Saturday, December 30, 2006

Harlem Raptors

My early morning forays to track the kestrels and red-tails that reside in my neighborhood have produced only the occasional sighting. When the weather changed, I decided to try my luck in the late afternoon. After searching their favorite perches, I found the kestrel pair in the northern part of their territory.

The male then took off and made a dive on a surpised starling!

I then tracked him to some new perches, opposite the 30th Pct.

I also noticed that scads of starlings were on watch duty. They seemed to be paying attention to something other than the kestrels.

In St. Nicholas Park, I found the reason why.

For a minute, I thought I might be on the menu.

But then he was off...

and made a run at some pigeons.

Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Road Kill

On a surburban road, these crows were enjoying a Christmas Feast. Ah, the circle of Life!

Almost becoming roadkill themselves, this auto chased them off!

While the crows harrassed the living, just for good measure.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Union Square

Haven't been having much luck with the uptown kestrels I've been observing...only one brief sighting in the last week. Downtown however, has been a different story. I've been getting great looks at the pair that nest over on W. 25th St. as well as this male that has been frequenting Union Square Park. Here I spotted him after my yoga class, perched atop a radiant sun!

As I wound my way through the dense crowds, I could see him bobbing his tail and circling his head...trying to get a bead on some of the many white-throated sparrows in the bushes.

After a few false starts, he crouched low...

and dove off like a missle!

As he rocketed down, the sparrows shot off in various directions. The kestrel then pirouetted nimbly,

twisting and diving as they scattered.

He then landed in a tree quite near me. I was afforded a gorgeous sun-lit look at this beautiful male.

I snuck a little closer as he scoped out the bushes for more white-throats. We both could hear their high-pitched calls, and he bobbed his head to locate them.

Here's a great look at the "false mask" that is a wonderful defense against any larger raptors that may try to sneak up on this diminutive fellow!

He then size me up for a minute!

After a few minutes, he flew off northward. I wonder if this is the male that nests on E. 27th St. on the far east side?

Earlier that day, I had tracked the male from W. 25th St. hunting through the projects between 9th and 10th avenues. He flitted from rooftop to rooftop, finally circling through a courtyard and onto this air-conditioner.

He then swooped down and snagged some type of rodent by a trash bin! I managed to get this jerky footage of him flying away with it.

Here are some other great bird shots from around the city.

Yeah, what he said!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Peregrine Falcons vs. Red-tailed Hawk

I had the great fortune to witness the Peregrines of Broadway Bridge patroling their territory in defense against the Red-tailed Hawks of Inwood Hill Park. Here the female flys in to the scrape and calls the male in alarm. They then launch a concerted attack against the hawk, first one flying in level, then the second diving from above in a breath-taking sequence! Nature never ceases to amaze.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


The Lord of the Manor surveys his domain.

He's looking to see what's on the menu!



Saturday, December 09, 2006

Highbridge Hawks

Took a trek up to the Highbridge Park to scout out the Hawks there. The crisp, cold air made for perfect hawking weather. I spotted the richly colored male on top of the Polo Grounds, making runs at the pidgeon flocks along the park!

We watched him fly way out over the Bronx where he was joined by another RTH. He then sliced back into the park. We found him perched on a branch.

We also spotted this juvy RTH perfectly camoflauged on a snag.

As we meandered throught the Park, I kept looking for signs of owls. We found this dead, frozen and partially dismembered White-footed mouse on a trail.

Moving on, I spotted what looked to be the RTH nest! I'll be keeping a careful eye out in the coming months!

If confirmed, this would be the 5th active RTH nest in Manhattan!
Finishing up at Broadway Bridge, I spotted one of the Peregines sunning itself.

Walking to the other side, both came into view!

On a final note...

Man, you said it!