Red-tail in love
A New Yorker comes eye to eye with a not very pale male
Published: February 24, 2012
The Red-tail known as Pale Male has long been one of the best-known hawks in New York City. But he’s not the Big Apple’s only big hawk. Meet Bobby.
URBAN BIRD: Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Washington Square Park, New York, New York, May 6, 2011, at 11:00 a.m., by Erin Callihan
Last spring, he and a handsome female known as Violet built their nest on the window ledge outside the 12th-floor office of New York University President John Sexton, in Greenwich Village. A webcam hosted by the New York Times allowed millions to watch when on May 6 the pair became proud parents.
Hours after Pip, a female, had hatched, NYU photographer Erin Callihan was invited to photograph the scene from inside the president’s office. She says she was busy snapping away about five feet from the nest when she noticed Bobby flying over Washington Square Park.
Quickly switching her focus to him, Callihan snapped four shots in eight seconds, including this one. Bobby landed just two feet away.
Camera: Nikon D700, handheld
Lens: Nikon 24.0-70.0mm f/2.8
Settings: ISO 1250, 1/500, f/11, focal length 48.0mm, manual white balance
Light: Natural overcast light, no flash
Adjustments: 5-10% uniformed crop from top left, and slight increase to brightness, contrast, clarity, vibrancy, and saturation to bring out detail in feathers and shine of eyes in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.
Meet the photographer
HAWK EYE: Subscriber Erin Callihan is the director of interactive media communications at New York University. In addition to Bobby, Violet, and Pip, she has photographed the likes of President Bill Clinton, Michael J. Fox, and Alec Baldwin. She lives in New York City.