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Book Review of Red-Tails in Love by Marie Winn

Updated on November 10, 2012
Cover of Red-Tails in Love by Marie Winn
Cover of Red-Tails in Love by Marie Winn | Source

In the Beginning

This charming tale(pardon the pun!) of Pale Male, a Red-Tailed Hawk, his four mates, and numerous children began in New York City in 1991. Pale Male did not have a harem. All of his mates came by him quite properly, as their predecessors had either passed or been away due to serious injury.

Pale Male was given that moniker, as he was very light in comparison to standard Red-Tailed Hawks. He was also very young and inexperienced, so luckily his first mate was older. Nonetheless, it took three years to for him to sire young, due to his first mate’s injury, that took her out of commission. There were also problems with his nest located at 927 5th Ave., a posh neighborhood across from Central Park.

The Meat-and-Potatoes

Interspersed within this book are various stories about other birds that lived within Central Park, some of which are Green Herons, Saw-Whet Owls, Short Eared Owls, Killdeer, and many others.

There are also tidbits on “The Regulars,” people that were birdwatchers at Central Park, as well as “The Hawkwatchers,” “The Earlybirds,” and several other groups of important people dedicated to the well-being of Central Park’s wild birds and other denizens.

This wonderful, well-written and utterly charming book will lead you through the lives of caring people, as well as the trials and tribulations of Pale Male, First Love, Chocolate, and Blue. The Regulars fought for the well-being of these adult hawks, their hawklets, and the nests that were torn down due to the selfishness of other people.

And Then...

The citizenry, as well as people out of the country, rallied in great spirit and determination to fight for what was right, and won for the good of these wonderful birds when necessity dictated such. Pale Male was an icon that was as important to New Yorkers as bagels and delicatessens.

You will hear about the involvement of Mary Tyler Moore and Woody Allen, as well as numerous other people that took up the battle cry for this group of Red-Tailed Hawks when they needed the help.

The story told in this book was over a six-year period, but the tale does not stop there. It still continues to this day. Do read this beautiful story, visit the website, may a smile cross your face, and your heart be filled with joy over this wonderful activity.

My Two Cents

I had minor e-mail contact with the author of this book, as well as with Lincoln Karim, who provided pictures and news for the website. Both are wonderful people that are truly exemplary in their deeds for nature, right down to the humane treatment of carriage horses that traversed the area of Central Park.

For nature lovers and those that fight for what is right, this is another must read. It was one of the first books on birds that I purchased, when I began my library on wildlife and birds. You will enjoy this book as much as I did, and will most likely re-read it. Also share it, and it will renew your hope that there truly are people out there that care for the birds and animals in our lives.

Did I get to see Pale Male when I was in New York City? You bet I did! It was about 5 minutes before my parking meter expired. I made it back, but my heart was thumping, and it was WORTH IT!!


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, unknown spy. ead it if you get the is a wonderful book!

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      DEb, such an amazing review of Red Tails in Love!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      There is an incredible amount of nature within Central Park. It was actually designated, Nettlemere, for a nature area within the big city. It just blossomed, and actually attracts birds off the Atlantic Flyway.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're welcome, mhatter. This is an excellent book that you will truly enjoy. There are even a lot of choice tidbits about the history of birdwatching in NYC, as well as how to European Starling made it to this country.

    • Nettlemere profile image


      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      You've brought another book to my attention that I've not heard of and now want to read. This one sounds really interesting and I'd have never imagined there was so much bird life in central park. Thank you

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this great review


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