The two Snow Geese continue on the Central Park Reservoir. They've been hanging out with about 75 Canada Geese at the south end.
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.
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.
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.
At the top of a tall pine this afternoon by the 79th Street Transverse north of the maintenance building, was an American Kestel eating what looked to be a house sparrow. This small falcon is one of New York City's most beautiful birds.
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.
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.
Thanks to a report from Tom Perlman and Karen Fung, many birders got to see a Eastern Whip-Poor-Will in the Loch today in the northern part of Central Park.
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.
On Sunday, I didn't see any of our "regular" hawks in Central Park. Only this adult with lightly colored eyes in the Ramble.
At the feeders on Saturday, were an American Tree Sparrow and a Chipping Sparrow. (The Tree sparrow has a bi-colored beak and one wing bar.) They very cooperatively both went to a single bird feeder together a few times.
Central Park in the winter has a number of visitors from farther north. Today's special bird was a Common Redpoll, a small finch. It certainly made a grey day a bit brighter for me.
I spent Saturday bird watching rather than hawk watching and like earlier in the week got mesmerized by Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.
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.
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".
For the last few weeks I've been keeping track of a new Red-tailed Hawk pair in Sheep Meadow of Central Park. Most of us who knew about the pair decided to keep them under the radar while they got established. But a photograph was recently showed on the palemale.com site, so now that the secrets out I think it's reasonable to share some photographs.
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.
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!