Sunday, June 28, 2015
The hawks that nest deep in Pine Park had their only chick fledge today. An interesting note is the orange breast of this youngster. Urban hawk watchers believe that the orange breast is a city only trait, but plainly you can see it here on this guy, 100 miles from any city. At the ballfields, the male can be seen lording over the spotlights.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
This one in Ocean County Park wasnt too hard to find...I just followed the dozens of herons that stalk the marshes out here. To be fair, there are probably a few in some hidden corners of NYC but out here they have the unspoiled and primeval appearance. At this one alone there are about 50 pairs, each producing from 1 to 3 young. Mortality is fairly high but the parents are very involved...reminding me of raptors the way they take turns caring for the young. Speaking of raptors...these guys should have a hatch soon too!
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Now that I've spent time outside of the City for a couple of years, its clear that much of what I learned from watching hawks and falcons also applies to other raptors such as eagles and owls. One difference though is that the eagles and owls nest much earlier...about 6 weeks by my count. So while hawk watchers await the hatch of another round of urban raptors, here we await the fledges. I caught up with the venerable pair of Bald Eagles atop a cell tower in Brick, NJ. Standing guard much like their city cousins, they also presented fresh fish and tried to lure the youngsters out. It'll be great fun watching these guys over the next weeks!
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
I paid a visit to Tom's River Avian Care to check on the owlets progress. Turns out they are doing well and should be releasable by the end of summer. The littlest one had a broken leg from his fall but its all healed and now he just needs to exercise it. The eldest is mostly flighted and has a great mistrust for people which is great! I also got to visit a few of their other charges such as this adult male Great Horned Owl which was hit by a car. They also had an osprey which had been electrocuted by landing on a high tension wire. TRAC is the only raptor rescue center south of the Raritan and serves all of Central and South Jersey. At their peak they get over 1000 birds a year, many of them birds of prey. If you have a sick or injured bird, please give them a call!