The Barred Owl that was in the Tupelo Meadow was rediscovered a few hundred yards further south today. Bird Watchers also found the Barred Owl in the North Woods, that hadn't been seen for a few days. I had a chance to photograph the one in the Ramble.
Hawks don't spend much time on their nests outside of breading season, but they do make visits like one of the Fifth Avenue hawks did today. Later in the day, I saw a young hawk at 78th and Fifth on a communications dish above the French cultural center. It will be interesting to see how long it takes Pale Male and Octavia to kick the youngster out.
I finally got to see the Barred Owl that has been hanging about the Ramble for the last week this morning. It was high in the Tupelo Tree of the Tupelo Meadow. The tree has just started to lose its leaves making it fairly easy to spot the owl. Another Barred Owl was spotted in the Ravine later in the day, so I suspect we'll have more owl sightings in the next week.
There was a Barred Owl in The Ramble of Central Park this morning. When I arrived in the park this afternoon, after hearing Blue Jay cries, I found an owl. I though it was the Barred Owl at first, but then it looked like a Great Horned Owl, which I tweeted out using the #birdcp hashtag. It was tucked in most of time, far away and obscured by leaves with an oval face and plump body. But perched birds can be deceiving. Lots of folks saw it, but after two hours Ryan Zucker came by and said, "I think that's a Long-eared Owl". When I got home, I discovered one of the youngest birders in the park got it right. It was a Long-eared Owl. I've never seen one so early and never in a deciduous tree in Central Park. Thanks for the correction Ryan.
Making the wrong I.D. is a big faux pas in birding, so I've been trying to figure out how I got it wrong. I think I was biased by my previous Long-eared sightings, which where in snowy conditions, mid-winter. Plus the bird was obscured and very, very high in the tree. I looked up the frequency map on eBirds for New York County and Long-eared Owls, and while it showed mostly winter sightings, there are plenty of fall and spring sightings. I'll need to give up my winter bias, and concentrate on chest stripping and color going forward!
I first spotted Octavia (Pale Male's mate) on top of one of Fifth Avenue's ugliest buildings this afternoon, 1001 Fifth Avenue, "designed" if you can call it that, by the firm of Johnson/Burgee. She had the good taste to move to the Met's SE corner, and then the NE corner before I lost her as she flew around 86th Street and the East Drive at dusk. I think she might have a roost somewhere a few blocks north of the Met.
A Mandarin Duck has been on The Pond for a few days in Central Park. It's unclear from where it's escaped, but it could be from the Central Park Zoo. It's banded and looks healthy. The last time I can remember one in the park was in 2009 on Turtle Pond.
This late in the year, I always question if the juvenile I'm watching near a nest site is from the nest or a migrating juvenile whose just passing through. This happens frequently in Central Park, but I saw it for the first time in Tompkins Square Park yesterday. The juvenile I saw was definitely not the surviving fledgling. It had very different tail feathers and different chest markings.
Regardless of who this hawk is, it was great to watch. It ended up having a fun interaction with two squirrels.
I stopped by Central Park's Pond on my way home. The Pond is located just north of the Plaza Hotel at the south east end of the park. The usual suspects were there, including a Wood Duck, a Black-crowned Night Heron, Mallards and Canada Geese, plus the hundreds of Common Grackles coming home to roost in the trees surrounding the Pulitzer Fountain of Grand Army Plaza.
What I didn't expect to find were two Eastern-Red Bats feeding at around 6 p.m. Usually, I need to rely on my Echo Meter Touch to identify my bats, but these were clearly Eastern-Red Bats just by watching them. I did my best to get some pictures without flash in the low light.
After sunset, a Red-tailed Hawk flew around the Pond and the buildings on Central Park South. I suspect one of the adults we saw bringing nesting materials to Crown Building earlier this year. These hawks continue to be a mystery, but it was good to see they're still around.
I caught up with Pale Male just north of the Obelisk on Sunday, and then a young Cooper's Hawk eating a bird a bit further north. Nice to see that are starting to get some visiting raptors to the park.
I went down to Tompkins Square Park on Wednesday to look for the surviving youngster from this year. Reports are that this hawk has recovered from its illness, and is still being seen in the park every few days. I didn't get to see the youngster but caught up with the parents, who were on different church crosses in the neighborhood.
Today both Pale Male and Octavia were both at the northern reaches of their territory. Pale Male was on a building at 87th and Fifth, which has a nice view of the Reservoir and the birds migrating south. Today, that included a kettle of Broad-winged Hawks and two Bald Eagles. Octavia was up north as well and I found her perched on the north side of the Met. This northern area is full of food in the fall, with rodents eating apples near the Hamilton Statue, song birds that die due to collisions with the Temple of Dendur windows, and rodents on the Birdle Path south and east of the Reservoir.