While I'm not thrilled that summer is coming to an end, it does mean we have lots of Jewelweed flowers and Hummingbirds in Central Park!
I went to Governors Island for the afternoon, and did the typical tourist stuff. But I did get some great view of an American Kestrel. The ferry to the island is only $2 and runs through the last weekend in September.
On a very hot evening, I looked for the sick fledgling in Central Park without success. But I did have some fun watching two raccoons play at dusk.
The Osprey nest in Darien, CT no longer has two little ones, but two large fledglings flying on and off the nest. They're doing great and it was fun to watch then for an afternoon. Highlights included a number of "food fights" over fish the father brought, and watching the mother go wading and then bathing in the ocean.
The birds with rows of small dots on the wings and yellow on the back of their necks are the fledglings, and the mother has markings on her upper breast, which are much fainter on the male.
Over the July 4th weekend, I got to watch a pair of Opsrey and their two young ones on a tiny island in Long Island Sound. So, much more fun than fireworks!
I'm looking forward to the 2015 Red-tailed Hawk nest hatches in Central and Morningside Parks. We have three confirmed nests in Central Park, a pair seen frequently in the NE section of the Central Park, and our Cathedral hawks have a new nest location exposed to the elements.
With any new season, I look forward to discovering new aspects of urban Red-tailed Hawk behavior.
Three Central Park nests is fantastic news this year. But one has to wonder about locations and why these three nests are so close together? Do these three Red-tailed hawk pairs benefit by having protected flanks from the other pairs? Does this outweigh any issues over food contention, etc.? Or did the new nest locations have nothing to do with the other nest locations? It will be interesting to see when other raptor species fly over the park, if the Red-tailed Hawks work together to escort them away. And which pair will tale over the Locust Grove.
The Beresford Apartment nest will have new fledglings who will have to cross Central Park West to end up in Central Park or maybe even Teddy Roosevelt Park. Which buildings will they perch on the first few weeks? The Museum of Natural History? Or like many Red-tails, will they try to get as high as possible the first week and end up back on the Beresford? Where will the parents take them to hunt? South to the calm lawn south of The Yard? Or up North?
How will the exposed nest do at the Cathedral of Saint John? Will it be as productive as St. Andrew had been?
And is there a forth pair nesting near the park? Almost all of the experienced hawk watchers in Central Park saw a pair of hawks all winter around the Conservatory Garden. In April, many of us have seen a single hawk in the park, who flies over to Madison Avenue between 100th to 106th. Is there a nest tucked away a block from the park or in the public housing east of Madison?
I'm looking forward to learning more about Red-tailed Hawks this season. How fantastic is it that one of the best places to study Red-tailed Hawks is in the middle of Big Apple! New York City truly is one hell of a town.
I went down to Bryant Park to look at the Chuck Will's-widow at night to see if I could take pictures of it feeding. I did get to see it but it was only perching while I visited. At least it was awake!
The Morningside Hawks blog has done a wonderful job of creating a summary of the Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk nest sites for 2015. Robert has written a great history of each location too. Thanks!
I went up to Ulster County, NY to see the Gyrfalcon that has around for a few weeks. The bird, which depending on the day has been easy to find or hard to find, was very cooperative today.
In addition to the Gyrfalcon, I was able to photograph a Short-eared Owl. Definitely worth driving for four hours!
On winter Sunday afternoons, NYC Audubon hosts a harbor cruise in association NYC Water Taxi. I took the cruise today and had a great time watching birds and harbor seals out in the NYC harbor.
A Coyote was captured in Riverside Park on Saturday and later released in a Bronx wilderness area. After a few difficult captures that resulted in Coyote deaths in the last decade, it's great to see Animal Care & Control and the New York City police department coordinating well, and humanly relocating Coyotes.
The Gothamist had a nice article entitled, Coyote In Riverside Park Forces NYPD Out Of Slowdown.
Friday was a tougher day to see the Couch's Kingbird, than Thursday. It was harder to find and when found didn't stay around as much.
When I was watching it, the most reliable location was 11th and 4th Streets again. I did find a berry tree just south of 11th Street, which could be seen from West 4th and Perry, where American Robins and the Couch's Kingbird were eating berries. I suspect the bird is eating and then taking advantage of the sun on 11th Street to digest them.
Another rare Kingbird, is in New York besides the Cassin's in Brooklyn. It's a Couch's Kingbird and is in Greenwich Village. I saw it as my first bird of the New Year. (It was a life bird for me.) The bird was discovered by Zack Winestine.
The bird which is normally in Mexico and southern Texas, is for some reason in some of the most charming blocks of the Village. This afternoon, it was mostly at 11th and 4th Streets. (In the Village, these two streets do meet!)
From the looks of the seeds it's regurgitating, it's surviving on a diet of mostly fruit rather than insects.
Today was the Christmas Bird Count for Central Park. The count had a fairly standard variety of species and population of birds. The highlight was three Ring-necked Ducks on the Reservoir.
But the real attraction for me was an Opossum that was found on the west side of the park. It was a first for me in Central Park.
The Cassin's Kingbird, continued to be visible at Floyd Bennett Field on Sunday. I couldn't resist going out to Brooklyn to continue studying this bird's behavior.
Last Saturday, Kai Sheffield found a Cassin's Kingbird out at Floyd Bennett Field. Scores of birders tried to find it last Sunday. So, it was great to see a tweet from Rob Jett that the bird had been refound in the Community Gardens of Floyd Bennett Field this Saturday.
When I got out to Floyd Bennett Field there were about 35 birders looking for the bird. Almost all of them got great view of the rare bird found normaly in the southwest of the United States.
I'm still out at the Grand Canyon and found this young Turkey Vulture on a cliff face.
It's so great to be on vacation and see the breeding locations of birds you see migrating through New York City in the spring and the fall. I've never seen a young Turkey Vulture before! Cute, but still with a face only a mother could love!
I had the good fortune to see these five California Condors arrive outside my hotel room during the World Cup Final. Five Condors is 7% of the wild AZ/UT population! Guess what took priority! The tag numbers were 23, 30, J1, J4, L3.
|Tag#||SB#||Age in 2014||Sex||Bred At:||Release/ Fledge Year|
Although it's unclear about what happened at CCNY this year, it has been a great year. We know of only one adult death and one eyass yhat didn't make it. Low number compared to previous years.
I suspect that the Randalls Island pair may have moved to their nest to the South Bronx. I saw them often when I was out on Randalls Island this winter perched on buidings in the Bronx.