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Barred Owl vs. Immature Red-tailed Hawk

You always hear that owls and hawks don't interact much, but a young Red-tailed Hawk didn't get the message.  It's been harassing the Barred Owl that's in Central Park for the past few weeks.

Tonight the Barred Owl must have had enough.  The Red-tailed Hawk tried to roost in a tree the Barred Owl used to use during the day, so the Barred Owl flew out early and chased the Red-tail away.


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Randalls Island Peregrine Falcons

A nice trip to Randalls Island on Sunday yeilded the two resident Peregrine Falcons atop the center building of The Manhattan Psychiatric Center.  One was on a corner and the other on a set of communications towers.  The bird on the tower was banded but it was too far away to capture any numbers.

The count for the day was fairly good.  35 species with a Common Goldeneye and a Belted Kingfisher as highlights.  The day had three raptor species, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon and Red-tailed Hawk.

620   Brant
406   Canada Goose
30   Gadwall
3   American Black Duck
28   Mallard
12   Bufflehead
1   Common Goldeneye
14   Red-breasted Merganser
24   Ruddy Duck
1   Red-throated Loon
1   Double-crested Cormorant
2   Great Cormorant
1   Great Blue Heron
2   Red-tailed Hawk
1   American Coot
20   Ring-billed Gull
1   Herring Gull
4   Great Black-backed Gull
45   Rock Pigeon
3   Mourning Dove
2   Belted Kingfisher
3   American Kestrel
2   Peregrine Falcon
4   American Crow
4   Black-capped Chickadee
1   White-breasted Nuthatch
14   American Robin
2   Northern Mockingbird
57   European Starling
1   American Tree Sparrow
1   Song Sparrow
2   White-throated Sparrow
1   Dark-eyed Junco
6   Northern Cardinal
15   House Sparrow

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The Plaza Hotel - A New Red-tailed Nest

The Roger Paw Blog reported on January 9th that a new Red-tailed Hawk nest is being established on The Plaza Hotel at Central Park South. 

This evening, at dusk while I was watching two Black Crowned Night Herons (one adult and one immature), and hundreds of Common Grackles come home to roost, I saw one the Red-tails at the nest site.  The Red-tailed Hawk stayed on the nest for about ten minutes and then went off to roost.

Hats off to the Roger Paw Blog for such excellent reporting!  Finding a new nest site, this early in the season, is hard work.


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American Tree Sparrow

An American Tree Sparrow has been hanging around the large woodchip pile in the northern section of Central Park.  Today, it gave me some really nice looks.  The American Tree Sparrow has a bi-colored beak, the top and bottom parts are different.

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More Florida Photos

A group of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were a new species for my life list seen at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands (Delray Beach, Palm Beach County).  


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Another Randalls Island Day

I realized on Saturday that I haven't spend a real day birding in a long while.  I've been going after specific birds, but not doing a real walk counting birds for a long time.

So, I birded Randalls Island from end to end on Sunday to see what I could find.  Boy, did I feel rusty.  Looks like I'm going to be spending lots of time this winter doing long walks...

Photographs are of the Red-tailed Hawk pair and their nest just north of the stadium field, an American Kestrel, Brant, Black-capped Chickadee, and Red-breasted Mergansers.


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American Pipits

Randalls Island has been discovered this winter by birders in New York City.  Easily visited by public transportation, this island between the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens offers an interesting variety of birds.

Today, I visited the island.  Thanks to the great birding skills of Ben Cacace, I got to see three American Pipits.  This is a new species for my life list.


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Florida Barred Owls

Florida has lots of great birds in areas around its water treatment/water control ponds. Close to the main entrance to Everglades National Park, are two small hammocks of trees near a Storm Control/Water Management area.  The local birders call them the Lucky Hammock and The Annex on ebird.org.

At The Annex there were a pair of Barred Owls.  One perched on a powerline just after flyout and I got to watch the owl on two separate evenings for only a minute each night. 

Who would have thought it was easier to owl watch in Central Park?


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Purple Gallinule

I spent a few days in the Everglades over the Christmas/New Year's break.  I managed to got a close up look at a Purple Gallinule, which is a new bird for my life list while on vacation.

The video is very shaky as there were high winds, but it shows the typical Purple Gallinute behavior of wading in Water Lillies.  The photographs show the Purple Gallinule climbing a small bush to eat flowers. This was a special treat as it allowed me to see the whole bird including its large feet!


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The Other Owl

Sorry for so little hawk news over the last few weeks.  The two Barred Owls in Central Park are capturing my attention.  I couldn't find the one I've been following regularly today, but did find the other one without much trouble.  It went after a squirrel while it was still quite bright out.  It waited until the squirrel jumped from tree to tree and when after it.  The owls timing was a bit off and the squirrel lived to see another day (or should I say night).


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