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NJ 30 in Battery Park

I finally caught up with NJ 30, the banded hawk which may have been one of the juveniles from the Washington Square nest, in Battery Park today.  It was great to see the hawk.

After loosing track of it, but finding the park's Wild Turkey and an American Kestrel, I saw two Red-tailed hawks high in the sky.   It was hard to tell if they were friend or foe and I couldn't tell if one of the hawks was NJ30.  But it was good to see that the area had more than just one Red-tail.


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More Snowy Owls

Snowy Owls continue to be abundent in the outer boroughs of New York City.  Today, I took advantage of the warm weather to look for them yet again.  I saw three today.

Today was the first day I saw owls being harrased by photographs.  The grasslands of the park I was visiting is off limits to all visitors.  Unfortunetly, two photographers violated these rules.  The owls weren't hurt in any way, but both were moved about by the photographers. 

If you go looking for Snowy Owls, and are visiting a park for the first time, please take the time to visit  the park's ranger station or nature center.  Most of the grasslands and beaches have strict rules about where you can walk, but also don't have good signage.  Vandals, storms and budget cuts have removed many of the warning signage in the New York area.  Rather than assume there are no rules, search them out.  Every park has them!


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Washington Square, 1st Day of Winter

I arrived at Washington Square with some good luck today.  I had one in sight even before I got to the park.  Then I had them either Bobby or Rosie in sight until sunset.  They shared food on the Law School and spent a great deal of time on 3rd Street.  They showed me some perches I hadn't seen before, and gave the slip at sunset.  I couldn't find them at any of the known roosts.


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Battery Park

I went down to Battery Park to see if I could find the banded hawk NJ30, which had been seen and photographed by other hawk watchers earlier in the month.

I didn't find anything at first but after about half an hour, I saw a number of pigeons and gulls fly. It was a hawk alright, but not the Red-tailed Hawk NJ30.  Instead it was a Cooper's Hawk by the Coast Guard building.

Manhattan's reliable female Wild Turkey was also in her usual spot.  (She's not so wild anymore. I think she's being feed regularly.)


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Mute Swans

The Reservoir had a pair of Mute Swans today.   It isn't that unusual for the park to have a swan or two on the Harlem Meer or The Pond in the southeast corner of the park, but this was the first time I remember a pair on the Reservoir.  Maybe they're passing through searching for warmer climates.  I'm sure there are lots of frozen lakes further north.

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Brooklyn Snowy Owl, 3rd Visit

I was out birding on Jones Beach, but swung by Brooklyn on the way home to get another glimpse of a Snowy Owl.  When I arrived a Snowy was on a shipping container, and moved to a sign, and then back to a field.  The movement wasn't because of people bothering the owl, but because a Northern Harrier was about. While I was there it started to snow, so I got some interesting footage.


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Brooklyn Snowy Owl, 2nd Visit

I went back to Brooklyn on Saturday to look for the Snowy Owls.  (There is actually more than one.)  A Snowy Owl was about 35 yards from where I had seen one last weekend in Brooklyn.  Nice to get additional looks at it.  It flew out of the grass around the same time as last week and into the same general direction.

I would encourage everyone to look at some of the discussions on the New York State Birding listserver.   Simple questions about the ethics of watching Snowy Owls and the reason they're down south has raised more questions than answers.  The discussion however is great.  There have been some great tips about how to educate other birders watchers and photographers in a constructive way, in addition to some references to some current scientific literature.


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Brooklyn Snowy Owl

A number of Snowy Owls are in the New York Area this Thaksgiving weekend.  I caught up with one in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon. 

(Care needs to be given to not stress these owls.  If you're not familiar with the etiquette around how to observe owls, please take some time to research how to behave around them before you go looking for them.)


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