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!

1 comment:

birdchaser said...

Hey, these are great photos and commentary! Thanks for sharing, look forward to more. I'm doing my PhD on urban birds, and really enjoying your shots.