After hearing reports of the possibility of Buteo hawks other than Red-Tails in the park, I went birding on a wonderfully warm Saturday starting at 105th and 5th Avenue hoping to find a new hawk species for my Central Park list.
I walked past the Meer which had an interesting selection of birds: 2 Mute Swans, 3 female Wood Ducks, an American Coot, a male Gadwall, 2 Buffleheads, a few Ruddy Ducks, Mallards, Canadian Geese, and Ring-billed Gulls.
As I walked through the North Woods, I heard an incredible number of jays harassing something on a path. Oh, great I thought, a new hawk! I went around and saw not only Blue Jays but Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, and a Downey Woodpecker all around one tree branch. Tucked behind a number of branches wasn't a hawk, but a Great Horned Owl. Most likely, the one who has spent the last month roosting in the Ramble.
The Owl kept an eye on dogs and children while I was there, but the combination of a gentleman with very loud boom-box and a passing weather front (very dark clouds and high winds for about fifteen minutes) spooked the owl. It first moved to a tree about 20 feet north, for a few minutes.
After about fifteen minutes of stretching and preening (Plus two appearances by a bat. A bat in January!!!) the Owl makes it way from tree to tree going southwest. After a few minutes the Owl then took a long trip south out of sight.