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Thread: Hawks' Nest Is Destroyed

  1. #1

    Default Hawks' Nest Is Destroyed

    December 8, 2004

    Hawks' Nest, a Fixture in New York, Is Destroyed

    By THOMAS J. LUECK


    Hawks had been living outside a building opposite Central Park.

    A nest constructed a decade ago by red-tailed hawks 12 stories above Central Park, creating an unlikely wildlife habitat that has delighted bird lovers from around the world, was removed yesterday, apparently by workers for its host co-op apartment building.

    City officials and naturalists reacted with anger, even though there appeared to be little legal recourse for the nest's destruction.

    Experts said that the fate of a family of uncommonly large and resilient birds, which have reproduced prolifically from the nest, had been thrown into doubt. So was that of the nest's most famous red-tailed resident, Pale Male, who arrived at the building in 1993 and, according to detailed records kept by several bird-watchers, has sired 23 youngsters.

    "I am so outraged that they would do this without so much as a by your leave," said Mary Tyler Moore, who has lived for 15 years in the co-op at 927 Fifth Avenue, at 74th Street, where the nest was built in 1993 above a cornice in clear view of Central Park.

    "These birds just kept coming back to the edge of the building, and people kept coming back to see them," said Ms. Moore, who recalled at first craning her neck outside one of her windows to look up at the bottom of the nest. In more recent years, she said, she has strolled frequently across Fifth Avenue to Central Park for a better view.

    "This was something we like to talk about: a kinder, gentler world, and now it's gone," Ms. Moore said last night.

    Exactly why the nest was destroyed was unclear. A man who answered a call to 927 Fifth Avenue's management office last night said no one was available for comment.

    But Ms. Moore said other residents of the building had objected to large bird droppings and, occasionally, the carcasses of pigeons - which hawks prey upon - that landed on the sidewalk in front of their lobby. She said her husband had attended a recent co-op board meeting, and had been informed of its all-but-unanimous decision to remove the nest, even though he had objected to the move.

    Adrian Benepe, the commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said his staff was unable yesterday to determine whether removing the nest violated any state or federal wildlife-protection laws, and would explore the matter again today.

    "Our domain doesn't extend to the tops of people's roofs," Mr. Benepe said. "Regardless of legality, I am concerned about whether this was ethical, or the right thing to do."

    The story of Pale Male and his offspring has been well documented. Marie Winn, whose 1998 book on the subject, "Red-Tails in Love," was the basis of a PBS documentary called "Pale Male," said yesterday that the nest had been removed once before, in 1993, the year it was built.

    She said the nest was built amid metal spikes that were placed on the 12th-floor cornice to discourage pigeons from roosting, and that the spikes had the unintended effect of providing a strong structure to brace a hawks' nest against the wind. After it was destroyed in 1993, Pale Male rebuilt, Ms. Winn said.

    That experience, she said, might provide evidence that Pale Male will again rebuild.

    But another of the bird's most ardent observers and proponents, Lincoln Karim, an engineer who has observed the nest for years with a telescope from Central Park, said he had seen workers take away the spikes yesterday.

    Ms. Winn said the federal Fish and Wildlife Service ruled in the 1990's that the nest was covered by a treaty adopted in 1918 to protect migratory bird habitats and could not be destroyed.

    But she said that more recent interpretations of the federal rules may allow people to interfere with migratory bird nests if they do so in the winter, when the nests are not used to raise offspring. Phone messages left for officials at the agency late yesterday were not answered.

    The nesting season for Pale Male and his current mate, Lola, does not begin until January or later, and eggs are normally laid in the nest in March, Ms. Winn said.

    But even now, Pale Male, Lola and other red-tailed hawks can be seen performing courtship rituals that involve flying in circles over Central Park.

    Whether they will attempt to rebuild the nest at 927 Fifth Avenue remains in doubt, she said, particularly because its metal supports have been removed. Even if the nest is restored, she said, the experience of 1993 does not bode well for the prospect that more offspring would be hatched next year.

