I arrived at the roost just as some Red-tailed Hawks spooked the Great Horned Owl. It made for some fun owl watching as we got to see some flights in daylight, but it didn't make for great photography. After dark, two of us were able to keep track of the owl for a good 30 minutes from a vantage point across the lake. It was wonderful to watch the owl stretch and wake up without any birders or hawks to distract it.
The Great Horned Owl in Central Park has hung around. Tonight was a typical fly out. Lots of stretches and a wonderful circular flight around the roost site. It then perched on a nearby tree for about ten minutes before flying a good distance south.
For those lucky enough to see this bird, please be respectful of this wonderful owl. The ABA's Code of Ethics has some great recommendations about how to promote the welfare of birds and their environment.
I went to Central Park, in New York City today to look for Pale Male and an Immature Red-headed Woodpecker. I saw both but the surprise of the day was a Great Horned Owl roosting in a Sweet Gum Tree. The tree had red and yellow leaves and was a perfect backdrop for the owl. Let's hope it sticks around for a few weeks.
One of the joys of winter is that it brings owls to Central Park. But this year, they've been scarce. Luckily, at least two Long-eared Owls have been in the park this week. Finally! From my very poor pictures you can see that these owls do a good job of staying under the radar! After fly out, after a few minutes of preening, the owl quickly caught a rodent and flew off.
With the snow and ice, I only stayed in the center of Central Park today. I added two species to my year list, a Fox Sparrow and a Rusty Blackbird. Highlights also included a very tame Carolina Wren and a Long-eared Owl.
Sunday was as warm as Saturday, making it enjoyable to walk around Central Park. I started up north, and saw a Brown Trasher by the Pool, my 57th bird in Manhattan for the year.
While in the Conservancy Garden, I saw a Red-tail perch on the roofs of the Cardinal Cooke Heath Care Center and El Museo del Barrio.
Then after a walk to the middle of the park, I had two Long-eared Owls. A nice relaxing afternoon on Superbowl Sunday.
Finally a warm day, in the high 40's to watch birds in Central Park. The cold was getting a bit old. My day started with a Cooper's Hawk, and then some fun song birds at the feeders in the Ramble. It ended with two Long-eared Owls, one of which had an adventure with a gray squirrel and coughed up a pellet.
On Sunday, I spent most of the day in the park trying to see a Common Redpoll without success. However, I did have a good time seeing a group of Red-winged Hawks for the first time this year, a very beautiful European Goldfinch (possibly an escapee rather than a wild bird), Owls and the Common Merganser on the Harlem Meer. While I wasn't trying for a long species list, I did end up with a respectable 37.
|1||Great Black-backed Gull|
|2||Northern Saw-whet Owl|
I've been packing a simple camera and a spotting scope rather than my regular setup these last two weeks. I bothered an old knee injury in the snow and need to lighten the weight of my pack. So, I've been continuing my goal to stay in the top 10 of the Top 100 New York County 2013 list on eBird.org, rather than just follow hawks this year.
Over the last week, this has meant adding a first winter Iceland Gull to my list for the year. In addition, to the gull this week's fun birds included a Northern Saw-whet Owl.
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.
A Northern Saw-whet Owl has been seen in the park for about the last week in a new location. Today it was hard to get a clear picture, but it was definitely a Saw-Whet.
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).
On New Year's Eve Day, I got lucky and was able to observe the owl for 45 minutes after dark. Although I didn't see it catch a rodent, it was very carefully observing three waiting for them to venture out of the fenced in area they were hiding in.
Before leaving on vacation, I made a brief visit to the park on December 26th. In my brief visit, I had a Barred Owl, a Coopers Hawk and Pale Male.
Christmas Eve day was quiet in the park. I saw Pale Male on the Beresford Apartments and at least one other Red-tail who was keeping track of the Barred Owl. (This Red-tail went over to Teddy Roosevelt Park outside Central Park before returning.)
The Barred Owl was very cooperative tonight and was easy to track for about fifteen minutes after the fly out.
One Barred Owl continues in Central Park. Tonight it flew out to the Southwest. Luckily, it has become such a regular that only a few people were paying any attention to it this afternoon.
The smallest owl that visits Central Park is the Northern Saw-whet Owl. It's about eight inches tall. A Saw-whet has been in the park for about a week. Today, it was in a perfect spot to watch until dusk. A small group of us were hoping for a fly out, but the owl jumped to the center of the bush it has been perching in rather than flying out. I was disappointed but also glad to see that the owl could out smart us.
Three Barred Owls were spotted in the park today, most likely the trio that arrived after Huricane Sandy. It's so great that they've stayed in the park.
On a gray late Fall day, a visit to Central Park yielded a few Cooper's Hawks, two Barred Owls and a few Red-tailed Hawks. Let's hope the Barred Owls stay for the Christmas Bird count, Sunday, December 16th.
This fall, Central Park has had at least four owl species - Great Horned Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, and Barred Owl. That's a great variety for so early in the fall/winter season.
Let's hope the visits continue!