The Tale of Pale Male: A True Story

by Jeanette Winter

When two Red-tailed Hawks build a nest on a Fifth Avenue apartment building in New... read more

When two Red-tailed Hawks build a nest on a Fifth Avenue apartment building in New York City, they attract the attention of many New Yorkers. Bird watchers observe with interest as the birds, named Pale Male and Lola, raise a pair of chicks in their urban home. “But not everyone loves the hawks. On a cold, rainy day in December—when no one is watching —the apartment people install a window-washer platform near the empty winter nest. Workers stuff all four hundred pounds of the carefully gathered sticks, twigs and bits of bark into big plastic bags—even the pigeon spikes that supported the nest. The apartment people are happy.” The nest removal attracts media attention, which triggers a public outcry, and the apartment’s residents eventually comply with the protesters’ request. Soon after the re-installation of the pigeon spikes, Pale Male and Lola build a new nest on their old spot. Boxed acrylic paint illustrations provide a tightly focused view of the birds and their urban home. A one-page author’s note offers additional information on Pale Male and Lola’s story. (Ages 5–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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