I was happy to receive a report from Randalls Island. The nest is active with three eyasses. Great news with the failures of nests around Central Park.
It continues to be difficult to cover Manhattan, but news is coming in about some nests.
- A new nest has been confirmed in Fort Tryon Park. On the Greenway just north of the Ft Tryon exit 16. I couldn't tell from the pictures I was sent but it looks like two or three eyasses are on the nest, still white with pin feathers coming in.
- After some mixed signals, it looks like the St. John the Divine nest has failed.
- The 350 Central Park West nest did not hatch and the parents have stopped brooding.
I saw my first European Goldfinch today in Central Park. An introduced bird in North America, it is becoming more and more established.
I had to ask a WhatsApp group I'm in to figure it out. Luckily, folks forgave my ignorance and I got an answer within a minute.
There are scores of American Robin nests in Central Park currently. Some nests have already produced fledglings. I caught up with one nest on the Point a small peninsula that juts out in the Central Park Lake. Both parents were actively feeding the three young robins.
It has been very hard this year to get details of the Manhattan nests. I'm not traveling by public transportation, so I can only report first hand on the nests I can walk to from my home. But I do have some news:
- Feedings have been seen in Inwood Hill Park.
- The Fort Washington nest was left unattended for an hour on a cold day raising concerns that it might have failed.
- Behavior changes make it likely that the St. John nest has hatched, but eyasses haven't been seen yet.
- Both of the Central Park nests, 350 Central Park West are at least a week overdue. It is likely that both have failed.
- Tompkins Square Park has three eyasses and one even has pin feathers already.
The "regular birders" have been very good about social distancing in the Ramble. Many of us live around the park, and we use the park to get our daily exercise while also bird watching. We keep our distance from one another and find areas of the park that are sparsely used to explore.
However, today a Yellow-breasted Chat created a large crowd with many photographers and birders, jockeying for position to get a look and possibly a shot of the bird. Social Distancing went out the window for an attractive but not all that rare a bird. A park employee reminded everyone to practice social distancing, but the crowd quickly regathered.
I didn't know most of the people in the crowd. Early May attracts birders who don't normally bird Central Park. They come with the migrants.
Even with masks and staying six feet apart, a crowd of twenty to thirty people is a perfect place, even outdoors for the COVID-19 virus to disperse. But many of the observers were right on top of each other. It was like a paparazzi scrum, fighting to get a shot of a member of the royal family. Folks, it was just a Chat!
As birders, we should believe in science and follow social distancing guidelines. No bird is worth risking your health or your families. Please don't do this.
I've been hoping to see signs that the 350 Central Park West has hatched over the last week. I made three visits, but came up empty each time. I thought they should have hatched my now and I would have seen a feeding by now, but I'm a bit confused about when brooding started.
Frederic Lilien has generously made his film The Legend of Pale Male available to watch for free during the Covid-19 outbreak. Enjoy the film!