    Ms. Winn said two years passed before Pale Male produced offspring after the last time the nest was destroyed.

    Colin Moynihan contributed reporting for this article.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


    www.palemale.com

    www.palemalethemovie.com

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/palemale

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/...in562715.shtml

  2. #2

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    So, spikes were put on the ledges to discourage pigeons.

    Hawks, who do a better job than the spikes, move in.

    Hawks removed.

    Spikes removed so hawks won't return.

    What do they think the pigeons will do now?

  3. #3
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    That's sad. What a bunch of scrooges.

    Maybe the hawks will find a nice spot on the West Side - it's a more liberal neighborhood.

  4. #4

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    December 9, 2004

    Newly Homeless Above 5th Ave., Hawks Have Little to Build On

    By THOMAS J. LUECK


    Pale Male, a red-tailed hawk shown with his mate, Lola, top, in March, was seen Wednesday, above, at his roost, at Fifth Avenue and 74th Street, after his nest was removed on Tuesday.

    A day after his nest was removed from the facade of a Fifth Avenue co-op building, the intrepid red-tailed hawk known as Pale Male tried to rebuild yesterday, carrying mounds of twigs from Central Park in what experts said might be a futile attempt to reclaim his home of 11 years.

    "This looks like a Sisyphean task," said Adrian Benepe, the city's parks commissioner, who was one of dozens of people who stopped by the edge of the park at East 74th Street yesterday to watch Pale Male and his mate, Lola. Despite the hawks' instinctive nest building, he said, their twigs would probably blow away because a network of steel spikes that held the previous nest in place had also been removed.

    With the fate of the red-tailed hawks uncertain, federal officials said yesterday that the co-op at 927 Fifth Avenue, where Pale Male has occupied a 12th floor cornice since 1993, was authorized to remove the nest, despite the angry recriminations from naturalists and bird watchers.

    A lawyer for the co-op, Aaron Shmulewitz, said in an interview that the nest had been taken away on the advice of the building's engineer, who concluded that it violated city health and safety laws. But a spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings, Ilyse Fink, responded with skepticism.

    "They are trying to use city regulations as a rationale," Ms. Fink said. "If there was a valid public safety concern, we wouldn't say, 'Take the nest down.' We'd say, 'Make it safe.' "

    Late yesterday, about 25 people gathered across Fifth Avenue from the co-op building for a vigil called by the local chapter of the Audubon Society. They called on its residents to return the hawks' nest to its roost.

    "We have gotten a tremendous amount of e-mails from people who want to see the nest brought back," said E. J. McAdams, executive director of the group, New York City Audubon. "We thought this was the most expedient thing to do," he said, adding that the group had "very little success getting through" to the co-op's board or residents.

    "Pale Male is an ambassador of the wild in New York City," Mr. McAdams said. "We would like to see the building have a change of heart."

    When he arrived at the building in 1993 and built his nest, Pale Male brought an unlikely wildlife habitat that attracted bird lovers from around the world. The sight of a brightly colored hawk with wings that span more than four feet presiding over a nine-foot-wide nest in the middle of Manhattan was one hard to duplicate.

    And Pale Male became a celebrity. The subject of a book and public television documentary, he sired 23 youngsters from the nest that was removed on Tuesday, and became "the most famous red-tailed hawk in the world," Mr. Benepe said.

    But some residents of the building have long been known to consider the huge hawks, which prey on pigeons and rats, a nuisance. Mr. Shmulewitz said yesterday that the hawks had brought "torn and bleeding animal carcasses" to the building's roof and sidewalk.

    Until recently, the nest was protected by a federal treaty, first enacted in 1918 and administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service, which prevented the destruction of nests in migratory bird habitats. But Terri Edwards, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said yesterday that the agency had issued a clarification of the rules in 2003 that allows the destruction of migratory bird nests if it is done during a season when the nests are not being used to hatch or raise offspring.

