Tonight was a standard fly out for Central Park's Great Horned Owl. It was quiet, went to three nearby trees and then was off into the dark.
Tonight, a very respectful small group of owl watchers got to watch the Great Horned Owl cough up a pellet, stretch, fly out, and then perch in an open tree near its roost. The normally quiet owl made a number of calls, which I learned from an other owl watcher, that it had done the night before. There was a response from what we thought was a person making an owl call, but then we heard a more realistic call coming from the northwest. I think we decided that it could have been wishful thinking, but it would be great if there was another owl in the park.
The owl then flew to a different tree, and then made a wonderful dive and ended up on a low branch within the compound of the Delacorte Theater before flying up to the scaffolding over the northern gazebo being repaired at Belvedere Castle. It then flew to a pine west of the Castle before finally flying southeast and out of view. It was a great night of owl watching.
The pair of Peregrine Falcons seem to be a regular fixture in a tree on the northwest shore of the Reservoir in Central Park on sunny afternoons. This easy to watch perch is going to make a lot of birders and photographers very happy this winter.
I haven't been doing much hawk watching the last few weeks, but ran into Pale Male near the Three Bears statue south of the Met on Friday night. He loves to hunt there at dusk before going off to roost. I didn't see him catch anything, but he was paying close attention to the rodents coming out for the evening.
Tonight, I think I had the Great Horned Owl all to myself. Tough angles to watch it, cold weather and a Monday all worked in my favor. The winds died down before fly out. So, the owl woke up slowly, stretched and then flew to a nearby tree. When it flew again after a few minutes, I quickly lost it in the dark.
It was so nice to see the owl have almost no disturbances from other birds, high winds or people tonight. (I was safely tucked far away and a fence acted as a natural blind.)
The Great Horned Owl was out in the open today in Central Park. As the temperature dropped, the winds picked up and the owl became active as the tree swayed back and forth. The owl went to what had been the roost tree of the Barred Owl after fly out and then disappeared into the night.