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Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  249 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The birdwatchers of Central Park were buzzing–a young red-tailed hawk had been spotted, would he stay? The bird they dubbed Pale Male not only stayed, he became one of New York City’s most famous residents. Pale Male and his mate built their nest near the top of one of Fifth Avenue’s swankiest apartment buildings. Nine years and 23 chicks later, Pale Male’s fame had grown ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 11th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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This is my second picture book encounter with Pale Male and I'm very happy to know this illustrious bird and honorary citizen of NYC as somehow (no, I do not live under a rock) I had never heard of him before I encountered the book! For those similarly in the dark, Pale Male arrived in New York City's Central Park when he was less than two years old and, unlike the many other hawks who simply migrate on through, Pale Male decided that he could make a very nice home for himself right there in Cen ...more
Dec 26, 2008 Lynn rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful combination of science and picture book! The water color illustrations are not only beautiful but very engaging for children. The background science about red tailed hawks is wonderfully integrated in the really inspiring story. This story of blase New Yorkers who become so attached to the nesting hawks shows how deep our connection to nature goes. My grandsons were captivated by this book which includes lengthy but very lively text. Long live Pale Male!
Jan 19, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, animals
When a young red-tailed hawk arrives in New York City, he causes quite a stir among bird-lovers, but once he decides to build a nest on top of a Fifth Avenue high rise, all sorts of complications follow. The author has done an extraordinary job of capturing the essence of NYC and the way the hawk managed to capture the imaginations of so many. Only someone with the hardest of hearts could fail to be moved by the determination of the bird and his mate to build a nest and raise their young. The wa ...more
I have been reviewing a lot of Caldecott Award books, and how this wonderful book could not garner even an Honor, let alone the Medal is a mystery to me.

This is a story about the spirit of New York City, in the form of it's most famous flying citizen, the Red Tailed Hawk named Pale Male. His story reflects the heart and soul of New York; youthful hope and exuberance, young love, perseverance and the struggle to survive. The watercolor illustrations are splendid, vivid and colorful. The text is i
Feb 02, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I have to admit that I've never heard of Pale Male before - I simply wanted to find a book featyring a hawk for our youngest. But we were thrilled by this story and we were amazed by the wildlife diversity in Central Park. The narrative is entertaining and the watercolor illustrations are very realistic. We realy enjoyed reading this book together and I thought the author's note was very informative.
Jul 31, 2008 Christina rated it it was amazing
Even the hardest of hearts will admire the true-story-tenacity of a red tailed hawk who dares to call an elite apartment building in New York City home.
Jun 04, 2008 GraceAnne rated it liked it
I enjoyed this a lot, and the art is beautiful. I confess, though, that I love Jeanette Winter's The Tale of Pale Male even more, with its poetic text and astonishing pictures.
Rebecca Tenbrook
Mar 08, 2014 Rebecca Tenbrook rated it really liked it
I really liked that the author of this book chose to write about something that is not found a lot in nonfiction books. This book was about a red tailed hawk that made its home in Central Park. This was rare to see in Central Park and according to the book this hawk made big news and became a celebrity. I like that the author incorporated facts on red tailed hawks throughout the book as well as told the story line on this famous hawk. The author also provided an authors note which gave us a litt ...more
Alyssa Becker
Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New york City; written by: Janet Schulman, illustrated by Meilo So; Copyright 2008, 34 pg.
*Nonfiction #6*

This book follows the life of a pale red-tailed hawk. Due to his unusual coloring, this hawk caught the eyes of many birdwatchers in Central Park. Intrigued, they nickname the hawk "Pale Male" and continue to follow Pale Male on his journeys throughout his life. They, and other added supporters, were rooting for Pale Male in all of his endeavors. This included stand
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Jun 22, 2008 Roxanne Hsu Feldman rated it really liked it
Note to self:

The illustrations are great with wonderful water colors and those thin lines accentuating the shapes or some details. Examples: the fledglings pages. The studies of hawks show their majestic natures and fluid flight movements. The closer one examines the pictures, the more one appreciates the art.