    Ms. Edwards said a representative of the building had contacted her agency and obtained permission before the nest was removed on Tuesday.

    Pale Male's fate is a matter of intense speculation by ornithologists and bird watchers.

    "He will try to rebuild, but as things keep sliding off the cornice, he will be unsuccessful," said Nancy Clum, assistant curator of ornithology at the Bronx Zoo.

    "He may stay in the area, in a tree or on another building, or he may just pick up and leave," she said.

    Mr. McAdams said the chances were good that Pale Male would remain as close as possible.

    "Red-tailed hawks have a great fidelity to the nest," he said. "He has been very successful in that nest over the last 10 years, and he will want to stay as close as possible."

    Mr. Benepe said he would be happy to see Pale Male pick a tree in Central Park for his new nest, but added that the prospect was not good because red-tailed hawks prefer the stability of building facades to tree limbs, which sway in the wind. He said he would encourage building owners in Manhattan to provide platforms that might be claimed by Pale Male or other red-tailed hawks in search of a safe place.

    Janon Fisher contributed reporting for this article.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  5. #5

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    December 9, 2004

    EDITORIAL

    Squatting Rights

    There is no historic preservation district or landmarks commission for hawks' nests. But if there were, the red-tailed hawk's nest at 927 Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park at 74th Street, would surely have qualified. Until Tuesday, the nest stood on a 12th-floor cornice with a sublime aerial view of the urban forest in our midst. Since 1993, 23 young hawks have been raised there, sired by a bird called Pale Male. Thousands and thousands of bird-watchers over the years have followed the lives of the hawks in that nest. But this is not an homage to bird-watching - it's an homage to birds.

    On Tuesday, workers took down the nest and, apparently, the metal anti-pigeon spikes that had helped hold it in place. So far, no one from 927 Fifth Avenue has spoken up to defend the co-op board's decision to remove the nest. Perhaps residents were annoyed that the hawks didn't do a better job of cleaning up after themselves by using a pooper-scooper or putting their pigeon bones in the trash, the way a human would. Perhaps they simply wearied of the stirring sight of a red-tailed hawk coming down out of the sky to settle on its nest.

    It's always tempting to think that a city like New York has utterly effaced the natural ground on which it was built. Most of the creatures that lived on Manhattan Island several centuries ago would stand no chance of doing so now - not in these new canyons of steel and glass. But the presence of a nesting pair of red-tailed hawks, sequestered on the edge of an apartment building, feels like a memory from a past this city has long since forgotten.

    The hawks have gone out of their way to learn to live with us. The least the wealthy residents of 927 Fifth Avenue could have done was learn to live with the hawks.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  6. #6

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    I think its sad, poor Hawk. (Im a big animal lover)

  7. #7
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I guess it is our duty to provide the missing pidgeon carcasses to these people.

    After all, what would they do without them!!!!

  8. #8

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    December 10, 2004

    New York Was His Nest. And Then... (4 Letters)

    To the Editor:

    Re "Newly Homeless Above 5th Ave., Hawks Have Little to Build On" (news article, Dec. 9):

    Like thousands of other New Yorkers, I've often sat by the sailboat pond in Central Park, along with birders and tourists and the just plain curious - some of them with their binoculars trained on a specific ledge at the top of a certain Fifth Avenue high rise - and watched Pale Male and his mate and their young feeding and flying about, as if, as birds of prey, they owned that part of the city. And in a way they did.

    Not today, though. A hawk's nest is gone, and while in the grand scheme it's a small thing, it still hurts. Something inspiring, humbling and wild has been taken from the city - something that made all sorts of people happy when they learned of it and speechless when they saw it.

    The nest's destruction just seems such a shabby, cheap thing.

    Ben Cosgrove
    New York, Dec. 9, 2004



    To the Editor:

    I am like most New Yorkers. We live in cramped apartments without views. We climb endless staircases laden with groceries and laundry. We stand body to body in hot subway cars and deal with roaches as big as kiwi fruit and rats as big as dogs.

