Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Misbehavin’ Rich Snobs

Female red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis, Lola, with her landing gear retracted.
Photo courtesy of Lincoln Karim.
Click image for larger view in its own window or go to to purchase it.

Those of you who care about Pale Male and Lola will be outraged to learn that they are once again being harassed by the human residents of the building at 927 Fifth Avenue, where these birds nest. Apparently, the building’s human residents sent workmen onto the roof overlooking the nest today, where they proceeded to drop ropes over the side of the building and into the nest, despite the fact that Lola just began incubating eggs and was nestled in there.

One of the people involved whined copiously about the necessity for carrying out more window washing, but finally backed down because the authorities, who might actually do their job this time, stepped in. Currently, the situation appears to be under control, but many people are now watching every move made by the residents of this building and their minions, all of who have revealed themselves to be both arrogant and absolutely untrustworthy in their selfish attempts to persecute these birds until they lose their eggs or the chicks, or abandon their nest.

Pale Male and Lola are a pair of urban-dwelling red-tailed hawks, Buteo jamaicensis, who live in NYC.


  1. #1 CanuckRob
    March 22, 2006

    Would be nice if there was a cam set up to watch the nexting area from a distance. That way it would wathced 24/7.

  2. #2 John
    March 22, 2006

    It is good that the harassment has stopped for now, but I worry about the effects on this year’s brood. I don’t know how much the hawks will take before giving up.

    Speaking of urban hawks, here in DC we have a pair of osprey that have nested for years on top of a train trestle crossing the Potomac. At least they don’t have to worry about snooty residents.

  3. #3 Eli Stephens
    March 23, 2006

    To retain scientific accuracy, we don’t know the people in question are “snobs.” We do know they are rich, and we know they aren’t bird lovers. Their noses may be high above the ground, but they aren’t necessarily pointed upwards.

  4. #4 Pam
    March 23, 2006

    Hey, it really SHOULD be easy for someone around there to set up a web cam (without violating the privacy of surrounding residential windows). Anybody in the vicinity should suggest it to other hangers on, and I’m going to shoot an email to a NYC-reintroduction-type I know. P

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