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Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City    by Janet Schulman & Meilo So order for
Pale Male
by Janet Schulman
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Most people do not think of New York City as a haven for nature. First impressions of the city are one of hustle, bustle, and urban activity. So when a red-tailed hawk decided to make his home in the Big Apple, birdwatchers around the world were amazed and delighted to follow his story. They dubbed him Pale Male, hoping he would stay, rather than become a tourist visiting the city for a short vacation. Pale Male made the city his home for years and became one of its most famous residents.

Author Janet Schulman tells the true story of Pale Male and his family in Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City. She follows his adventures as he discovered Central Park, found a mate, and built a nest. She tells of the trials the red-tailed hawks faced as they attempted to make their home and raise a family. At first Pale Male was driven off by angry crows and his mate wounded. Then he and another hawk built a nest atop one of New York's grandest apartment buildings. While some thrilled to follow the hawk, the residents of the apartment were less than enamored with the remains of Pale Male's pigeon-meals falling onto their sidewalk below. When they illegally removed his nest, people around the world cried out in anger until it was replaced. Birdlovers everywhere avidly watched Pale Male and his mates raise their young amidst honking cars, busy streets, and tall buildings.

Simply and beautifully illustrated by Meilo So, Schulman's telling of Pale Male will amaze readers young and old. Her language is rich and creative, drawing readers in to the story, and making them want to cheer for Pale Male and his family. The story offers a little something for everyone - birdlovers or not. Today, as roads crisscross the country and buildings dot the landscapes, we all love a good tale of nature triumphing. The story of this wondrous red-tailed hawk making his home in one of the world's busiest cities is sure to delight.

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