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Tompkins Square Park

As the days grow longer, Red-tailed Hawk couples who in the fall may have spent much of their time apart, spend more and more time together.  Today, the Tompkins Square Park spent much of the after noon close to each other.  A sign nesting season is right around the corner.

One of the hawks caught a pigeon on Avenue B around 12th Street.  I was surprised the kill was so far north.  After eating much of the pigeon, it shared the leftovers with its mate.


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First-Year Red-tailed Hawk and the Red-headed Woodpecker

I explored the SE section of Central Park on Saturday.  My first stop was The Pond, where right next to the Plaza Hotel some fun birds for the winter are a Wood Duck, Northern Pintail, and a Great Blue Heron.  Then it was off to see how the Red-headed Woodpecker was doing.  While I was on my way, I spotted a young Red-tailed hawk.  A nice afternoon of birding.


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Snack Time In The Rain

I had a quiet afternoon with one of the adult Red-tailed Hawks in Washington Square Park this afternoon.  The hawk spent at least an hour on top of 1 Fifth Avenue before coming down to hunt in the rain in the NW corner of the park.  It caught a small rodent, and looked to be on the lookout for a second snack before going to roost.  It started raining too hard for me to see how things turned out.


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Amazing eBird Checklist

The birding community has long supported citizen science by reporting bird sightings to scientists.  In our digital world, the most popular system for reporting bird sightings is run by Cornell Labs, ebird.org.

Sightings can be recored via the web or by using an iOS or Android phone app.  It's a fantastic system for reporting bird sightings, keeping your "life list" and finding out what birds have been seen in a specific area.  

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The Ross's Gull is an Arctic gull, and is rarely seen in the continental United States.  This eBird.org map shows the sightings in the US over the last five years.

Recently, a Ross's Gull was sighted near the airport at Half Moon Bay in California.  (It's an area I know well, as my sister lives only twenty minutes away in Pacifica.)    There were lots of reports sent to eBird.org as shown by this eBird.org map, Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 10.50.55 AM

Unfortunately, the Ross's Gull was taken by a Peregrine Falcon this last Saturday, resulting in an eBirds.org checklist by Peter Sole that will go down as one of the most classic checklists ever.

Peter Sole's ebird.org checklist for the Ross's Gull.


Antarctica Penguins

I'm on vacation in Antartica.  We're having wonderful weather for their summer, highs around 36.  Penguins are plentiful, and we've seen all three members of the Pygoscelis family, Chinstrap, Adelie and Gentoo Penguins so far.


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