    So it is inconceivable to me that the residents of 927 Fifth Avenue, with their vast, luxury apartments and coveted park views, can't deal with a little waste.

    Last spring, I was part of a spontaneous gathering in the park that paused to watch the red-tailed hawks go to and from their nest high above 927 Fifth. Like us, they found special ways to be resilient in a city that is often inhospitable.

    I only hope that the hawks can continue to thrive despite those selfish residents of 927 Fifth who have sacrificed the pleasure of many for a cleaner facade.

    Allison Contey
    New York, Dec. 9, 2004



    To the Editor:

    I lived on the Upper East Side for two years, but moved back to my hometown, Los Angeles, this summer. Every time someone asks me what I miss most about New York, I always answer, Watching the hawks that live in that big nest on Fifth Avenue.

    When I found out that the co-op building had removed the nest, I started to cry.

    This handsome red-tailed hawk, his lovely mate and his goofy-looking fledglings brought untold hours of delight to me and to the thousands of New Yorkers and tourists who followed his saga.

    Many an afternoon I stopped by the telescope set up near the Central Park boat pond and watched the hawks in the nest. I wasn't alone: hundreds of people an hour would wander over.

    These people from around the world, speaking every language, young and old, the jaded, the curious and the just passing-by would stop and stare in complete childlike wonder at the improbable family in the nest.

    If the nest is not restored, New York will have lost its most charming fairy tale, real or imagined. Pale Male is the real deal. Help save the nest!

    Laurie Gigliotti
    Santa Monica, Calif., Dec. 9, 2004



    To the Editor:

    Amid the disasters and injustices in the world, the destruction of a hawk's nest doesn't amount to much, really, and yet how much better off we all were that the nest and those majestic raptors were above our heads.

    Pale Male and his consorts enriched the city with almost two dozen new red-tails over the years. Like celebrities, they were all about location, location, location: what a view they had of the park, and what a view we had of them.

    Like those who destroy a landmark in the middle of the night, those responsible for destroying the nest at 927 Fifth Avenue have shown their contempt for the city they call home.

    Matthew Wills
    Brooklyn, Dec. 9, 2004

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  9. #9

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    December 11, 2004

    No Fighting the Co-op Board, Even With Talons

    By THOMAS J. LUECK and JENNIFER 8. LEE


    One bystander trying to view a hawk Friday, as Stella Hamilton denounced the actions of the co-op.

    They gathered on Oct. 19 for a ritual known to thousands of New York co-op owners, the annual meeting. The board president, Richard Cohen, and his wife, the newscaster Paula Zahn, threw open their second-floor apartment overlooking Central Park for the occasion. Quickly, the discussion focused on a huge and untidy red-tailed hawk, known famously as Pale Male, which had been nesting on the building's facade for a decade.

    The building, 927 Fifth Avenue, is among the city's most sumptuous - apartments behind the neo-Italian renaissance facade occupy entire floors, or two, and are worth well over $10 million. The roughly 10 people at the meeting included Robert A. Belfer, the founder of Belco Oil & Gas and a former director of the Enron Corporation; Dr. Robert Schwager, a plastic surgeon with offices on the ground floor; and Dr. Robert Levine, a Manhattan cardiologist who is married to Mary Tyler Moore.

    Some shareholders had long complained about Pale Male and his mate, Lola, whose nest of twigs and small branches had grown to eight feet across a cornice outside the building's 12th floor.

    The hawks were hardly hygienic, preying on pigeons and rats, sometimes dropping bloody carcasses on the roof or sidewalk. And bird watchers were constantly looking up with their cameras and high-powered binoculars.

    The nest, board members said, had to go. There would be no vote among shareholders. Several people familiar with the discussions said it was Mr. Cohen who had headed the effort, even though his wife had once proclaimed her affection for the birds on television.

    The building's management company, Brown Harris Stevens Property Management, had warned of a public backlash. "We told Richard it would be extremely controversial," said Noreen McKenna, a Brown Harris Stevens agent who serves as secretary to the board.

