Sunday, April 22, 2007

Home Again

This spring has seen a prodigious crop of nesting raptors in the city. Some birds, like the Highbridge Hawks and the Hawk of the Cathedral of St. John, have returned to their traditional nests. Other birds, like the Central Park South Pair, or the kestrels that nest in my area, have sought out new locations. Over the past few months, I have noticed that the resident pair of kestrels in my nabe have subtly changed their routines. Perching on different antenna, switching up the times they come and go. This weekend, I found the female located on a hidden antenna.

She was soon joined by the male, but then both flew off.
I relocated them a few blocks away where they were mating.

After finishing, the couple remained on the spot...

but the male was soon off!

He flew directly at me,

And latched onto a cornice overhead.

He then entered what appears to be the location of their new nesting scrape!

After a minute or two, he flew out again.

And rejoined the female.

Then it was her turn!

Where she stayed put. I then tracked the male for the next hour over the northern part of his range. He seemed to favor the area surrounding Trinity Cemetery. He would perch on surrounding buildings and make acrobatic forays at the groups of sparrows flitting about on the grounds. I watch him make a dramatic stoop then pull up a few feet off the ground, go almost vertical and land on this flag pole.

Pretty soon, though he was off again where I lost him over Broadway and 156th st.

I also checked up on the peregrines at Broadway Bridge. They seem to be getting along just fine, killing just about anything that happens across their territory. I watched them snag a wayward woodcock, as well as terrorize the local pigeons.

Over in Highbridge, the mama RTH still sits dutifully on the nest. An interesting note about this nest is its depth...I would estimate this to be a mature nest of at least a few seasons. I wonder how long its been in use?

In Riverside Park, I also found this nesting crow!

And late yesterday, the male kestrel snagged a sparrow in front of my window!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Spring Sampler

Been crazy busy with life stuff, but in my travels I've managed to catch various glimpses of Spring. Here's the juvy RTH that's been lurking around the north part of Central Park for the past winter.

Here the RTH in my hood goes about his morning commute.

Meanwhile, I discovered a new kestrel pair. Here they are on some window washing equipment next to the GM building.

Outside my window, the resident female kestrel made her rounds.

While these two squared off.

My kung fu is better than yours!

Hmm. I see your kung-fu is pretty good...


Meanwhile here's some other merganser

Hermit thrush

and the first warbler of the season, a YRW!