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The Great Pale Male

Posted 05-09-2016 at 10:18 AM by Nostroke
Updated 11-19-2018 at 06:06 AM by Nostroke

So I’m on the job- I’ve found Pale Male sitting on the roof of the Carlyle Hotel which is on Madison Ave a full block away from Fifth Ave which borders the Park and 3 blocks North of my spot by the Sailboat pond.. In addition I’m 200 yards further into the Park and Pale Male is 50 stories in the air. It has to be 1/4-3/8 of a mile away or more but i have my best scope on him and it’s a pretty good view.

A guy comes along in one of those handicapped scooters and he is all excited when he sees my sign and says “Pale Male? Is he around?”. I said he sure is-I have him right here in this scope. He is over on the Carlyle. He says can i look almost like a kid and i said sure. Well he gets up from the scooter and it is clear he is very handicapped, can barely walk and he pretty much stumbles and grabs on to my Tripod for support.

If the scope is moved even ¼ of an inch at this power/distance, it is no longer on the target. He has moved it so much it is definitely no longer on the building-probably more like 2 buildings over and he is still hanging onto it for support . So I was very polite and calm as he was in such poor shape and i said something like “Look that is not going to work-I’m going to have to hold on to you while you look” He said something along the lines of-“I’m just having a bad day but I’ll be around for a while and I’ll come back when I’m a little better-I really want to see him”. A few more words from both of us and he is on his scooter and starting to take off. Seconds earlier while I’m talking someone said -“He just flew off the Carlyle” I look up and i see Pale Male heading over towards the Park and us.

I said here he comes and the guy on the scooter is now 15-20 feet south of me and PM hasn’t even made Fifth Ave yet but the scooter guy stops and tries to pick him up in the air but he couldn’t. If you don’t have a trained eye, it can be very difficult.

Pale Male continues coming- not one flap, makes no detours just a straight line from the Carlyle to land in the tree DIRECTLY NEXT TO THE SCOOTER GUY not 12 feet away and 20 feet up and poses there for 10 minutes in perfect view of the disabled fella. He looked at me with a grin the size of Yankee Stadium. I should have said “He came for you” but i was pretty dumbfounded and just said-Well there he is.

In all the years i have been going Pale Male has never come to that tree or any one near it. It was such a big deal that he would come to that area that Rick Davis (RIP), the man who had the gig before me told the story many times of the ONE time many years ago that Pale Male landed in the tree directly above the scope. Say what you want but PM is one special special guy.

For those not familiar with this amazing bird


A pic of him in the tree

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