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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After Dark

I was able to track the Central Park Great Horned Owl for an hour and fifteen minutes after fly out tonight.  While I've learned her favorite trees and perches, I've yet to see her hunt for food.  I guess like many New Yorkers, she's well fed and in no rush to eat early.  She must enjoy having the park to herself when it's closed from 1 a.m. to dusk!


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Happy New Year!

My blog turns ten today!  That's over 2,000 posts.  I hope everyone has enjoyed the original content.

The Great Horned Owl in Central Park has stayed in to 2016.  Tonight she stuck around after fly out for over 35 minutes before flying to the east.  It's the first time I've seen her head in that general direction.


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Great Horned Owl Is Still Here!

The Great Horned Owl in Central Park looks to be welcoming in the New Year by staying in the park. Nothing much unusual happened tonight after fly out.  A nearby tree, then a tree by the Lake and then a long flight out of sight to the north.


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Everglades Birding

I spent Christmas week in the Everglades.  It has been unusually wet, so the birding was limited.  However, I did get to see some great birds, including this Red-shouldered Hawk, Great Egret and Barred Owl.

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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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Fun After Dark

Tonight, the Great Horned Owl flew out and quickly ended up on the tallest tree on the lake.  She spend ten minutes there, preening and expelling a pellet.  It was great to be able to watch her for such an extended period away from her roost.


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Same Owl, New Tree

The Great Horned Owl that has been seen in Central Park this fall, has been shifting trees as the ones she has chosen to roost in lose their leaves.  She's now using the last tree in the area that still has some leaves.  It will be interesting to see where she ends up, once this tree is bare.


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WINORR Fundraiser

Cathy St. Pierre has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for WINORR (Wildlife In Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation), which Cathy runs along with her husband, Bobby Horvath.

WINORR has been critical to the comeback of Red-tailed Hawks in New York City.  Not only do they provide much needed rehabilitation resources, they act as consultants to the Parks Department and participate in educational programs thought the city.

It would be great if the Hawk Watching community could help Cathy quickly get to her modest goal of raising $5,000.

Click here to donate.

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Noise From Above

I worry about the noise bird watchers make when looking at the Great Horned Owl, but today the major noise was from above in the form of a mob of crows and an airplanes.  At first it was four crows who arrived, landed above the owl and sure got it's attention. 

After things settled back down again, a slow flying airplane with a banner saying "I Love You Raymond ♥ Nana", circled the park a few times.  The noisy plane really annoyed the owl.  It's a really strange way to say you love someone by to hire an advertising plane, on the same weekend the global climate deal was signed.  Let's hope Nana also bought some carbon offsets to show Raymond her love!

We saw a pellet regurgitated, and it was recovered by a biologist who was watching the owl.  Fly out was early and I was able to follow the owl to five more perches before losing her.


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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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Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl continues to be seen in Central Park.  It would be great if it stayed around for the Christmas Bird Count.  Tonight it few to a nearby tree and we watched it for about five minutes before it flew briefly to another tree and then out of sight.


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Pale Male On Fifth Avenue

After all of the owl, gull and bunting photos, I thought I should post a hawk entry.  This afternoon, Pale Male has a favorite set of perches on a building at 73rd and Fifth.  One the second floor from the top are six windows across.  Each window has an ornamental railing, perfect for a hawk.  Tonight Pale Male was perched on the second window from the left.


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Prospect Park Weekend

Prospect Park in Brooklyn had two birds that I had never seen before, a Painted Bunting and a Black-headed Gull.  The Painted Bunting has been in the park for a week and has become a celebrity.  Unfortunately, it was very difficult to photograph.  I only got some poor back photographs, that didn't capture the wonderful bright colors of the bird.  Luckily, I did better with the Black-headed Gull. It was very cooperative!


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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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Great Horned Owl

At the risk of being repetitive, here are some more photographs of Central Park's Great Horned Owl.  I'm off to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving, so you'll have a break from owl photos for a week!  Tonight the owl explored the tree it was roosting in, by jumping/flying to three additional perches before flying out for the evening.


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Fun Day In Central Park

My visit to Central Park started with the search for the Western Flycatcher.  It was the star of the day.  A vagrant from the west coast, it is unclear if it is a Pacific-Slope or Cordilleran Flycatcher.  It was photographed by at least twenty photographers, so I decided just to watch it.  A fun bird to watch and get to know, even if it looks a bit scruffy.  The two species interbreed, so the discussion about "which species this is?", is really fascinating.  See the NY State Bird List for an interesting discussion.

The end of the day was with the Great Horned Owl which was cooperative before and after fly out.  It tends to like the tops of bare trees after fly out, which helps greatly while following it after fly out.


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