Friday, April 29, 2011

Morningside Kestrels Reloaded

After weeks and weeks of searching, I found another kestrel scrape in Harlem. This one is located on 115th St. and Morningside Ave. and features a row of benches to sit and wait from. It is also a bit safer than the 119th St. scrape as that is the building featured here. This location is high up enough that people cant interfere, yet open enough so you can get a great view. I also told a Super and Parks worker, so there are enough sane people around to make sure no one tries to invade their sanctuary. Anyway, that's enough hyperlinking for's a sample of pix I was able to get while running errands around the nabe.
The male will always call before approaching the scrape so that the female will not attack him.

Depending on the size of the cavity, he will either go in as she goes out, or he will flyout, making a distinct cry.

If there's food she will follow him,

where she will consume it, while he does nest duty!

Other kestrel news to report: 80th and Broadway is yes, W. Houston and 6th Ave. is no, 116th btween ACP and Lenox is no, 511 Amsterdam is yes, 135th and Amsterdam is no, Pearl Paints scrape looks probable!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recent Raptors

A mix of nesting residents and migrating birds. Today I saw 2 Turkey Vultures, one quite close over Morningside. And while no eagles, I did spy this little killer.

Out of the corner of my eye, I had actually seen him snag the poor white throated sparrow just past the Lily Pond. It landed just nearby, the sparrow still horribly struggling. I watched amazed as the hawk delivered the killing blow then absconded beyond the Great Hill with its prize!
For it knows that someone is always in the case of this kestrel who gets run off by a crow over a mouse it was eating.

Also hunting hard above Riverside are the peregrines. Here's an attempt at a panning shot while she goes after one of the juvenile redtails who are still unbelievably plying the pigeon trade over St. Nicholas Park.

Last but not least, still no sign of chicks at St. John. I caught up with Isolde feeding on a squirrel over Morningside, but no food was brought to the nest.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Predator and Prey

Today there were 3 ospreys spaced about 1 hr apart, migrating up the Hudson. On the perfect WNW wind, they expended virtually no energy as they cruised northward. At one point the female peregrine at Riverside grew extremely agitated as one came too near!

She was calling repeatedly and displaying in front of the scrape.

Circling the Church, I found breakfast.

and maybe lunch and dinner?