Donna Browne is out of town. [I've been gone too.] Jean Dane has been taking Field Notes at the Trump Parc nest in her absence. Here are three days worth:Field Notes from Jean Dane - Friday, June 24, 2005
I don't have all the information on temperature, humidity, wind speed, time of sunset, etc What I do know is that it was not absolutely deadly but still very hot and drippy, and there was precious little by way of "cooling breezes"....
John, on Little Hill from 5:30 PM, reports Charlotte on nest and no action
Jean, arriving on Little Hill at 7:00 PM reports:
7:00 Charlotte on nest, no action
7:10 Jr arrives from west, bringing mouse; Charlotte immediately begins feeding chicks, occasionally taking a few bites for herself
7:13 Jr off, heading west directly above us; Charlotte still feeding 7:25 supper over, Charlotte and babies settle down
7:32 larger chick backs up toward north edge of nest (he's not very stable, so this is a little disturbing for watchers) and defecates over the edge
7:33 Charlotte off, heading west above 58th behind Hampshire House
7:36 ugly cloud of black smoke from empty bldg extension just W, smoke drifts directly into nest
7:50 one chick's head up, he seems to stare directly at Swarovsky scope, then lowers head, watches intently toward north
7:52 Charlotte home, from behind HH (nest unattended for 19 minutes); spends some time checking out her offspring, then settles down, though intermittently watchful toward W
8:22 larger chick, on north side of nest, slumps over with head almost on rim, his little eyes are closed tightly; Charlotte deep in nest, south end
8:25 chick wakes, makes his way to north edge, stands there apparently looking at the traffic below; Charlotte watches him but makes no move
8:30 chick settles back, Charlotte deep in nest, but with head up and alert
Watchers: John, Jean, Joanne (Very briefly), John and Frank (+ four-leggers Sasha and Madison) who live nearby on CPS, Mark Hinrich and Dorothee, various visitors, and two very interested men who live in the park.
Notes for Saturday, 25 Jun 2005, from Little Hill
Bright sun, temperature in 90's, humidity probably ditto, not much breeze.
At 6:00 PM Little Hill is protected from direct sun by Central Park's trees,
but the 35th floor of Trump Parc Hotel has no such shelter: Pale Male, Junior and Charlotte's nest, on the west face of the building, has been baking for hours.
6:05 Neither Charlotte nor Junior is on the nest, nor anywhere in sight; the larger of their two chicks (if no one minds, I'll just call him #1 here) is sitting very close to the north edge, near the wall; his beak is open all the time, and he keeps looking up and all around. The leg of a large pigeon is visible just in front of him.
6:12 Now he's down, no chicks to be seen, nest looks empty
6:22 Charlotte appears, circling above Hampshire House (150 CPS), and lands on NE lowest corner of its green roof. Preens briefly.
6:25 Charlotte to nest, south side, and #1's head pops up. Charlotte eats a few bites of something, while he moves over to her; she mantles him, he presses up against her side. Both beaks are wide open, constantly.
6:39 Junior arrives from west, lands on north side of nest with mouse in beak
6:41 Jr off, heading NW into the park; Charlotte drags the leftover pigeon deeper into the center of the nest (using older food first?), prepares supper and begins feeding #1. The other chick has still not appeared.
6:46 Jr circles over park, above 7th Ave entrance path, continues for about
3 minutes, then heads west. Meanwhile, Charlotte continues feeding her baby, and appears to be letting him do more of the work now: she's still cutting up his food for him, but not every bite is delivered beak to beak - he's reaching down to pick up some pieces for himself. Some of the chunks he selects are relatively huge - it's amazing that he can get them down without choking, but he seems to be managing fine. We still have not seen #2 this evening, and have been worrying for awhile now.
7:00 on the dot, the second little white head appears. Great relief among watchers. Charlotte begins feeding this smaller one (every bite comes from her beak to his), while #1 settles down in his usual spot on north side of nest, up against the wall.
7:20 Jr appears, circling again, this time higher and a bit further west, over Columbus Circle. He's being chased by three smaller birds (fast and agile: possibly kestrels?)
7:25 Charlotte preens #2, giving him a fairly thorough going-over - just like any other kid getting his Saturday night bath: watchers are delighted to see him so obviously objecting to some of her attentions, but just as clearly enjoying others. He appears not to like having his beak cleaned, for instance, but loves it when she combs the feathers of his belly.
