Merry Christmas

It was sixty degrees in Central Park today.  The Great Horned Owl continued to be present and an Accipiter, either a Cooper's or Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen nearby.

After the fly out of the Owl, it cleaned its talons and then broke off a branch and chewed on it.  This has happened on previous nights.  I've looked for any mention of this behavior on the internet and haven't found anything that gives a clue about the reason for this interesting behavior.


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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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Falcon, Hawk, Owl

Central Park was delightful this afternoon.  After visiting the reservoir to see the Ring Necked Duck that's been hanging around the southeast corner, I found a Peregrine Falcon perched on the south tower of The Eldorado. 

Soon after, I found a Red-tailed Hawk in the Pinetum, who was joined by a second hawk.  They circled over Seneca Village before moving out of sight.

My last bird of the day was the Great Horned Owl that has now been in the park for three weeks.


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Cooper's Hawk

The fall and winter months bring Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks to the park.  On Halloween day, it was a Cooper's Hawk that I saw in Central Park.  An immature bird that was born this year.


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Riverside Church

I took a look at Riverside Church to see if the young Peregrine Falcons were visible.  There was no sign of them. I was probably a week or two early, but did get to see one of the parents visit the scrape and then leave.


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Inwood Hill Park Bald Eagles

When the Hudson River is frozen upstate and ice floes form, wintering Bald Eagles ride the ice up and down the lower Hudson.  With the cold weather we've been having, conditions are near perfect to see eagles from the Dyckman Fishing Pier in the southwest corner of Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan.  Today, we saw three adults and five juveniles drift by the pier.  Locals say the best times to watch are early in the morning from 8 to 10 a.m.


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Randalls Island Peregrines

There is a Peregrine nest box on the northern building of the Manhattan Psychiatric Center complex on Randalls Island.  Both resident Peregrines were perched near the nest box at dusk on Saturday.  While I was getting my camera gear out to photograph them, one took off and the other had moved to a new perch to eat prey.


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More Views Of The Century Peregrines

On Sunday, I got to see the Peregrines again.  The youngsters were out on a ledge and an adult was watching over them.  The eyasses wings are now more fully developed and they look great. During my visit a partially eaten bird was retrieved and feed to the eyasses.  It's nice to be able to watch them so easily.


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The Century Peregrines At 25 Central Park West

I'm a little late to the party, since these Peregrines have been on The Century for three years. But I was overjoyed to see the parents and their two eyasses on Saturday.  The Century is located at 25 Central Park West between 62nd and 63rd Streets.

The nest box is on the eastern side of the south tower.  For news about the hatching of the two eyasses, see The West Side Rag and the Gothamist

(I am concerned about a picture in The West Side Rag.  The pebbles in the nest box are much larger than the gravel traditionally used in nest boxes.  Given that only two of four eggs hatched this year, the owners of the box might want to switch to a gravel approved for nest box use before next season.)


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It Was Above Freezing

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.


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Central Park Hawks

Today was a nice day in Central Park.  I had the two Red-tailed hawks trying to establish a nest on CPW, (now working on a nest on 322 CPW.)  Then a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk on the American Museum of Natural History followed by Sharp-shinned Hawk in the Evodia Field. 

My next stop was Fifth Avenue, where Octavia is now brooding.  Pale Male was tending to the nest (rearranging twigs as is his habit) and she returned to the nest.

A quick walk down to Central Park South uncovered one Red-tailed hawk there. Seven hawks, not too bad for a brief afternoon visit to the park.


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Cooper's Hawk and then Pale Male

Despite all of time I've spent looking at owls, I have been keeping an eye out for Pale Male.  Today, I started my birding near Pale Male's nest.  My first views were of a Cooper's Hawk chasing some European Starlings. 

Then Pale Male arrived.  He broke off a tree branch and took it to the nest.  He then perched a little south of the nest on a fence, then a water tank and then a railing.  He kept looking south.  I think his new mate may be spending her time below 72nd Street.


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Weekend In Central Park

I spent time watching American Crows, waterfowl and American Kestrels on Saturday and watched Pale Male on Sunday. The Harlem Meer had a nice selection of birds, including Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks, Gadwalls, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Wood Ducks, and a Mute Swan.

Sandy made a mess of the park, and there are still sections closed. The clean up may take longer than usual as resources are being sent to hard hit areas of NYC rather than Central Park.  Sadly entitled Upper East and West siders are complaining about how they suffered because they can't walk their dogs in the park or use the bypass road in the north of the park, which is now a staging area for the clean up.  Get a life folks!


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