Avian drama in backyard

To: 'Martin' <>
Subject: Avian drama in backyard
From: John Layton <>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2018 05:15:53 +0000

The book about Pale Male and family is “Red-Tails In Love” by Marie Winn. I can’t see it in the ACT Library Service catalogue, probably not surprising as it was published nearly 20 years ago.


John Layton


From: Martin [
Sent: Monday, 13 August 2018 2:32 PM
To: Philip Veerman
Cc: John Layton; Canberra birds
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Avian drama in backyard


Pale Male (capitalised) is possibly the most famous bird in the world. It is one of a pair that nest on 5th Ave in NYC and became famous when the owners of the building tried to destroy the nest.  A number of famous people (Mary Tyler Moore being one) joined the (successful) fight to save the birds. I would be surprised if the book about is not available in the ACT Library service.

Sent from my iPhone

On 13 Aug 2018, at 13:22, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Huh? .........  Red-tailed Hawk is a North American bird. Actually a species of Buzzard.......... how does that enter the story?


Glissading? Now that is a new one on me but seems correct.


From: Martin Butterfield
Sent: Monday, 13 August, 2018 11:18 AM
To: John Layton
Cc: Canberra birds
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Avian drama in backyard


Tsk tsk John.  You are surely aware that the (capitalised) Pale Male is a Red-tailed Hawk.  A pale male Collared Sparrowhawk would barely form an hors-d'ouevre for him!


On 13 August 2018 at 10:56, John Layton <> wrote:

The stage was set and the cast in place but I missed most of the lead up and climax catching only the denouement. Happened like this, at 10:00AM yesterday I noticed a yellow Budgerigar perched on power cables presenting a conspicuous target for a hungry raptor. Speaking of which I walked past one only noticing it when back on the porch and generally perusing the scene. It was then I saw a male Collared Sparrowhawk perched on a fence where there’s a break in the neighbour’s Great Wall of Photinia. As is often the case with male Collared Sparrowhawks I marvelled at its smallness and remarkably pale plumage – Pale Male personified.
I needed to go indoors returning 15 minutes later but was unable to locate the hawk or the budgerigar until I noticed a stream of feathers glissading from atop a tall Silver Birch. And yes, they were yellow. Some 60 seconds later the sparrowhawk took off carrying its prey into a large gumtree 50 metres away.


John Layton



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