The text is fine and with moments of humor and sparks: examples: "The birders watched the hardworking parents ferry home pigeons, rats, and occasionally a squirrel or a songbird from their
Apr 15, 2009 Gayle rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best Bluebonnet nominee I've read so far. Pale Male is a nonfiction story of a red-tailed hawk who chose the top of an apartment building in NYC as his nesting place. The author draws you in and you become part of the Pale Male fan club as you experience the dangers for a red tailed hawk and his family in a steel and concrete forest.
I felt uplifted and at peace with the fact that man and animal can live together--if the one with the larger brain can adapt with the same acumen
Jul 15, 2009 Charlyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all ages
Recommended to Charlyn by: Texas Bluebonnet Award reading list
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
Pigeons are city birds; red-tailed hawks are not. Even the greenery of New York's Central Park had never enticed a hawk to nest in the city--then Pale Male arrived. The hawk and his mate chose an apartment building as the site for their nest and then the birdwatchers who first noticed the birds were joined by all sorts of citizens who became fans of the bird. With softly colored illustrations, this book details the life of a "citified" bird who became famous.
Dec 22, 2008 oplkids rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Pale Male is a red-tailed hawk who, with his mate, builds his nest on the ledge of an apartment building high about Fifth Avenue. Soon, the people who live in the building complain about feathers, bones and other waste falling to the sidewalk, and the nest is taken down. But after many New Yorkers protest, Pale Male is allowed to return. He and his mate raise their babies and continue to live in NYC.
Nov 28, 2013 Shelli rated it it was amazing
This is the second book we have read about Pale Male, the famous feathered New Yorker. Janet Schulman did a fantastic job chronicling Pale Male’s life since moving to the Big Apple. The controversy, protesting, and prevailing over the rich few who wished to throw him and his mate from their humble home, his loyalty, determination, and paternal devotional all make for a fantastic read that will make anyone a Pale Male Fan!
Apr 10, 2009 Janet rated it it was amazing
I can see why this book has received accolades. It's really a classic fairy tale. Our heroic hawk takes up residence in a strange city, falls in love, meets setbacks, wins out over impossible odds only to be foiled and to succeed once again. While telling this riveting true tale, Schulman deftly weaves in facts about hawks and their food, New York, politics, and history. The watercolor paintings are gorgeous, and there is a detailed author's note.
Apr 10, 2012 Almeta rated it really liked it
Having a vague remembrance of this story, probably from a news interest piece, I decided to read this to get the full scoop.

Without calling any individual's names, the history of the struggle between high-rise residents and bird-lovers was thoroughly disclosed and the artwork in this little book is worth the flight through its pages.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I first learned about Pale Male from a documentary which I got from the library. I was delighted to find that someone has written a picture book about him, which filled in some of the gaps that the film left. I understand that there is a second children's book by a different author about Pale Male--must check that out.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
This was a Bluebonnet last year, but I decided to reread it for my upcoming trip to New York. Pale Male is a red-tailed hawk who chose to live in the posh neighborhood next to Central Park. The owners of the property didn't appreciate Pale Male, but the bird lovers rose to his defense and Pale Male was allowed to stay.

Oct 04, 2011 Jenny marked it as to-read
I haven't read this but I did read the 'adult' version: "Red Tails in Love". This would be a great book for kids who have an interest in birds or nature. Pale Male lives at 927 5th Avenue near Central Park. He was first noticed in the early 1990's and still flies there today. He's had several mates through the years and raised numerous chicks. And he has his own website.
Sep 29, 2010 Jenny rated it it was amazing
This is the incredible true story of how a shy red-tailed hawk and his mate thrive in bustling New York City. They struggle to keep their nest on top of a Fifth Avenue apartment building, but environmentalists and every-day New Yorkers alike rally to give them their support. The watercolor illustrations bring this story to life. This would be a great read-aloud for transitional readers.
Sara Sipos
Jul 18, 2014 Sara Sipos rated it really liked it
This is wonderfully inspiring story about a red tailed hawk that finds a home and a mate in New York City, an unlikely home for a hawk. It tells how New Yorker rally around the hawk and his family when others want to destroy his home and how determination can win in the end. The watercolor illustrations beautifully tells the tell of a brave hawk and this wonderful city.
Mar 18, 2012 Bookwyrmgyrl added it
Shelves: nature, birds
What a great book! It's a true story about an off-color red-tailed hawk who adopts Central Park and its environs as his territory. This is a wonderful picture book for children, but adult readers will probably enjoy it just as much. Super illustrations.
Emerson and Theodore
May 31, 2012 Emerson and Theodore rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
Emerson did not read this book. But we did and so did Christy. It was a nice book but too advanced for Emerson. But when I saw it at the library, I couldn't resist! It has been returned.

It's good for Pale Male to be memorialized so that generations to come will know his story.
Jan 13, 2009 Molly rated it really liked it
This is the story of a Hawk who came to New York City and found that Central Park was the place for him. When he build his nest on the front of a expensive apartment building he gains fans who will support and dislike his home. Grades 2+
Mar 10, 2009 Joy rated it it was ok
Shelves: jnonfiction
I have come to expect more from children's nonfiction. This book just didn't cut the mustard for me. I found it to be a little preachy and over the top. It ends with the line, "Long live Pale Male!" I have always been fascinated by raptors but, really?!
Jan 07, 2009 Leigh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Rumor has it this title is short listed for the Caldecott. Personally, I hope it wins. I love the drawings of the urban hawk who is befriended by New Yorkers. The story is great-callous New Yorkers unite to help wild hawks breed in Central Park.
Mar 09, 2009 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: enviro-aware
I recommend this book for the water color art. Meilo So's illustrations lift the emotional core of Pale Male's story and lighten the dense boxy look of the text.

Young birders will enjoy reading about this red hawk's triumph in Central Park.
SO pretty and what a great story! A Red-Tailed Hawk surprising starts a family in Central Park. He meets a little lady and they pick the fanciest building in town to roost in. . . the best part of the story is that it's true!

Sort of reminds of of the ducks at the Peabody Hotel.
My children really enjoyed this book. They wanted to learn more and more about this bird and the fight regarding his nest. Such a great story.
Sam Bloom
Dec 30, 2008 Sam Bloom rated it it was amazing
This storybook is wonderfully told and beautifully illustrated. A great way for kids (and oblivious adults like me) to learn about Pale Male, New York City's official hawk.
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