On New Year's Eve Day, I got lucky and was able to observe the owl for 45 minutes after dark. Although I didn't see it catch a rodent, it was very carefully observing three waiting for them to venture out of the fenced in area they were hiding in.
Before leaving on vacation, I made a brief visit to the park on December 26th. In my brief visit, I had a Barred Owl, a Coopers Hawk and Pale Male.
Christmas Eve day was quiet in the park. I saw Pale Male on the Beresford Apartments and at least one other Red-tail who was keeping track of the Barred Owl. (This Red-tail went over to Teddy Roosevelt Park outside Central Park before returning.)
The Barred Owl was very cooperative tonight and was easy to track for about fifteen minutes after the fly out.
One Barred Owl continues in Central Park. Tonight it flew out to the Southwest. Luckily, it has become such a regular that only a few people were paying any attention to it this afternoon.
Among many White-throated Sparrows in the Shakespeare Garden of Central Park was this Carolina Wren. A nice colorful bird for a gray winter day.
I haven't been able to spend much time birding this December. During the week, it's too dark to bird after work, and the weekend before last, I was away on business.
This last weekend, I only had a few hours on Saturday to go birding. Sunday, I participated in the Christmas Bird count in Central Park, but didn't have time to photograph much.
So, here are the few photos I got last weekend.
The smallest owl that visits Central Park is the Northern Saw-whet Owl. It's about eight inches tall. A Saw-whet has been in the park for about a week. Today, it was in a perfect spot to watch until dusk. A small group of us were hoping for a fly out, but the owl jumped to the center of the bush it has been perching in rather than flying out. I was disappointed but also glad to see that the owl could out smart us.
Three Barred Owls were spotted in the park today, most likely the trio that arrived after Huricane Sandy. It's so great that they've stayed in the park.
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.
On a gray late Fall day, a visit to Central Park yielded a few Cooper's Hawks, two Barred Owls and a few Red-tailed Hawks. Let's hope the Barred Owls stay for the Christmas Bird count, Sunday, December 16th.