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Audubon's Fall Roost

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.

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It's not too late to buy a ticket.  Contact the New York City Audubon office at 212-691-7483 or events@nycaudubon.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.


Chipping and Clay-colored Sparrows

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. 

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Chipping Sparrow

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Chipping Sparrow

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Chipping Sparrows

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Chipping Sparrow (left) and Clay-colored Sparrow (right)

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Clay-colored Sparrow

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Clay-colored Sparrow

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Clay-colored Sparrow

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Clay-colored Sparrow


Orange-cheeked Waxbill

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.

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The band is upside down and hard to read.  I think the number is B8T840 but their could be additional digits and the B could be an 8.


Pale Male Goes To Bed

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!

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Pale Male and Lola

Pale Male and Lola have different sleeping habits.  She loves to sleep on buildings and he loves sleep in trees.

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Tonight he was in a tree near the Met.

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He even took a cat nap, before moving to...

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... a favorite tree for the evening.  I'm amazed by some of the thin branches the hawks use to sleep on, but they must be raccoon proof.

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Lola was on a Fifth Avenue building and as it got dark, she moved to the southeast tower of the Beresford for the evening.

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She choose a southern facing spot for the evening.


The Whole Family

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. 

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The female and the male were in the same tree when I saw them.  She's on the left and he's on the right.

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The male, who had gotten tangled in some pigeon spikes on Central Park South on Saturday, looked just fine which was excellent news.

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The juvenile came into a nearby tree.

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The juvenile then moved to a street light at the northeast corner of the Sheep Meadow.

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It begged for a few minutes.  But it's too old for its parents to be feeding her, so her requests fell on deaf ears.

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She circled around the area and end up on a street lamp across the street from the one she had been on.

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Her father was in a nearby tree.

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He flew off.  By this time, it was too dark to keep tracking them.


She's Back

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.

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I missed seeing her in Columbus Circle, but caught up to her as she flew to the southwest corner of the park.

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She moved east.

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Her band number allows me to be sure it's the 888 juvenile.

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She's off again, moving to a tree by the Pond and then back west to a tree near Cop Cot.

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She then catches a small mouse by the wall on Central Park South, just across the street from the Essex House.

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She makes quick work of this snack sized mouse.

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Then it's off to an area just north of the South Drive around Seventh Avenue.

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She has what looks to be some food, possibly something she's cached.

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Then a small war begins.  This squirrel whose den is at the end of the tree, decides to protect its branch.

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The squirrel is amazingly aggressive.  The squirrel tries to bite the juvenile, so she flies off quickly but then returns to the tree branch.

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So, this is why you're worried.

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After a stand off, the squirrel come out again.

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This stand off ended in an amazing way.  The juvenile dropped from the tree to catch a mouse.  How it kept track of the squirrel and the mouse at the same time, I'll never know.

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It caught the mouse, even while being distracted by the squirrel.

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After finishing her meal, she was off again.

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By this time, I felt like I had been run around the park too much and gave up on tracking her.  It's nice to have her back.


Connecticut Warbler

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.

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Pale Male

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.

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