    The story of Pale Male, how he came to live at one of Manhattan's most exclusive addresses and then was sent away, is one of wealth and fame meeting nature and instinct, of an obscure international treaty researched and clarified, and of anger among those who live in an elegant building where, Ms. Moore now says, relations have become frosty.

    Pale Male had adopted Central Park as his home and feeding ground, had prospered for 11 years, siring 23 hawks, and no one knows whether he will rebuild a nest and stay, or simply fly away.

    At the very least, his predicament serves as a reminder of an immutable force, perhaps peculiar to New York City: the power of a co-op board.

    At the meeting, Dr. Levine stood up to object, but not on his own behalf.

    "Dr. Levine was vocal," recalled Dr. Schwager, who described the Oct. 19 meeting. Neither he nor Dr. Levine is on the board. "He said, 'I can tell you categorically that Mary Tyler Moore is opposed to this.' "

    Dr. Schwager joined in: "I said 'This will cause a major commotion in New York if you do this.' "

    Both doctors were right.

    Since workers removed the nest on Tuesday, dangling on a window-washing platform and shoving Pale Male's carefully foraged twigs into garbage bags, the building has been the focus of searing anger from those around the city and nation who saw the hawk as an emblem of raw nature and perseverance in a densely populated urban setting. Bird lovers have camped outside, held vigils and chanted in anger, occasionally joined by Ms. Moore.

    Both Pale Male and Lola have been observed circling their cornice, and landing with bits of twigs and tree branches in what appeared to experts on the ground as a futile attempt to rebuild. Their nest-building may be stymied because metal spikes that held their previous nest in place have also been removed.

    Mr. Cohen, a real estate developer, spoke publicly about the matter for the first time yesterday and defended the co-op, on the corner of East 74th Street. "Every year this became more problematic," he said of the nest, calling the decision the result of a consensus and flatly denying he had railroaded it through.

    He called the eviction a "last resort" and said that board members believed the birds would thrive elsewhere, and quickly. "It takes a week to 10 days to rebuild a nest. Trees fall in nature. They lose nests. They are resilient animals."

    Also yesterday, Maureen Wren, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said the agency was working with the New York City Audubon Society to protect the hawks and determining whether any state laws had been violated.

    The Audubon Society said that the co-op board has agreed to meet with it on Monday to discuss options. Possibilities include replacement of the spikes on the ledge or the construction of a platform elsewhere on the building's exterior.

    Last night, about 40 hawk supporters gathered in the rain bearing photographs of the hawks and a placard that read "Honk 4 Hawks." Ms. Moore, whose apartment is for sale for $18.5 million, was skeptical about the prospects for an amicable resolution. "These are not reversible type people," she said of her fellow apartment owners. "They just don't want the birds here."

    Said Dr. Schwager, "This building is unbelievably conservative and reserved. I think should we all buy lottery tickets there is a better chance we would win."

    The eviction of Pale Male was long in coming, and had been tried once before. The hawk's longevity in his co-op nest was due primarily due to a federal environmental treaty, signed by the United States, Canada, Russia, and other nations in 1918, that was intended to protect the habitats of several species of migratory birds, including red-tailed hawks, from poachers who sought birds for food or for their feathers.

    The treaty, administered by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, were invoked in 1993 when the board of 927 Fifth Avenue removed Pale Male's nest for the first time. The removal came only months after the hawk had built the nest on his 12th-floor cornice, and his mate at the time had tried unsuccessfully to hatch eggs.

    Marie Winn, a bird watcher and author, whose 1998 book about Pale Male and his offspring, "Red-Tails in Love," became the basis for a public television documentary, was one of those who jumped to the hawks' defense in 1993. "They put up a scaffolding and took the nest down in a plastic bag," she said. "I got the workers to hand it over to me. I put in my bicycle basket, and took it to a secret place in the park."

