On the eastern wall of the western most pump house on the north side of the Central Park Reservoir is a Barn Swallow nest. There are four young. It's a nice nest to watch, since it is fairly exposed.
This year has been disappointing for Red-tailed Hawks in southern Manhattan. Although it most likely fledged, I can't find the fledgling from the West End Avenue/72nd Street Nest. This leaves us only with a few fledglings to watch above 110th Street.
Since it's a hike to see the fledglings uptown, I've been spending time this last few weeks looking at other species that nest in the city. There are lots of youngsters around. These pictures are of and Eastern Kingbird family who were near the pier at Turtle Pond. The snack was a dragonfly.
Between rain showers, I visited the Warbling Vireo Nest and tired taking some slow motion video. It didn't quite work out in the low light but you can see some feedings. The nestlings are much more visible now.
The Warbling Vireo nest I've been watching in Central Park has now hatched. If you watch closely at the video, you'll see that when the parents feed the chicks, the chicks sometimes turn around and give back to the parents a fecal sack. I guess what goes in, must at some point come back out.
The Warbling Vireo nest in The Ramble of Central Park is in use now. I captured video and audio this afternoon of what is most likely the male on the nest. Lovely singing!
The spring migration is winding down but there are still some fun birds to be found in the park, including this Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the northern end of Central Park.
On my last Linnaean Society of New York Central Park walk of the spring 2019 season, one of the stops was Warbling Vireo nest. It is in a tree about 100 feet east of the Maintenance Building in the Ramble. It looks like it was getting finishing before being used this year.
Thanks to Tod Winston and his Audubon New York City bird walk group, many birders got to hear and see a Golden-winged Warbler on Tuesday.
An Indigo Bunting was at the Evodia Field Feeders in the Ramble of Central Park today and yesterday. Usually a tough bird to find in the park, this one was easy to watch as it ate bird seed from a feeder.
Joe DiCostanzo identified a White-winged Dove at the Evodia Feeders of Central Park this afternoon among a group of Mourning Doves. The bird is usually seen in the far south. While it is seen along the Northeast Coast up through Maine and into Canada on rare occasions, it may be the first recorded sighting for Manhattan. Great birding Joe!
My visit to Central Park on Wednesday yielded some interesting birds.
- I photographed the leucistic (a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal resulting in white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes) Common Grackle that has been well documented and visits the bird feeders in the Ramble daily.
- Watched the Rusty Blackbird in The Loch in the northern end of the park.
- Photographed a neck banded Canada Goose at The Pond, numbered Y3T4, with white letters on orange. Looking at my photographs, I discovered it was with another banded goose, X3A9. I've reported the band numbers, so I should hear back in a few weeks as to where these birds were banded, and possibly why.
Update: A Facebook reader commented that I might have best used the term Piebald rather than Leucistic for the Common Grackle. Here's an interesting link about when to use each, from The Spruce: Bird Leucism.
Update 2: Got the banding information back.
Band Number: 1078-14416 Y3T4
Species: CANADA GOOSE
Age of Bird: WAS TOO YOUNG TO FLY WHEN BANDED IN 2013
Location: VARENNES, QUÉBEC, CANADA
Bander: JEAN RODRIGUE QC-SCF-SAUVAGINE 801-1550 D'ESTIMAUVILLE QUEBEC QC G1J 0C3
Update 3: I got an email from Michael Castellano that he saw the neck banded geese in Prospect Park on February 3rd.
A Common Loon was on the Reservoir this afternoon. It was working a wide range of the Reservoir and was difficult to photograph as it kept far from the shoreline while I was watching it.
New York City's most famous, escaped pet continued to do well on The Pond in Central Park. It's fame seems to have subsided and for the most part the shoreline of The Pond has thankfully, returned to normal.
This afternoon I watched a Great Blue Heron walk on the ice of both The Pool and the Harlem Meer at the northern end of Central Park. Just like humans, the bird occasionally slipped on the ice. A few Great Blue Herons spend the winter in New York City. If I could fly, I would certainly fly to a warmer climate!
Located in Central Park's Ramble, the Evodia Field has the only sanctioned bird feeders in the park. They are supported by great volunteers. Indirectly, they end up feeding one or two Cooper's Hawks who enjoy the buffet of sparrows and similarly sized birds during the winter. One young Cooper's Hawk in particular is enjoying the easy pickings this Fall.
The Pond had the Mandarin Duck, who had returned, but also had an unusual visitor for so late in the year, a Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron. As a birder, the Heron won. As a photographer, the Mandarin Duck won. So, I guess it was a tie.
As the title says, "Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk Eats A Tuffted Titmouse". Viewer beware. (The video is without audio as there was a middle school class watching the Red-tailed Hawk eat.)
South of Sparrow Rock and across the West Drive there was a flock of at least 45 Cedar Waxwings eating berries this afternoon. The Cedar Waxwing is a beautiful bird and it was great to watch a flock this large.
The male Mandarin Duck continues to be New York City's most famous escapee. Even the discovery that he spends time in New Jersey hasn't tarnished his reputation. Lucky for him he doesn't have to take PATH or NJ Transit!
The Mandarin Duck took the snow in stride this afternoon on Central Park's Pond. Although the weather had deteriorated when I arrived, it was nice not to have to deal with the duck's crazy fans. They've trashed the landscaping on the east shore of The Pond. They're also feeding the ducks (and rats) bread and pretzels which are unhealthy for the ducks and is prohibited by the Parks Department.
The area around where the Mandarin Duck is residing is filled with wonderful wildlife. Mallards, Wood Ducks, Canada Geese, American Coots, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, and Raccoons are always there in the winter, with many more birds and animals in the summer. Nearby are a set of trees in Grand Army Plaza where hundreds of birds come to roost each evening. The Hallett Nature Sanctuary, which is now open year round, is a wonderful place to enjoy nature and is on the west shore of the Pond. The sanctuary has hosted at least two coyotes in years past.
There is so much more to see at The Pond than just one duck. It's sad to see people come into the park, motivated by their FOMO (fear of missing out) who stay at a frenetic NYC pace, rather than slowing down and enjoy a park that was designed specifically to be a restorative place for city dwellers.