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Red Tails In Love: A W...
Marie Winn
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Red Tails In Love: A Wildlife Drama In Central Park

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  608 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Marie Winn is our guide into a secret world - a wilderness in the heart of New York's Central Park. At its heart is the story of the Fifth Avenue hawks. Pale Male, a remarkable young red-tailed hawk pursues and wins his first mate. The pair builds a nest in a high ledge of a Fifth Avenue building, three stories above Mary Tyler Moore's apartment and just across from Woody ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 393 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Thorndike Press (first published March 17th 1998)
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Jun 14, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A great read - I enjoyed it so much I basically read it in one sitting. An uplifting story about a male hawk and his various mates as they build their nest each year on a ledge of an apartment building near Central Park. These hawks bring together experienced birdwatchers along with others who are drawn in by the unlikely magic of this ritual in such a busy place. The author shares her joys and worries about the hawks as well as other bird sightings and pairings throughout the park. A great read ...more
Nov 26, 2015 Linden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linden by: Interest in the topic

Winn tells the true story of the arrival and establishment of red-tail hawks which, even now, continue to nest in New York City's Central Park neighborhood. She sets these events in the historical context of the origin of Central Park and its changes over time, the informality and importance of the Bird Register, and those who noticed when red-tails arrived. Most remarkable was--and is--the evolution of interested people into a network of watchers and advocates for wild birds in the heart of a c
Apr 07, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a great book. It was an easy read, and I was readily drawn into the many stories of the birds, people, and hawks of Central Park. I loved that the book wasn't just about Pale Male (who is awesome and a total hawk celebrity) but also about the community of people who came to love and respect (and advocate!) for him. If it was just a book about hawks, it wouldn't have been the same!
Susan Gallagher
May 14, 2012 Susan Gallagher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, how could you not love this story! Just as much about Central Park birders and other wildlife as it is about the 'tails. But Winn's passion makes it a worthwhile read.
Dec 16, 2015 Loraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The bottom line in all this is procreation. They've got to keep the species going. In the natural world many individuals are sacrificed in that process . . . . We're about the only species that puts so little value on the whole picture. We put it on individuals--that's what's so damned important for us. In the rest of Nature, individuals are superfluous. The species must endure." (p. 244); Len Soucy, founder of the Raptor Trust in NJ)

Marie Winn writes with wit, knowledge, and insight about the
Apr 08, 2015 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book. The human aspect made it even more interesting. Loved learning about all the wildlife in NYC in Central Park
The Bookloft
Bookseller: Linda

Winn has written a charming story not only about birds but of the group of dedicated birdwatchers from in Central Park. Red-Tails are their obsession, but other animals are also in the picture, as well as the wildlife service, so is the media, so are celebrities - and on and on! Birding fever has spread! Emotions and danger run high. Maybe its the anthropomorphic way in which the birds are portrayed, but you become part of the birder-loop and very concerned. Fast-moving, spiritu
Jul 25, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this very much! Although the title suggests that the whole story is about a pair of mated red-tailed hawks, the book is really much more than that. The author is part of a group of New Yorkers who are avid Central Park birdwatchers. There’s even a journal – the Bird Register, kept in a boathouse – where observations are recorded. Stories about owls, killdeer, orioles, woodpeckers, and more fill the pages, and of course, the excitement of a pair of nesting red-tailed hawks, told over th ...more
Mar 28, 2009 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
what i liked about this book was the information about where to see birds and animals in the park. i've lived in ny a while and wandered central park a fair amount and though i don't think i'd really enjoy becoming a regular in the break-of-dawn park tour circuit, there is some good intel in here. if nothing else just learning about the bird register for future reference was good.
i was a little less into the "here's a cast of quirky lovable characters" parts, of which there are a lot. i appreci
Jun 03, 2011 Vera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming book about a group of people who become enthralled with bird-watching in Central Park, and then obsessed with a pair of breeding red-tails nesting on a building along said park. What I loved about this was how deeply the group of birders came to care about the fate of these birds and their chicks (going out in shifts, even before sunrise, to keep an eye on the nest through spotting scopes) -- and how they drew in so many bystanders, tourists, building managers, and even celebrities (W ...more
May 31, 2011 Jeni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been infatuated this spring with the the NYU Hawk Cam: Live from the Nest--at Bobst Library, where two fine red tail hawks made their nest on a window ledge of the top floor of the library and a streaming camera has given us a window into the birds' habits and manners. I've daily spied on them with fascination. When their little hawkling hatched and I first laid eyes of him--so tiny and fragile and eating the entrails of New York City rat fed to him by his mother--I swooned, my heart poundi ...more
Jun 27, 2013 Kerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: new yorkers
This book was sort of cute. There were some weird terminology things but maybe it's just because it was written 15 years ago? She keeps saying "telescopes" when I think she probably means "spotting scopes." And she rarely says "birders," they're "birdwatchers."