    Then, she said, she contacted officials of the Fish and Wildlife Service, who concluded that removing the nest violated the 1918 treaty.

    The federal agency "put fear and trembling into their hearts" at 927 Fifth Avenue, Ms. Winn said. Board members at the co-op "promised to never remove it again, although they have always wanted to," she said.

    Their opportunity arrived in April 2003, when the federal agency issued what it called a "clarification" to the migratory bird treaty. Instead of a complete ban on the removal or destruction of nests, it said the nests were protected only when they were being used to hatch or raise offspring.

    The law "does not contain any prohibitions that applies to the destruction of a migratory bird nest alone (without birds or eggs)," said a memorandum spelling out the rule.

    Federal officials said this week that the clarification was intended to ensure that different species are treated uniformly, and some of the birds, like robins, simply abandon their nests after their chicks are raised.

    On Dec. 9, 2003, Ms. McKenna submitted an application, with photographs, to the Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Pale Male's nest. "The nest has caused deterioration of the building's canopy from bird droppings," she wrote. "In addition, the hawks bring live prey to the nest where it is killed and torn for feeding." She said the result was a danger of contamination, Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

    The application included a report by James E. McCosker, a building engineer who inspected the building. He described the nest as "massive," and said it posed a danger to pedestrians because it was directly above the building's entrance.

    "This ain't a regular nest," Mr. McCosker said in an interview. "How would you like to have a bird's nest 8 feet long and 3 feet wide overhanging the edge of the building by a foot?"

    On April 30, Fish and Wildlife Service officials responding in writing, saying that no permit was needed to remove the nest.

    "We had no knowledge that this was a famous pair of birds," said Diane Pence, the chief of the agency's division of migratory birds for the northeastern states, in an interview on Thursday.

    "It was just an address in New York City to us," she said, but added that the position of the agency would not have been different if the nest was in a less prominent location.

    Then came the October meeting, and finally, on Tuesday, workers came to take the nest down.

    Lincoln Karim, a 43-year-old engineer who has been among the most diligent bird watchers in tracking Pale Male and his offspring (at the Web site www.palemale.com), said he saw it happen at 2:30 p.m.

    After workers hung a window-washing style rigging from the roof of 927 Fifth Avenue, "I thought maybe they were checking masonry." he said. "Then I saw they were taking the nest down and putting it into garbage bags."

    He added, "I thought, 'I'm going to climb up ropes. I'm going to stop them.' But I looked up and saw the nest was gone. It was just gone."

    Other than Ms. Moore and Dr. Schwager, residents of the 11 apartments in the building have declined to be interviewed, among them Bruce Wasserstein, the Wall Street deal maker, and Ms. Zahn, who had referred to Pale Male in a 2001 segment of "The Edge with Paula Zahn," on Fox News Channel. She was interviewing two naturalists, one of whom commented on the problems associated with people feeding wild animals, and Ms. Zahn seemed eager to offer a glimpse of her personal life. "Well, guess what lives on my building, you two, a red-tailed hawk," she said. "It eats rats and pigeons on our block."

    "I like the hawk," she said. "I am just not going to feed it."

    But these days Pale Male is a sore subject among the residents of 927 Fifth Avenue. Mr. Cohen said Ms. Moore had not even mentioned the hawk when they had a friendly conversation at a recent party. She said she had been too upset to talk about it. The topic is largely off-limits when residents cross paths, she said. "We are playing the game of the elephant in the middle of the living room."

    Janon Fisher contributed reporting for this article.

    Graphic: The Legacy of Pale Male

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  10. #10

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    December 12, 2004

    As Hawks Circle, All Sides Seek Compromise

    By JENNIFER 8. LEE


    Pale Male was resting Friday in a tree in Central Park opposite his former nest on Fifth Avenue.

    Government officials, environmental advocates and a representative of a luxury co-op building have agreed to meet tomorrow to discuss new lodgings for Manhattan's most famous homeless couple: two red-tailed hawks, Pale Male and Lola, whose eight-foot nest was removed and destroyed on Tuesday afternoon.

