Later this week I will be leaving New Mexico to spend a few days in Manhattan, one of my favorite places to take a break. It’s not just Broadway shows and Murray’s bagels that I enjoy, but also watching a baby giraffe at the Bronx Zoo or lazing away a Sunday afternoon on a bench under the trees in Central Park.
In preparation for my trip I reread Marie Winn’s book Red-Tails in Love, the story of a hawk (called Pale Male) that showed up in the city in 1991 and proceeded to find a mate and raise chicks on a Fifth Avenue building. Hawk watchers with binoculars and scopes kept tabs on the family from a bench in Central Park. According to a recent post on Winn’s blog, Pale Male still soars over the treetops in Central Park, hunts pigeons, and perches on the balconies of fancy apartment houses to eat his prey.
Winn recounts another story in her book about discovering, with her fellow birdwatchers, a rare owl during the annual Christmas bird count. When a family from Kentucky in town to enjoy the holiday sights happened by, the group offered them the binoculars to get a look. Seeing the long-eared owl roosting in a white pine, one of them exclaimed, “A wild creature right in the heart of New York City! Isn’t that remarkable!”
I’ll be on the lookout, posting any signs of nature that I see.