FW: [canberrabirds] Avian drama in backyard

To: "" <>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Avian drama in backyard
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2018 06:26:53 +0000


From: Philip Veerman <>
Sent: Monday, 13 August 2018 4:02 PM
To: 'John Layton' <>; 'Martin' <>
Cc: 'Canberra birds' <>
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Avian drama in backyard


For what it is worth, I have seen the book “Red-Tails In Love” at various bookshops over the years, and have a bit of an idea what it is about, but that is a big stretch to relate it to John’s story, even given the use of those 2 words...... I would put Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon, who died in Cincinatti zoo, as more famous, and the three pigeons, serving with the Royal Air Force, all of whom contributed to the recovery of air crew from ditched aircraft during the Second World War and who were in December 1943 the first recipients of the PDSA Dickin Medal award. And many others with similar stories.


See the list at:




From: John Layton Sent: Monday, 13 August, 2018 3:16 PM     To: 'Martin'       Cc: 'Canberra birds'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Avian drama in backyard


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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