    Daily protests in front of the building, a public outcry from across the country, and concern from some of the building's own residents prompted the chairman of the building's co-op board, Richard Cohen, on Friday to call the New York City Audubon Society, a group that has helped stoke much of the public reaction.

    "If there is a solution to be worked out, we would like to work it out," said Mr. Cohen, in an interview on Friday. The demonstrations continued into the weekend; yesterday, two protesters dressed up in red bird costumes. Some of the building's young inhabitants clearly sympathized with the hawks, as a handwritten sign hung on an 11th-floor window read, "Bring back the hawks."

    The management of the building at 927 Fifth Avenue has suggested spending as much as $100,000 to build a platform elsewhere on the building, like the roof. But environmental advocates, including officials of the Audubon Society, said such a potential solution was inadequate. They want the nest at the original location, on a 12th-floor window cornice above the building's entrance.

    Since Tuesday, the birds have brought twigs to the cornice in an attempt to rebuild the nest. But they have had little success because the spikes that had been placed there to ward off pigeons and had anchored the nest since 1991 were also removed by workers on Tuesday.

    "New York City Audubon's first goal is to have the spikes returned to the window ledge in a way that takes into account the building's health and safety concerns," said E. J. McAdams, the group's executive director.

    The discussions will include representatives and bird experts from Brown Harris Stevens Property Management, the building manager; the city's Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Parks and Recreation; the State Department of Environmental Conservation; and the Audubon Society.

    Whether a compromise can be brokered that will be amenable to the feathered couple is unclear. "It remains to be seen if what we do is enough for the hawks to return," said Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, whose office will represent Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in the discussions. "If we don't and they successfully build a nest someplace else, that's O.K., too."

    Janon Fisher contributed reporting for this article.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  11. #11

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    Sunday afternoon protest. Very lively.






  12. #12

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    If someone wanted to write a short story about the sometimes idiotic decisions made by co-op boards, they couldn't make up anything better than this.

    Manwhile, another group of interest meets at the Plaza.

  13. #13

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    LOL ZIPPY!

  14. #14

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    New Yorkers love their animal stories.

  15. #15

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    Hawks may return to city roost

    By Dan Bell
    STAFF WRITER

    December 13, 2004, 1:59 PM EST

    Red-tailed hawks Pale Male and Lola got the green light today to move back into their home on a Fifth Avenue building after a meeting between the co-op's management and the Audubon Society.

    The duo's nest and the spikes that support it were removed last Tuesday after the building's engineer said it could cause the Upper East Side structure's stone facade to crumble.

    "It is not a question of the structure of the building," said John Flicker, president of the National Audubon Society. "By removing the spikes they created a situation that was worse than it was before."

    Flicker said he expected the spikes to be returned immediately.

    "What we can do is make an attractive location so the birds can rebuild," he said. "They may choose not to."

    The nest's removal sparked several days of protests by bird-lovers and vows of support from several tenants of the tony building, including actress Mary Tyler Moore.

    For the past nine years, thousands of birdlovers have flocked to the building with the nest on the 12th floor ledge that has been home to Pale Male, so named for his whitish plumage. There, he fathered 25 chicks with a succession of mates -- the last three fledglings in June.

    The hawks also achieved a measure of world fame, through television specials and a book, "Red-Tails in Love." Audubon society experts say that while the raptors are no strangers to city life, they normally nest in trees, and there is no previous record of a pair taking up permanent residence on a high-rise building.

    For the past few days, Pale Male and Lola could be seen looking for their uprooted home. Lola was seen circling her former nest, carrying twigs to try to rebuild it. Later, her mate was seen perched in a tree with a pigeon he had caught.

    Moore said today that the building's management underestimated the birds' popularity.

    "I think the board of the building had no idea how far reaching the affection for these birds was," she said. "It's not only the hooks themselves, it's the camaraderie of the people who gather."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.

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