Congradulations NYC Audubon

After years of research and lobbying, NYC Audubon, along with a consortium of partners has gotten Initiative 1482B, the Bird Safe Glass Bill passed and sent off to the mayor, who is expected to sign the bill into law.  NYC Audubon's press release is here.

I'm so proud of the staff, board and members of NYC Audubon.  This has been years in the making and included the extensive documentation of bird fatalities by scores of volunteers of Project Safe Flight who created the D-bird database.  The hard work has paid off.

 


Red-headed Woodpecker

For about a week a Red-headed Woodpecker has been reported in Central Park.  I finally got a chance to see it on Saturday.  Like most of the Red-headed Woodpeckers we get in Manhattan, it is an immature bird, without a red head.  It has selected a stand of oak trees west of ball field number 2 in the North Meadow and east of light W9802.  (If you don't know the "secret code" of the park street lights, this decodes as W=West Drive, 98=98th Street, 02=the second street light in the block.)

Red-headed Woodpeckers excavate cavities and then store nuts in them.  If this one behaves like ones we've had in previous years, it should be fun to watch this activity through the winter.

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Pale Male

I caught up with Pale Male on Wednesday on one of his favorite window railings at 73rd Street and Fifth Avenue.  The days have gotten short and soon he and Octavia will be working on the nest for next season.  Last year, there were no reports of anyone seeing Pale Male and Octavia copulate and the eggs didn't hatch.  Let's hope for a more productive 2020.

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Great Horned Owl

A Great Horned Owl was found in Central Park today.  I came late in the day so I could see the fly out. By the time I arrived the owl, which had been harassed by Blujays, was now high in a tree and tough to photograph.  But the owl moved now and then, and I got some good looks.  I was able to see the owl preen, do some pre-flight stretches, and then fly out.

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Young Cooper's Hawk

It's been cold enough that owls will soon be migrating through Central Park, so I always look at a set of pines in the Arthur Ross Pinetum this time of year. I heard a squirrel cry, and instead of an owl I found this young Cooper's Hawk, who quickly went after a bird and made a meal of it.

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Eastern Bluebird

An Eastern Bluebird was seen in the West 80s of Central Park of Central Park on Friday (and again on Saturday).  It's the state bird of New York.  This once-prolific bird had a sharp decline of population due to nesting cavity competition from European Starlings and House Sparrows.  Nest box programs started in the 1960s and 1970s have helped the species population numbers to improve but it remains an infrequent visitor to Central Park.

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Green-winged Teal

Fall brings a variety of ducks to Central Park.  Every year one or two Green-winged Teals are spotted.  One was the Meer for a few days this week.  It's about 2/3 the size of a Mallard, so they're easy to pick out in a raft of ducks.

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Purple Gallinule

A Purple Gallinule was found on the north shore of Turtle Pond in Central Park this morning and created quite a sensation among Manhattan's birding community.  The juvenile bird worked the shoreline and gave birders great views from a short distance. The species is normally found in Florida and South Carolina, but is known to wonder, showing up on occasion in all the eastern states and many Canadian provinces.  The word gallinule comes from the Latin "gallina," meaning small hen.

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Governors Island Red-tailed Hawk

I made my last trip to Governors Island for the season on October 28th.  A Red-tailed Hawk was on a speaker pole at Fort Jay, and then made a hunting pass, before taking a drink from a rain gutter.  Photographers have been seeing two or three different adult Red-tailed Hawks this fall.  Let's hope two of them build a nest over the winter.

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Saltmarsh Sparrow On Sunday

After the ran stopped on Sunday, I took more photographs of the Union Square Saltmarsh Sparrow.  It was still there today, Tuesday.  If you go looking for it be aware that is hides anywhere from 30-60 minutes and then forages on the southeastern most lawn for about 10-30 minutes.  Hopefully it will continue for a few more days.

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Saltmarsh Sparrow

Alex Tey found a Saltmarsh Sparrow in Union Square Park today.  Rare for Manhattan, it was totally unexpected to be seen in Union Square.  Thanks to the great network New York City Birders have, at least 50 birders got to see this wonderful sparrow.  It was a life bird for me.  This October, I've gotten to see three new sparrows, Grasshopper, Lark and now Saltmarsh.

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Lark Sparrow

My 201st bird for Central Park was a Lark Sparrow today.  It had been found yesterday afternoon, and was seen again this morning.  It was then refound by Kellie Quinones in the afternoon.  Rare on the east coast, and especially rare for Central Park, it was a fantastic bird to see as it ate grass seeds by a soccer goal.  It was hanging out with two Dark-eyed Juncos.  The fun was interrupted by an American Kestrel on the hunt.  Luckily, none of the birds we were watching became a meal.

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Tennessee Warbler

On Saturday, a very cooperative Tennessee Warbler was easily photographed in the Wildflower Meadow in the North End of Central Park.  What a stunning warbler!  (The video is at half speed to make it easier to watch the warbler.)

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Grasshopper Sparrow

A Grasshopper Sparrow was at the Oven in Central Park's Ramble today.  It is a bird normally found in grasslands, and rarely seen in the park.  It either gave birders great looks or was very difficult to see.  I was lucky to get some great views of the bird.

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Clay-colored Sparrow

I'm finally catching up with processing images I took last weekend.  Here is a Clay-colored Sparrow south of the Great Hill in Central Park.

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