I had a quiet afternoon with one of the adult Red-tailed Hawks in Washington Square Park this afternoon. The hawk spent at least an hour on top of 1 Fifth Avenue before coming down to hunt in the rain in the NW corner of the park. It caught a small rodent, and looked to be on the lookout for a second snack before going to roost. It started raining too hard for me to see how things turned out.
The birding community has long supported citizen science by reporting bird sightings to scientists. In our digital world, the most popular system for reporting bird sightings is run by Cornell Labs, ebird.org.
Sightings can be recored via the web or by using an iOS or Android phone app. It's a fantastic system for reporting bird sightings, keeping your "life list" and finding out what birds have been seen in a specific area.
Recently, a Ross's Gull was sighted near the airport at Half Moon Bay in California. (It's an area I know well, as my sister lives only twenty minutes away in Pacifica.) There were lots of reports sent to eBird.org as shown by this eBird.org map,
Unfortunately, the Ross's Gull was taken by a Peregrine Falcon this last Saturday, resulting in an eBirds.org checklist by Peter Sole that will go down as one of the most classic checklists ever.
With the days getting longer, the two adult hawks seem to be spending more time together. Intruders to the park today included a juvenile Red-tailed hawk, a Cooper's Hawk and a rare visitor, a Merlin.
Central Park has had an Immature Red-headed Woodpecker near 68th and Fifth for over a week. I caught up with it after it started snowing on Saturday. It was hanging out in and around a Shagbark Hickory tree.