Legendary New York City red-tailed hawk Pale Male dead at 33
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Legendary New York City red-tailed hawk Pale Male dead at 33: In a somber turn of events, Pale Male, the renowned red-tailed hawk that graced the skies of Manhattan for over three decades, passed away on Tuesday. The news of his demise reverberated throughout the city, where he had become a symbol of resilience and beauty in the urban landscape.

Pale Male Age

Renowned wildlife rehabilitator Bobby Horvath shared the sad news on his Facebook page, revealing that Pale Male was approximately 33 years old at the time of his passing. Afflicted by illness, the majestic hawk was found grounded in Central Park, prompting Horvath to intervene.

He transported the ailing bird to a veterinarian for tests and nourished him with a small meal, but, unfortunately, the legendary avian could not be saved.

Despite the efforts made to improve his condition, Pale Male’s health deteriorated due to severe renal failure, most likely a consequence of his advanced age. The results from the blood work confirmed this unfortunate diagnosis, leaving Horvath and bird enthusiasts disheartened.

Pale Male’s extraordinary life had captivated the attention of birders, tourists, and New Yorkers alike ever since his first sighting as a juvenile in Central Park back in 1991.

His distinctive light-colored plumage earned him his memorable name, coined by Marie Winn, a Wall Street Journal columnist, and avid birder. Winn went on to author a book about Pale Male titled “Red-Tails in Love” in 1999, immortalizing the hawk’s captivating tale. At that time, he was among the few red-tailed hawks to establish a permanent residence in the heart of the Big Apple.

Pale Male Career

“Pale Male was an inspiration for countless individuals, not only in New York City but across the globe, to embark on birding or photography journeys,” expressed Horvath in a heartfelt online tribute. “Some were enthusiastic amateurs, while others turned into professional photographers. Most were local residents or tourists who simply yearned for a chance to catch a glimpse of this legendary hawk.”

New York City’s birding community avidly followed Winn’s coverage, flocking to Central Park in hopes of catching sight of the local celebrity. However, Pale Male’s fame extended far beyond this passionate group when he and his mate faced eviction from their Fifth Avenue nesting spot in 2004.

Legendary New York City red-tailed hawk Pale Male dead at 33

Perched on a 12th-floor ledge of an upscale Fifth Avenue apartment building, the hawk had constructed a nest that was ultimately removed by the co-op board following a contentious vote. Outrage erupted among New Yorkers, including actress Mary Tyler Moore, a resident of the building. Responding swiftly to public sentiment, the board reversed their decision and installed a new metal “cradle” on the ledge to accommodate the nest.

Pale Male and his partner, Lola, returned to rebuild their nest, initiating a cycle of springtime returns and the arrival of new mates, resulting in numerous offspring. By 2010, Pale Male had fathered at least 23 chicks, and his genetic influence extended throughout the city’s red-tailed hawk population.

The hawk became an endearing icon of the city, surpassing the fame of the pizza rat or the enchanting Mandarin duck. “He wasn’t just the world’s most renowned red-tailed hawk; he was arguably the world’s most famous bird, someone people knew by name,” remarked David Barrett, the administrator of several birding Twitter accounts. Barrett believes that Pale Male’s acclaim demonstrates the profound connection many individuals feel toward wildlife, even in the midst of an urban landscape like Manhattan.

Curiously, Pale Male was never banded, a fact that raises questions among some experts. They find it peculiar that the most famous red-tailed hawk in history also happened to outlive the average lifespan by an additional decade.