Juvenile Cooper's Hawk

On Saturday afternoon, I walked for about five miles through Central Park. I was able to add three more birds to my 2018 Manhattan list, a Ring-Necked Duck (female at the North Gate House of the Reservoir), a Great Cormorant (on the dike in the middle of the Reservoir, a rare visitor to Central Park, but seen frequently off Randalls Island in the winter) and an immature Cooper's Hawk.

The Cooper's Hawk was exploring the Loch, a waterway with three waterfalls that flows under the Glen Span and Huddlestone arches from The Pool to the Harlem Meer.  It has recently been restored by the Central Park Conservancy. The restoration carefully reshaped the waterway, to provide a mix of currents and depths designed to maximize biodiversity, with the help of a environmental consulting company.  Improved landscaping was also added to minimize erosion and run offs from the North Meadow Ball Fields.  I'm looking forward to seeing the biodiversity results in a few years.

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Red-throated Loon

The surprise of the day was a Red-throated Loon on the reservoir this afternoon.  About two thirds of the reservoir is still covered with ice, so the Loon was closer to the shoreline than normal making for great looks.

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Central Park's Oven

In the Ramble of Central Park is an area of the Lake called the Oven.  It has a patch of Jewelweed that attracts Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks during the fall migration.  It also attracted a Tennessee Warbler today as well.


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Peregrines at The Century

I went to Central Park South tonight to figure out where the Sheep Meadow Red-tailed Hawk pair have relocated only to see the male briefly at 64th and Fifth Avenue.  I saw them copulate last week by Tavern on the Green, but that was the last time I saw the female.  So, this is still a mystery.  If anyone has figured it out, please let me know.

While looking for the Red-tails, I saw The Century Peregrine Falcons again on Central Park West.  They were on both The Century and the Zeckendorf buildings.


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Southern Central Park Raptors

I spent the weekend trying to figure out what was happening with our three pairs of hawks in Central Park. 

  • The Sheep Meadow pair continue to be seen in the SE corner of the park, but don't seem to have settled on a nesting location just yet.
  • The pair that tried to nest on the Beresford last year, are bringing twigs to the Beresford and San Remo this year.
  • Pale Male and Octavia are doing just fine.  Pale Male gave Octavia a long break on Sunday afternoon.
  • A Merlin was a nice extra bonus near the band shell.

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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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