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Young Hawk On The Great Hill

I spent the early evening on the east slope of the Great Hill (NW Central Park), following up reports of a sighting of owls there four days ago.  It was slow going with no owls in sight and fairly quiet.  My best bird was a very vocal Carolina Wren.

When dusk arrived, a young Red-tailed hawk landed in a Great Hill tree, and then stayed for a few minutes.  It took off and made the begging sound young Red-tails make.  I followed it to the West Drive, where I saw one hawk leaving (a parent?), and a hawk perched (the fledgling?), who then flew off back towards the Great Hill.

I was able to watch it circle the hill, and then head north.  I can't be 100% certain but there's an excellent chance the young hawk was the healthy Cathedral fledgling.  (The other Cathedral fledgling had lead poisoning and has a lame foot.)

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The New York Times

As part of the publicity campaign for the Farrar, Straus and Giroux book, Central Park In the Dark, by Marie Winn, I had a photograph in The New York Times today in the second section of Friday's Weekend Arts.  The story was by Anne Raver and was entitled, In Urban Wilderness, Tracking Hoots in the Night.  There was also a multimedia feature with a slide show and audio, which include a few more of my photographs.

I'm a Director in the I.T. department of Macmillan that supports our publishers, including Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It has been great fun to experience the creative side of Macmillan, rather than just the technical side these last few months supporting Marie's book.

If you're visiting my blog for the first time due to this article, welcome.  Over the last few years, I've learned that although we generally perceive nature to be rarer as we move from rural to suburban to urban environments, for the most part, it's all still here in the city if you just look for it.  Our man made world, as hard as it might try is still a wild place, especially for birds.  This blog tries to document some of this diversity, specializing in urban raptors.

On the sidebar to the left are my owl blogs from the last three years. To begin at the start of this Eastern Screech-Owl season, start here.

Marie's book also got a wonderful review by Geoffrey Norman in the Wall Street Journal today.  The book is a fun, easy read and is available at a number of bookstores including:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Borders
or your local bookstore


Black Skimmers

Black Skimmers have been fishing Central Park's Model Boat Pond in the evenings this week.  Tonight there were two briefly, but only one worked the pond at a time. These birds are fascinating to watch as they gracefully skim the pond with their beaks, flying at a steady height and pace, as they slowly beat their long broad wings. 

(For a picture of a Black Skimmer in the daylight, see my Florida trip post from December.)

Since they arrive after dark, the park has usually cooled off by the time they arrive.  Sure beats birdwatching in the summer sun.

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Tule Elk Reserve, Point Reyes, California

After Mendocino, we spent a day at Point Reyes National Seashore.  At Tomales Point, there is a herd of Tule Elk.  The herd was started in 1978 with eight females and two males, and now numbers over 300 today, 3/10ths of the surviving California population. 

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California Osprey

Down the road from our vacation house was a nature walk in a state park.  This Osprey flew in, landed and then left after about twenty minutes.

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White-tailed Kite

While in California, I saw my first White-tailed Kite.  I had difficulty taking photographs, but it was a life bird for me none the less.  The bird had great hovering abilities and stayed north of the Peregrines territory.

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Pacific Coast Peregrine Falcons

Two young Peregrine Falcons were spending time on the cliff below the house we rented on the Pacific coast.  The larger of the two was always crying, while the smaller was quiet as can be.  It was just amazing to wake up to the sound of a Peregrine in the morning.

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Northern California Coast

I've been on vacation for the last week, spending time in Northern California.  My sister and brother-in-law rented a house about 15 miles north of Mendocino for the first part of the trip.  The house had views up and down the Pacific coast and had a large Cormorant rookery on a large rock out in the ocean in front of the house.

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All Things Considered - NPR

A few weeks ago, as part of the promotional efforts to support Marie Winn's wonderful book, Central Park in the Dark, we went on a walk with Margot Adler from NPR.  Today, Ms. Adler's story about the book was broadcast on All Things Considered.

If you're coming to this site because of the story, welcome.

On the sidebar, to the left are my owl blogs from the last three years. To begin at the start of this owl watching season, start here.   My latest owl post are here.

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