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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I made another attempt to see the Painted Bunting in Prospect Park today and had much better views than this weekend. What a fantastic bird.
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!