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Pale Male and Lola

My Saturday afternoon with Pale Male and Lola started with Pale Male on the Beresford.  I had him in view while I went around the Great Lawn for about an hour.  When I finally got close enough to photograph him, he flew off within minutes.

Very quickly I heard Blue Jays making a racket in the Locust Grove, and quickly found Pale Male, who already had prey.  He flew off to a tree on the Great Lawn, and eat the prey, a Northern Flicker, a bird in the woodpecker family.  (Graphic pictures and video of the bird being eaten follow,viewers beware.)

Pale Male then flew back to the Beresford Apartments where Lola was already on.  They then took turns taking short flights off of the southeast tower.  They played with some sticks on the ledge of the window oval. 

(Pale Male and Lola have always kept some sticks on the Beresford.  It doesn't mean much.  Red-tailed Hawks have a habit of keeping an alternate nest site, just in case something happens to their main nest.  I won't read too much into today's behavior.)


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My Favorite Red Head

I've been keeping track of the Eastern Screech-Owl pair in the north woods over the last few weeks.  They seem to be doing well, although they were harassed by an owl tour the Monday before last.  After the tour the owls switched roost trees and tonight a robin helped me me find the red phased male's new roost.


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Yet Another Sunday With The Riverside Youngster

I had expected the youngster at Riverside Park to have left the area by now, but it has other ideas.  It was in the area around the Hippo Playground (its official name) yet again.  It was eating a rodent when I arrived, so the video and initial photographs are a little graphic.

Mid-afternoon the fledgling went after a model airplane, but didn't end up touching it. It did upset the young man who was flying it, however!  The fledgling continues to draw crowds.  It perched on a few different trees on the Esplanade and over 100 people stopped and watched.

In the very late afternoon, both parents were seen over the Normandy Apartments.


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Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are migrating through Central Park.  They love Jewelweed flowers or other flowers with nectar.  Great places to see them are the Jewelweed patch on the south edge of the Strawberry Fields lawn, "The Oven" -- the cove on the Lake, the North Lobe of the Lake or the Conservatory Garden.

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Sharp-shinned Hawk and Eastern Screech-Owl

While leaving the Wildflower Meadow, I flushed an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk by accident.  I was able to watch its wing beats and see its tail shape to confirm it was a Sharp-shinned, rather than a Cooper's Hawk.  It was just another reminder that summer was almost over.  The light was already starting to fail, so the pictures aren't that great.

It was great to see something completely unexpected.  Migrations season can be like that.  You think you know what to expect and then you'll see something unusual.

I did get to see one of the Eastern Screech-Owls in their roost tree.  They really seem to have settled down again now that most of the tree removal work is done.


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Riverside Dad

The Riverside father was the only hawk seen this afternoon in Riverside Park.  Neither youngster (the one born in the park or the visitor from Sunday) was found, although the Riverside fledgling had been seen in the morning.

Since I slept in, here are the pictures of the father.  He was east of the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial.


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New Kid On The Block

Much to the surprise of those of us hawk watching on late Sunday afternoon, a second, unrelated juvenile was in the park.  While this isn't unusual this time of year, as young hawks go exploring, it certainly was unexpected.

This young hawk is less bulky than the Riverside youngster.  It doesn't have the linebacker like shoulders of the Riverside hawk, has a tail that seems to rest in two groups, and has very different head markings.

But it will certainly change how we observe the hawks in the park.  When someone says, I saw the young hawk, we'll now have to ask, "Which one?".

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Riverside Fledgling Rediscoved

On Labor Day weekend, the Riverside Park fledgling has been very active in the 90's of Riverside Park.  I caught up with the fledgling on Sunday as it came to greet its father, who would have nothing to do with fledgling and let out a loud cry warning the fledgling to go away.  (The fledgling had flown out of a tree on the Joan of Arc traffic island to join its father.)

The father then caught a rodent and consumed it in a tree near Riverside Drive and 94th Street.  (Graphic pictures of the rodent being eaten below -- viewer beware.)

I then went further south to catch up with the fledgling.  He was all over the area around the Hippo playground.  He caught a rodent, went after other prey and moved about constantly giving those watching him a workout.


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RIverside Field Mark

I've been going through all of my old photographs and I wanted to share a field mark that's very helpful for identifying the male vs. the female at Riverside Drive.  The male has a prominent black stripe at the bottom of his tale, while the female has only a hint of black.

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The fledgling was seen again in the 90's of the park on Saturday.  It's nice to hear it's doing well.


Eastern Screech-Owls Settling Down

The North Woods Screech-Owls seem to have settled down again after all of the storm clean up activity.  For about a week they seemed to be all over the place, but now that tree trimming equipment isn't parked next to their old roost, they've returned to their favorite tree.

Keeping track of them has been frustrating.  Some nights we don't hear them and on others they're very vocal.  Most nights we don't see them, but on some we can watch them fly for blocks. I can't wait for the late fall, when the leaves will drop and they'll be easier to find.


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