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Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow

There have been two Snowy Owls hanging around one of the barrier islands on the south shore of Long Island for the past week.  I've been having bad luck finding life birds this fall.  But today, I found this species within five minutes of parking my car!

(There have been reports of them being harassed by birders and photographers this week, so be careful if you see them.  A Park Ranger told me that today, a photographer chased one of the owls down the beach.  The owls are down here looking for food because food ran out further north.  They're in a stressful period of there lives.  If they fly off, you've gotten too close. Please don't chase after them.  We've got to do our best to welcome and protect these birds.)

The bird I saw was most likely a young male.

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Thanksgiving Day

I went looking for Eastern-screech Owls today, but didn't have any luck finding them.  The familiar cavities and locations from last year, all turned up empty.  A few cavities even had squirrels where owls had been roosting last season.

The day wasn't a wash out however.  It included an adult Cooper's Hawk who led me from the Ramble to the Locust Grove. It also included two juvenile Red-tailed Hawks, who seem to get along just fine.  Both had just finished meals, and were in trees no more than 100 yards apart.

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2008-2009 Owl Season Has Begun

Thanks to Stella Hamilton, who with the help of some Bluejays found the bird, and Lincoln Karim who sent me a text message, I got to see my first Eastern-screech Owl of the Fall today.  (It was in a very busy place, so forgive me if I keep its location private.)

The owl, a red morph, may be the owl that was released by a rehabber a few weeks ago.  While I was observing it, some of its neighbors were not too welcoming, including a Black-capped Chickadee, a Gray Squirrel and a Tufted Titmouse.

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Young vs. Established

The young hawk I had seen yesterday was in the same general area today.  I first saw it around the playgrounds north of Tavern on the Green, and then on a C.P.W. building around 68th Street.   Then it took off towards the Heckscher Ball Fields.  When I caught up with the hawk, it had just finished up eating and was cleaning its beak.

Then I spotted Charlotte, the female hawk from Central Park South, on one of the Ball Fields.  She took off towards the young hawk's tree with some prey.

The young hawk left, but ended up moving to a number of trees around the Ball Fields as Charlotte ate.  I could not figure out all of the dynamics, but something was surely going on between the two of them.

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Another Rainy Saturday

There was a window of a few hours this afternoon where the rain stopped and I could finally get some birding in.  Between the weather and the end of daylight savings time, it's been difficult to get to the park.

Eastern-screech Owl season begins in a few weeks.  The owls which are very difficult to find in the fall should soon be switching to cavities from daytime tree roosts, where they'll be much easier to find.  I'm not sure if it's the lack of tree leaves, the cold weather or the combination that causes the switch.

There had been reports of occasional owl sightings around The Mall and the Sheep Meadow within the last few months, so I did a loop around the area.  No luck finding an owl today, but I did find this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, just north of the Lawn Bowling Greens.

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Sunny Sunday

After a very gray and rainy Saturday, we had a nice sunny Sunday today.  The fall migration is almost over. Most of the bird species in the park today will be wintering here.

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Northern Mockingbird

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Cedar Waxwing

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The park's Wild Turkey making its way from Shakespeare Garden to the Tupelo Meadow, via Belvedere Castle terrace.

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It ended up roosting for the night about fifty feet off the ground in a tree directly south of the Tupelo Tree.


Marathon Sunday

I birded in Central Park on Saturday and Sunday.  The fall migration is winding down and it is getting tougher to find birds.  Pale Male and Lola have a Cooper's Hawk and a young Red-tail in their territory, which is mixing up the standard schedule for the pair.

Sunday was a crisp fall day.  Highlights included Lola on the Beresford Apartments, a cooperative Black-throated Green Warbler, Winter Wren and Song Sparrow.


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