roof, then to a lamppost near the obelisk, then into a tree. The first shot below is of Octavia; the rest are Pale Male.
Pale Male, Batbird? Plus Pale Male and Octavia, Eating and Perching
Pale Male, hanging batlike, plus Octavia with some leftover rat, Sept. 2, 2016.
Pale Male caught and ate a rat behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Nov. 14, 2016. The video is in the gallery; some photos below:
Sept. 20 and Oct. 10, 2016, Pale Male visited Turtle Pond and Maintenance Meadow. The first set of photos is from Sept. 20.
This set of photos is from Oct. 10. The video is in the gallery.
Sept. 9 and 10, Pale Male was reigning over Azalea Pond in the Ramble. These are some of the photos from those two days. The video is in the gallery.
September 3, Pale Male posed for pictures, caught a rat in a meadow and ate it on the ground, then shared half with Octavia on Cedar Hill.
Pale Male, August 21 and 24; Octavia, August 28, 2016:
Speedo Hawk Hunts Rats and a Sparrow
Photos from August 18 and 20, when Speedo Hawk showed off how well the hunting training is going. You can see the video in the gallery. Following are photos from August 18, 2016.
Four Evenings With Pale Male
Quiet Time With Pale Male was shot the evenings of August 9, 10, 11 and 15. His two babies in 2016 are now on their own and hunting, so Pale Male can take some time for himself.
August 9, Pale Male was in the Ramble, with blue jays incessantly squawking at him.
August 10, 2016, I spent two and a half hours watching Pale Male as he perched branch low in a tree near the entrance to Central Park at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.
August 11, 2016, near Turtle Pond.
Below you will find a lot of photos of Pale Male and his kids. Here I am posting three videos and some photos taken June 30, July 7 and July 9. Pale Male caught a pigeon and brought it to Glade Arch on June 30, where he called his two youngsters to come 'n' get it! They didn't show up, so Pale Male ate the pigeon. On July 7, one of his kids raided a robins' nest, much like Pale Male did in the video posted below from last year. It's brutal, and not for everyone. On July 9, one of the kids ate a starling.
Below are some photos of Pale Male, followed by some of the youngsters before and after dining.
One of this year's babies has been nicknamed Skinny Dipper, because the young bird took a dive in the Conservatory Pond on Sunday, June 12, 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 Mastrianni the next day, 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 June 16 going after squirrels. The day I spent watching this pair of babies resulted in a fun video, Thursday Afternoon With Pale Male's Kids. I set it to music by Rossini and Mozart. Skip around if you get bored, but I especially like the two "chest-bumping" around minute 11.
The following photos were taken June 16, 2016, a day when the kids were practicing the skills they'll need to hunt.
On March 18, when Octavia was sitting on at least one egg on the nest at 74th and Fifth Avenue, I filmed this video of Octavia returning to the nest and Pale Male flying out. Two hours later, we saw Octavia fly into a tree above Glade Arch, where she appeared to regurgitate some food from her crop.
On March 27, Pale Male was sitting on a light on the Carlyle Hotel when a peregrine falcon started dive-bombing him. He withstood the harassment for more than seven minutes. I did a short video.
This shot of Pale Male was taken February 10, near the playground at 76th and Fifth.
In 2015, Pale Male and Octavia hatched three space alien eyasses over on Fifth Avenue. Pale Male's three and the Sheep Meadow pair's three young hawks fledged, and throughout July the six were flying around Central Park, learning to hunt and crying up a storm. Unfortunately, a young hawk, probably one of Pale Male's babies, was found dead on Aug. 12. Another Pale Male youngster was sick with what is probably a disease she got from eating pigeons (she was rescued and taken to a rehab site on Long Island), and the third was seen in a tree, probably sick as well. It is a hard life out there for young hawks!
Below you will find some videos of Pale Male and Octavia and their kids. Three recent videos of Pale Male have been added in the Dinner With Pale Male series, which now has five videos of Pale Male eating and one of Octavia dining. The most recent features the famous male hawk eating rats, one on Oct. 14 and another on Oct. 20.
Another recent Dinner With Pale Male video has him dining on a pigeon on Sept. 15, 2015. Below is a photo from the meal, and then the video.
This video features Pale Male eating a rat on Sept. 6. The diet doesn't vary all that much (except when he's eating baby robins while feeding his kids).
This video was filmed on July 29 at the children's playground at Fifth Avenue and 76th Street. One of Pale Male's youngsters was quite hot, and needed some cooling off. I so enjoyed watching the little hawk.
On June 30, Octavia, the mother of Pale Male's three babies, flew into a tree near where her youngsters were crying. She had a pigeon. She proceeded to eat the pigeon, quickly. I captured it on video, calling it Dinner With Octavia. In this video, you can see photos of her offspring.
This photo is one of the Pale Male babies perched on a bridge balcony on July 4, after eating a pigeon on Cedar Hill.
The photo to the right was taken July 19. This hawk is one of Pale Male's three kids. The youngster had been hunting for squirrels just south of the Metropolitan Museum and found a spot just above the sidewalk to contemplate art and life and all the people stopping to take the new celebrity's photo.
On October 18, 2014, Pale Male, the legendary Central Park hawk, caught a pigeon behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art and carried it to a tree just north of the obelisk. He then proceeded to pluck the pigeon and eat it. I caught some of the meal on video, and present it here, Dinner With Pale Male: Second Course, accompanied by a soundtrack of squawking jays recorded later in the Ramble (the original soundtrack didn't work, because the camera motor overwhelms everything, and the people standing around say the most inane things).
Pale Male rarely goes anywhere without squawking from blue jays, mockingbirds and robins.
Below is the first Dinner With Pale Male video, starring the famous hawk eating a nice rat near the Obelisk. It was shot on Sept. 17, 2013.