7:35 Jr again (he has been much more active in the vicinity than on many other evenings), this time heading east above 58th. He disappears behind the Essex, and we assume he's perching on the other side.
7:37 Jr suddenly up, trims his wings and goes into a spectacular dive NNE into the park.
[7:40 window nearest the nest opens, slowly, and the upper halves of two residents appear - one at a time, and each for a few seconds only: Charlotte is alert and very watchful, especially the 2nd time, but does not go into threat-mode, or seem unduly alarmed. The window is closed and she settles.]
7:50 she's grooming the baby's back now, which he also seems to like .
8:10 by now it's cooler up there (all three beaks are closed), Charlotte retires to south end of nest, and for the next half hour the little ones are alternately lying down or sitting up, alert, watching the activity below. They have an odd way of sitting, at times: they seem to be rocked back on their tails, and their feet stick straight out in front of them. And the feet are normous: these are not cute little "baby feet" - these are serious feet, real Raptor Feet....
Watchers: Veronica (without Molly and Emma); Jean; Bob and Dale from Connecticut (who use their scope at home for watching eagles and ospreys); John; BJ; and a woman whose name I've forgotten (she had never been here before, but has been keeping up to date on Junior and Charlotte's nesthold through this website)
Notes for Sunday, 26 Jun 2005, from Little Hill
Hazy, some clouds, hot and muggy. Air is moving much more than yesterday, but it's very heavy air. Neighborhood residents say they have noticed "a lot 0of prey action this morning." Jean reports:
6:20 Charlotte on nest, no chicks visible
6:25 Charlotte off, heading north above the park
6:55 Jr circling above HH and Essex, harrassed by small falcon - several near misses - then lands on nest (empty-beakéd). Stands at north side of nest, looking regal. [Question: are we sure these little tormentors are Kestrels?]
6:57 Charlotte home, south side of nest. Baby #1 appears, near north side.
6:58 Jr off, circles directly over heads of watchers for at least two minutes (rational thought says there's nothing personal in this, but still, it's difficult to avoid the feeling that he - like Pale Male - knows how to "play the crowd" like a violin...), then heads west.
7:10 #1 has sacked out in his usual corner on north side of nest; Charlotte sits, very watchful mostly toward north and west, occasionally straight up. We have not seen #2 this evening.
7:36 Charlotte moves to extreme south edge, tears up prey (too deep in the nest to see what is is), eats.
#1 is still sleeping, stone rim as pillow, eyes usually closed, occasionally half open. One foot is draped over the edge, talons wrapped around one of the protruding sticks. Several times we notice his talons flex and relax, much like the movements a kitten makes with its claws, when kneading its mother. [We're wondering if this is the kind of "paradoxical sleep" one sees
in other animals: can John Blakeman tell us?]
7:45 #1 moves to center of nest, down and now invisible. Charlotte continues her own supper.
7:55 Charlotte off, circles twice over 7th Ave entrance path, then heads west
8:12 she's home, from behind Essex, settles low on south end of nest
8:15 small white missile shoots out from center of nest, aimed due west: as source is unseen, it could have been produced by Baby #2 (whom, otherwise, we still have not seen). There is a brief fluttering of white wings. [Note: though the babies are still mostly white and "furry," the beginnings of dark flight feathers are now visible on the wings]
8:25 Charlotte is standing now, on extreme south edge, and continually reaches deep down into nest. Her movements are similar to, but gentler than food-prep motions, and we wonder if she's grooming a sleeping chick.
8:35 she gives herself a thorough preening
8:45 Charlotte settles, head often on shoulder but occasionally looking up
8:55 exit. We've stuck around later than usual: never did see #2, and were hoping for sight of both chicks at once. But no joy. We're assuming that the combination of heavy meals earlier in the day ("a lot of prey" in the morning), combined with extremely heavy air, has caused both of them to fold up earlier than usual - the younger one may already have called it a day by
Watchers: Veronica and Peter (with Molly and Emma); Kelly; John and his nephew Stefan; Arthur, who lives next door (view from his windows stops just short of nest, but he's been watching all the other action for weeks now); Patrick, who is also a neighbor; Jean; and various visitors, all of whom were highly pleased with what they saw