For someone who actually is a birder, some of the explanations (especially in the beginning) are a little tedious and the descriptions of birds and people a little precious. And she anthropomorphizes the hell out of the birds but at least
Dec 10, 2012 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who would ever think that a pair of Red-tailed Hawks could draw in so many people from such different walks of life? And in New York City’s Central Park of all places. Nature nuts, American Museum of Natural History scientists and researchers, apartment building supers, Mary Tyler Moore, dog walkers, high-rent folks, low-rent folks, even Woody Allen makes an appearance........this whimsical tale involves pretty much every echelon of city folks. Delight and drama accompany every page, all ably an ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, birds
Ok, another bird book... this time featuring birds of prey in an urban environment, my favorite type of bird. I was full of hawk facts after I finished this book (and I love that). My only dislike of this book was Marie Winn's writing style occasionally verging straight into twee. There's one scene where she's watching birds and a baby raccoon walks right over her, leaving muddy footprints on her white knee socks. White knee socks? This cuter-than-cute detail actually helped me out: okay, Winn, ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Lauri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable story about the red-tailed hawks that have been nesting near/in Central Park over the last decade or so. However, more than just an account of the hawks, it really is a tale of the perseverance of wildlife in urban areas. There is plenty of information here on lots of other migratory birds, and even butterflies. It's also a testament to the lengths people will go to to create and maintain their own connection with nature, which I believe is necessary for emotional well-bein ...more
Jul 01, 2015 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I quit this book after 27 pages because I couldn't get past the narrator's voice. Nature writing doesn't have to be bad but I found hers to be trite and, quite honestly, boring. I never got to the real story. If there's something here worth reading, I'm open to be convinced, but otherwise I'm moving on.
Mar 29, 2014 K M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a wonderful book, about the birds and other wildlife that inhabit NYC's Central Park, and about the devoted people who care so deeply for them. Day after day, these people keep track of the goings-on among the birds throughout various areas of the park. When a pair of Red-tailed Hawks build a nest on a very tall building near the park, they become the main attraction.

I loved following the story of the hawks, and reading about all of the other birds in the park. Another great thing a
Apr 07, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Completely charming and informative story of the Red-Tailed Hawks in Central Park. Nice tale of human interest in nature. Learned heaps about bird watching and bird behavior. A great feeling of nature as a whole as well - trees, plants, butterflies and the changing of seasons.
Harriett Milnes
Really, really liked it. I am full of admiration of anyone who knows their way around Central Park and these folks are at home with it. I watched a documentary about Central Park birds awhile back; it was just great. I am planning a trip to NYC in the fall -- I'll have to plan a bird watching walk in Central Park.
Apr 24, 2009 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story about Pale Male, the now famous red-tailed hawk that claimed New York City’s Central Park as his territory, attracted a mate and help parent a family, not once but many times over the course of the six years covered by the book.

Red-tailed hawks normally choose private, out-of-the-way locations to nest, but Pale Male adapted to life in the "city that never sleeps," although somehow, I think that the hawks actually did find time to sleep, even in the Big Apple.

Winn’s book also deta
Ms. Winn was drawn into the saga of Pale Male, a splendid red-tailed hawk spotted on a high building near one of New York’s most famous parks. Over the course of months, she became an amateur bird-watcher, along with dozens of others. Her book records her delighted enchantment with the bird’s progress as mate and father, the friendships she made with others just as interested in the avian’s behavior and the gradually increasing media attention to the status of Pale Male and all the other wild an ...more
Sally Atwell Williams
I could not believe how many birds come to Central Park, in the heart of New York City, on their migrations up and down the east coast. It is wonderful. The book is wonderful. Not only is it about the Red-Tails Hawks who reside there for many months every year, but it is about all the birds who come to the enjoyment of the bird watchers, and the hawk watchers. It is well written by a journalist, Marie Winn, who became a part of the Central Park bird watchers, who record all sightings writing the ...more
Nicely done. Story of the famous hawks, but interwoven with New York history, especially of Central Park, and other nature-related goings-on in the park. A fun read.
May 01, 2016 Selena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely book! Picked it by chance off a free shelf and glad I did, since it's not something I would search out.
Dec 05, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
272 pgs


I was on a fishing vacation with Bill at Montauck Point where there were alot of birds while reading this book. I have been dabbling in bird watching for awhile and this book got me more exciting about bird watching. People were aware of the hawks and their nest in Manhattan, because there was alot of news reporting on it, but it was great to hear Winn telling the story. She also became one of the birders in Central Park and that part of the book was facinating. Right here in Central Pa
Feb 03, 2014 Kirstin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful book about the bird watchers and the birds they watched in NYC's Central Park.
Apr 22, 2008 booklady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any nature lover
Recommended to booklady by: wish I could remember
A delightful book about the true story of red-tail hawks who settled and 'raised' a family in Central Park. Yes, that's right, New York. Unfortunately I have an old copy of this charming book which has since been updated. It's an on-going story--where nature is concerned the cycle continues ever onward. Read this when we were still homeschooling. We love to watch the birds and we've sighted a few hawks ourselves. Exciting! It must have been a good book, my notes indicate I read it in five days. ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My book club picked this book, which was handy because my mother already had a copy. It's a charming story--not so much for the birds of Central Park, which are interesting enough, but because of the diverse and bizarrely dedicated group of birdwatchers who frequent the park every day. It's refreshing to remember that Central Park is huge, and does still have some "wild" wildlife. It's also extremely heartening to know that so many New Yorkers care about that wildlife. This is a nice story about ...more
J Naomi
Mar 28, 2016 J Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully written. Great story!
May 07, 2013 Roniq rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic read!!! Marie Winn is a great writer who pulls you into the heart and soul of Central Park and it's colorful cast of characters who have a love of all things bird like, particulary the resident Red Tails. At times I laughed out loud, cried and cringed with anticipation right along side the park's residents at what would happen next. Soon I'll be birding myself in Central Park and this was a great way to get acquainted with the park and all it's nuances. I'll defintely be rea ...more
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