- The Washington Times - Monday, June 7, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) — If location is everything, as they say in real estate, Pale Male has the best of it — a 12th-floor love nest with a posh Fifth Avenue address and a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline.

Plenty of fast food is available in nearby Central Park, some of it not quite fast enough to escape the red-tailed hawk as he or his mate, Lola, swoop in to pick up meals for their latest brood of three fledglings.

The only thing Pale Male doesn’t have is privacy.

Since he was discovered by some of Gotham’s bird-watchers in 1995, he has become a celebrated tourist attraction. Every day, scores of sensibly shod, binocular-necklaced avian aficionados gather on sidewalks or at the Central Park boat pond to stare at the building, hoping to see baby hawks take wing for the first time.

They now have their wish. At 5:20 p.m. on May 29, one fledging was blown off the nest and managed to stay airborne; at 8:26 a.m. Thursday, the second one took flight to a nearby rooftop, leaving the third sibling sitting upright in the nest, wondering where everybody went.

All of this was caught on videotape by Lincoln Karim, 43, an engineer at Associated Press Television News who since 2001 has devoted his vacations, most of his spare time and $50,000 worth of telescopes and cameras to recording every aspect of Pale Male’s family life.

“I fell in love with Pale Male,” said Mr. Karim, who came to New York from Trinidad 16 years ago. “He is one hell of a hawk — he’s a philosopher, a very deep, wise creature.”

Pale Male — named for his unusual beige plumage — has had his highs and lows. His first four mates perished from accidents, poison and unknown causes before he met with Lola three years ago.

Red-tailed hawks normally nest in trees, and Pale Male is the first known to nest on a building in Manhattan, said E.J. McAdams, executive director of the New York City Audubon Society.

Pale Male first took up residence on the curved window lintel at 927 Fifth Ave. in 1995. Over the years, he and his mates have produced 25 chicks, said Marie Winn, author of the book “Red-Tails in Love.”

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