Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day

Been checking up on kestrel reports from around Manhattan. I caught up with a pair that makes their home on the Lower East Side. Both the male and female were outside the scrape on a fence. As I rounded the corner, the male dove into a willow in an attempt to raid a robin's nest. The female followed him in.

She then flew out and into the nest.

The male returned where he preened for a while. Then he was off to hunt in other parts of his range.

Next I checked out a pair that had been discovered in East Harlem. I found the female on a flag pole, calling to the male.

He then landed on a nearby church where he passed the prey off to the female.

The male was then off and dove into a nearby building, just out of sight.

I could hear the kik-kik of the kestrel against the high pitched cries of the parents. The male then returned just over head with his prize...a baby pigeon!

He then flew off overhead and placed the kill in a rusted out cornice, but which wasnt the nest.

The female then flew in and took the prey to the nest.

On 145th, I caught the daily duel between the red-tailed hawk that makes forays and the resident male kestrel.

Also seen were jays, crows, cedar waxwings and a pair of kingbirds!


Monday, May 21, 2007


Both make up a large part of the green highway that funnels through Manhattan, spanning Harlem and the Upperwest Side. Both Parks are also similar in that they have high and low areas where raptors and woodland birds can be found. I started out by walking up the huge, newly renovated staircase at 113th. As I hiked up, I saw many birds in the lower level, Common Yellowthroats, Parulas, Redstarts and a Bay-Breasted Warler. I only managed to get a pic of this first year Male American Redstart.

I also saw a few Magnolias...

and a Black Swallowtail!

As I got 3/4 of the way up, I heard crows cawing and streaking over the trees. I could tell there was an unseen hawk over the ridge. Finally, she was off...

and flew right over head to the Cathedral.

I found her over the nest on a fleur-de-lis.

She seemed to be after mice or rats, running below the scaffolding.
She dove off.

but pulled out of her dive and disappeared behind the apse.

In the nest, the two chicks are still downy. They seem to be a week or so behind the Highbridge Park young.

After this show, I decided to swing over the Riverside Church and see the peregrines there. The light was set perfectly on the west side. And I found the male outside the scrape.

I also got some video of the female, hovering then slicing to the ICC.

The male circled back and alight outside the nesting area.

There was also some action at the drip, but the light was really low. Here's one funny one but again, bad light.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


There were some fabulous spring migrants moving through Highbridge Park today. In addition to the numerous parulas, redstarts, I counted 6 singing male yellow warblers.

There were also lots of orioles and grosbeaks.

I got some good looks at one of my favorites, the scarlet tanager!

Along the winding path, I located the nest, exactly where it was this past winter.

One of the young practiced flapping around.