Saturday, May 30, 2009

Almost Fledging (Part 3)

Although not directly observable, the Riverside Peregrines are behaving as if they have young. Using the 55 Water St. peregrines as a guide, Id say they are about 1-2 weeks away from fledging. Here they are drying out on the scaffolding that still remains around the Church.

The male before stooping out on Morningside.

Talk about synchronicity!

Almost Fledging (Part 2)

The Boat-basin Hawks are doing a great job keeping their little ones fed. The rapid growth has led to some rudimentary branching by the oldest chick. Here they are flapping, hopping, sleeping and generally being awesome little dudes.

The whole family.

Under the watchful eye of the parent. She was carefully eyeing a dog.

Say it loud..."I Love Hawks!!!"

Almost Fledging (Part 1)

The three main groups of nesting raptors in NYC are all about 1-2 weeks away from leaving their nests. Some early birds have already gotten started (Im looking at you Inwood).
These kestrels across from Zabar's have at least two young that are on the cusp. Here's the soggy male flying out, with a nestling pigeon after meeting up with the female.

Flying into the scrape with prey as nestling calls!

The female near the scrape.

After the transfer, they both flew out and then copulated on a nearby antenna.

More evidence that urban kestrels will most likely double clutch when they can!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chelsea Kestrel Almost Fledges

Got a tip on some kestrels nesting on 22nd St. I found two young very close to's some video of one of them testing out his wings. Anyone interested in sharing in nest watching duty, shoot me an email.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Edgecomb Kestrel with Lizard

I took this footage a few days ago, but didnt notice what was on it till I reviewed it today. If you pause on certain frames, you can see a lizard in the Kestrel's talons! I've never noticed lizards in St. Nicholas Park before, but that doesnt mean they're not there. I know from an old kestrel newsletter that RDC sent me that this has been observed in Queens. Add another layer to the Edgecomb kestrel's resourcefulness.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kestrel Prey Transfer

Lucky enough to capture some of this amazing footage...the male had caught a bumble-bee and calls the female to come retrieve it. Here's the flyout and beak-to-beak hand off!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kestrel Hunting Starlings

I've noticed the starlings getting more aggressive around the kestrel scrape. Due to her larger size, the female is more adept at catching starlings than the male. Here she makes a few passes on the nest. Listen for the starling alarm calls as they scatter into the Park.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Recent Raptors

Some of my pix from last week that I got around to processing.
Edgecomb Kestrels

The male after nest exchange.

The female peregrine up at Broadway Bridge.

The Riverside Church female peregrine.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Boat Basin Hawks

Finally got a chance to check out the Riverside Park hawks to see how they were progressing. When I got there, it was mostly cloudy and I had just missed a feeding, so no baby hawks pix, but I did get a few of the proud Mama!

Highbridge Park

Highbridge Park is the last undiscovered gem of the NYC Park system. There have been recent "improvements" such as the new stairway and greenwalk near the Watertower, but many historical parts of this Park--such as the John Brush Stairwell--remain derelict. This combined with the large amount of homeless still living in the Park make for a truly wild natural environment. Due to its varied terrain, it is also a great stopover for many migratory birds such as warblers, flycatchers, orioles, tanagers and raptors. Here's are some highlights from my Sunday walk.
When I first entered the Park at 155th, I could hear many birds singing in the canopy. Walking North, I soon encountered many warblers buzzing about. I reached a favored overlook near the Harlem River where the woods were alive with the melodious songs of orioles. At this one location there were close to 1 dozen all flitting about, chasing each other and making mating calls.

Many first year birds as well as females were also present.

Soon a few kingbirds also showed up and struck various scenic poses.

Goldfinches, house finches, swallows, woodpeckers and this house wren

were all trilling, cavorting and otherwise engaging in nesting behavior. Speaking of nesting behavior...the redtails and their 2 babies are doing just great.

Happy Momma's Day!

Looks like Im not the only one trying to change things for the better!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spring Colors

Its peak warbler season in the City's Parks. Heres a sample from the North Woods in Central Park (109th St). An irruption of termites bought a range of passerines all feeding together!
Black-throated Green Warbler

American Redstart

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Maggie and Wood Thrush.

Black and White running off a Maggie!

Black-throated blue warbler and catbird together.

Black and White scaling the rockface.

Wood thrush on rockface.

Northern Parula

Blue-winged Warbler,

and the gorgeous Scarlet Tanager.

In a nearby flowering tree,

a male summer tanager!