The fall migration is in full swing and I've been concentrating on adding birds to my Central Park list these last few weeks. On Saturday, I added two more to my list, a Purple Finch and a Tennessee Warbler.
New York City Audubon's fall fund raiser, The Fall Roost is Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at the Central Park Boathouse, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets start at $200 (with Jr. tickets for persons under 35 starting at $100).
As I did last year, I've contributed a framed photograph to the silent auction. This year, I've donated a limited-edition photograph of a pair of Eastern Screech-Owls.
It's not too late to buy a ticket. Contact the New York City Audubon office at 212-691-7483 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and to reserve tickets. Proceeds from the Fall Roost support NYC Audubon's ongoing conservation and education programs in the five boroughs.
Some bird identifications can be difficult. Sparrows, Flycatchers and Gulls are the tough birds in Central Park. On a foggy Saturday afternoon, three sparrows were seen together. (Credit for the first sighting goes to Jacob Drucker with follow ups by Tony Lance.) Two of the birds were clearly Chipping Sparrows, with the third appearing to be a Clay-colored Sparrow, a species not normally found in Central Park.
In the Spring, these two species are easier to tell apart. In the fall, it's harder. Rump color, lores, crown patterns come into play.
This weekend, I got to see some new species and some old favorites.
An Orange-cheeked Waxbill, an African finch has been seen on the western edge of the maintenance field for a few days. Most likely an escapee from a zoo, it has been hanging out with house sparrows. It won't be able to tolerate the cold weather, so it will most likely perish later this month.
Pale Male roosted in what seem to be one of his favorite trees east of the Great Lawn and west of the Met. He spent lots of time here last fall. Just north of this tree is a small group of apple trees. I suspect the fallen fruit attracts mice early in the morning. Apple filled rodents must make for a tasty breakfast snack!
Pale Male and Lola have different sleeping habits. She loves to sleep on buildings and he loves sleep in trees.
On Monday evening, the 888 Seventh Avenue family was located around the Mall (a long walkway with American Elms and statues of famous writers) in Central Park. The juvenile was begging for food, but you could tell her parents knew she was already doing just fine hunting on her own.
The 888 juvenile was back in Central Park on Sunday. She was first discovered in Columbus Circle and then went on a hunting trip catching two mice and keeping three photographers on their toes as she flew around the park. She's no longer staying in one place, but enjoys moving around.
A Connecticut Warbler was seen in Central Park along the Lake on Saturday. Connecticut's are known for being shy. But this one, which was eating caterpillars on a Mulberry tree, was more than happy to let people watch it.
Pale Male was in his favorite tree near Turtle Pond this evening before moving to a roost for the evening. He was easily visible this evening to the delight of children and tourists on the lawn north of the pond.