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Red-tails, Cooper's and Screech-Owls

I walked up from the mid-70s to the North Woods to look for Screech-Owls and came along some interesting diversions along the way.  On a building at 89th Street and Central Park West was a Red-tailed Hawk.  This section of the park, west of the Reservoir, usually has a Red-tailed guest during the winter.  To my surprise there were two Red-tailed Hawks, something I'm not used to seeing here.

Then while waiting for it to get dark, a Cooper's Hawk dove into the Loch.  It caught a squirrel and ate it.  It's the first time I've seen a Cooper's Hawk with a squirrel.

Lastly, I was able to see and hear both of the North Woods resident Eastern Screech-Owls.  They've switched roosts, so we felt lucky to find them.

On the way out of the park, I saw that the Lasker Pool is now the Lasker Rink!  Another sign of the changing seasons.

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Cooper's Hawk

The North Woods of Central Park were very quiet on Saturday afternoon.  I had gone looking for Eastern Screech-Owls, who become harder to find this time of year, as they switch from tree top roost to cavity roosts.  The owls gave me the slip and I didn't hear them after dark.

The best bird I saw was this Cooper's Hawk hunting along the Loch.

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Great Horned Owl On Saturday

The Great Horned Owl continues roosting in Central Park. 

The routine continues.  The day sleeping owl waking up throughout the day to deal with noisy humans, helicopters, the carts used by the gardeners, the occasional Red-tailed Hawk or Blue Jay.  At approximately 4:30 p.m. the owl wakes up and becomes active.  It stretches and becomes very observant.  Then around 5:00 p.m. we have fly out.

Today, I think due to a rather unruly and noisy crowd watching the fly out, the owl only stayed near its roost for only a few minutes after fly out.  (A rare bird in Central Park, brings out old friends who all want to say hello, which unfortunately puts stress on the rarity we're watching.)

The owl then flew quite far north.  This has happened on other nights, as well.  Where is this owl going?  Is it going up north to the Reservoir or the North Meadow? And what is it eating?

Hopefully an owl pellet will be found to help us discover the answer!


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After The Fly Out

Watching the Great Horned Owl after fly out takes being a little brave, as there are something a little creepy about being the Ramble after dark.  But the reward is watching an owl being active and mobile.  Tonight the owl let us watch for about half an hour before giving us the slip.


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Great Horned Owl Still In Central Park

The Great Horned Owl continues to stay in Central Park.  Tonight, we could keep track of it for an hour after fly out.  The owl took special interest in a feral cat, who might just become dinner some night!


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The later photographs taken after the fly out at ISO 12,800 with exposures of 1/2 to 2 seconds.


Great Horned Owl Continues

The Great Horned Owl in Central Park continues to stick around. The owl delighted us with some owl yoga just before fly out.


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Great Horned Owl

Over the last ten days, there have been three Great Horned Owl sightings in Central Park, including one today.  Beth Bergman has photographs of the two previous sightings, Friday the 6th and Wednesday the 11th on her blog.

It's generally rare for the park to have a Great Horned Owl, so it was very interesting when those who had seen the Great Horned Owl on previous days, thought today's owl might be a different bird than that seen earlier!  It's quite possible since we're in a peak migration period for owls.

Looking at Beth's photographs however, I could lean either way. Is it just one bird or more than one?


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Youngster in the Ramble

I went out in a break in the rain on Saturday to see if their was any sign of the Great-Horned Owl that had been spotted on two separate days in Central Park over the last week.  I didn't find the owl, but did find this 1st year Red-tailed Hawk.  It was right next to a cove on the Lake called the Oven.

Pictures include the bird eating a squirrel.  If that doesn't interest you skip this post.

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Sunday Birds

The fall migration still has some beauties coming our way, including this Cedar Waxwing, a House Finch and a male Wood Duck.

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What Is This?

I can't figure out what species of bird this is.  It was on the south shore of Turtle Pond.  Is it just a strangely marked Rock Pigeon? If you know, please leave a comment.

I wasn't able to get close to this bird, so I'm sorry if the photographs and movies aren't that clear.

After two days, it's clear it's a Rock Pigeon.  The behavior confused me, but the white cere should have been the giveaway.


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Weekend Birds

I didn't bird much this weekend but I did spend a few hours in Central Park on both Saturday and Sunday.

Pale Male, who usually is easy to find on fall afternoons west of the Met or around the Great Lawn has been hard to find this year.  I wonder if the continued construction on the museum has him hunting in other places this year.

On Sunday, there were three Wood Ducks and and immature Double-Crested Cormorant on Turtle Pond.  The Wood Ducks tried to take a nap, but got frightened by some cheers for NYC Marathon runners and left the pond.

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