Snow Geese and Pale Male in the Snow

As winter finally arrives and we get a light dusting of snow, Central Park has two Snow Geese on the reservoir.  Large flocks of snow geese fly over the park during migration, but it's unusual for there to be a pair hanging out on the reservoir, especially in January.  So, they were a nice treat on a gray day.

As I was leaving the park, I ran into Pale Male in the east Pinetum.  He looked handsome with a dusting of snow.


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Orange-crowned Warbler

While two of our winter stars left when the first freeze arrived this last week, the Great Horned Owl in Central Park and the Painted Bunting in Prospect Park, one star from the Christmas Bird Count is still in Central Park, an Orange-crowned Warbler.  This fabulous little bird has been hanging around the south west corner of the Met, and loves to visit some fresh cuts made by a Yellow-belled Sapsucker.

In addition to the warbler, many of us were treated to a double rainbow after a brief, but heavy downpour.


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Great Horned Owl And A Cooper's Hawk

This afternoon started a little slow.  The Great Horned Owl was in usual spot around 2:30, and I was thinking what am I going to do until fly out at dusk?  Luckily, a mature Cooper's Hawk arrived and the owl decided to fly over to it to show it "who was boss".  Then the Cooper's Hawk started calling and decided to try and show the owl who was boss.  They ended up shifting from perch to perch a few times.  There was no contact and it just a lot of bluster but fun to watch. 

The Cooper's Hawk left but returned about an hour later to make it's presence known.  This time the owl just ignored it.

While preening, the owl broke off a branch and chewed on it.  It might have been using it to clean it's beak.  It was hard to tell.


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Sora in the North Woods

For about two weeks, there has been an injured Sora in the Loch in the North Woods. If you look closely at the photographs and video you'll see the left wing is dragging.  Today was the first time I had seen it myself. 


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Belted Kingfisher and Pale Male

My birding centered around Turtle Pond in Central Park today.  The Pond had a pair of Belted Kingfishers, one of whom seemed to be exhausted after getting wet while fishing.  After the Kingfisher's it was Pale Male who was very photogenic, leading photographers and bird watchers on a journey from tree to tree until he caught a rat.  It was a fun Sunday afternoon.


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North Meadow Red-tailed Hawk

I explored the north end of the park today.  During a brief rainstorm, I got to photograph a hawk at the eastern side of the North Meadow.  Later this same hawk circled the Recreation Center a few times and then gained altitude.  It started to get harassed by Chimney Swifts, so it went even higher until it was hard to see.  It then dived and quickly moved northwest towards Morningside Park.


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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are enjoying feeding on the Jewelweed flowers in Central Park this season, and occasionally rest on branches nearby.  This young bird rested on the same branch every five minutes or so, sometimes staying only a few seconds but sometimes stayed for as long as two minutes.


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Red and Green

It's ironic, given that I'm Red/Green Colorblind, that my two good birds of the day on Saturday were a Red-tailed Hawk and Green Heron.

The Red-tailed Hawk was the same bird I saw Friday. It was again perched on a window railing of 2 East 70th Street. 

The Green Heron was in a shallow area of the The Pond north of Gapstow bridge.  These mudflat areas are import to wading birds, but they're constantly being removed by the Central Park Conservancy. The original landscaping of the park had water bodies with clean sculpted edges, which removed the transitional areas of marsh and mud needed by many birds.  Luckily, natural erosion does a great job of bringing these mudflats back!

At about 6:56 on the video is a great shot of the Green Heron "licking its lips". 


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El Museo del Barrio

My quest to find the nest of the pair of hawks that have been seen on upper Fifth Avenue came up empty again.  While I was in the Consevatory Garden, I saw a Red-tail circle around the garden with a pigeon in its tallons.  The hawk then took the bird to the roof of the El Museo del Barrio.

After a few minutes, the Red-tailed Hawk flew off in the direction of the Academy of Medicine, and disappeared.  Searches of the ledges of the building came up empty.


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American Woodcock

American Woodcocks have been in Central Park for about the last week.  I caught up with one on Saturday.  They're very well camouflaged, worm eating birds with a silly walk and mating ritual. 

The bird was doing a good job of hiding, but we did get some glimpses!


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