Monday, November 28, 2011

7th Annual Harlem Hawk Walk

Here's the tally from yesterday's hawk walk.

Wadleigh, 2 American Kestrels
111th and 5th Ave, 1 Cooper's Hawk
125th St. & FDB, 2 RTH
123rd and Claremont, 1 RTH
Riverside Church, 2 peregrine falcons
Viaduct at 129th, 2 RTH's with one over to NJ
143rd and Riverbank State Park, 10 monk parakeets
145th and Riverside 1 American Kestrel
145th and St. Nicholas, 1 RTH
also many black backed gulls and American Crows along the way.

Many thanks to all who came out!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stop, Hey What's That Sound?

For the past few weeks, the 10 Monk Parakeets have been feeding, sunning and generally chilling out in Hancock Park on St. Nicholas Ave. It has afforded me a great opportunity to study how they go about socializing, finding food and water, avoiding predators and generally being awesome, chatty, squawky dudes. Here's some of the action.
Collecting sticks.

Searching rooftops for food,

and water.

Eating the seeds of black and honey locusts.

Flying in tight groups to avoid the ever-present hawks.

Spending time with a special someone below a red oak.


The 7th Annual Harlem Hawk walk is scheduled for next weekend 11/25 or 26 depending on which weather day is best.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Harlem Raptors: Fall 2011

This Fall has seen the largest and most varied amount of hawks, falcons, eagles and vultures in 10 years of hardcore Harlem birding.
My count so far is:
Golden Eagle 1 possibly 2
Bald Eagle 3
Osprey 5
Turkey Vulture 50+
Black Vulture 5
Red-shouldered hawk 3
Coopers hawk 12
Sharpie 3
Merlin 2
Kestrel 12
Peregrine Falcon 6
redtailed hawks 12
broadwinged hawks 24 migrating overhead in kettles.
aAso 1 possible juvenile Goshawk. No Owls, but I am looking!
Here are some recent captures.
Kestrel vs junco.

Overwintering Merlin.

Large groups of Turkey Vutures moving through.

Many redtailed hawks, both resident and haggard.
Adult.

Juvenile.

Adult vs Juvenile.

Peregrine vs Everybody.



7th Annual Harlem Hawk Walk is coming up. Let me know if you are interested...I will have to limit group to 10.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Before Night Falls

After checking out Inwood, I swung by Broadway Bridge to see if I could catch the peregrines hunting the starlings that roost on there.

Instead I witnessed the falcon race out,

in pursuit of a Cooper's hawk that was roosting across the River!

After overshooting the first dive, the falcon goes inverted here,



and almost catches the hawk out on the water. Instead, the Cooper's found refuge in a bush just next to me.

As the peregrine returned to her watchpost!


All shot on 5000 ISO, just after sunset!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Inwood Hill Park

Great fall flora and fauna up in Inwood. Starting with a female belted kingfisher,

followed by plenty of redtails,


and beautiful vistas.

By the ballfields there was a skittish flock of brown headed cowbirds,

with a Dickcissel hiding amongst them.

As they fed low in the grass, a Cooper's streaked in low overhead and chased them into some bushes. Here's the Cooper's flying out unsuccessful.

Finally along the shore of the Hudson, I found this poor, parched red eared slider.

Seems he got washed out into the Hudson after all that flooding and had been slowing withering on the beach. We relocated him to a nearby freshwater source...good luck little bro!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Stateline Lookout Park

Its no secret that the Pallisades is one of my favorite birding spots. During Spring and Fall migrations, it is a nearby location where its possible to get fantastic looks at raptors as they filter down the Hudson. On this trip we were looking specifically for Bald Eagles, but instead, found this Common Raven making a territorial display.

Rising then diving upside down while making its distintive "Quork!" the Raven appeared to be agitated by some unseen presence. Just then, an adult Golden Eagle emerged from the bluffs!

It circled a few times in front of us, before disappearing South.

Raven it tow.

Apparently one of the resident peregrines had heard the commotion and came out to mark its turf against the intruder.

2011 is shaping up to be a great year for the Goldens.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Anatomy of a Kestrel Kill

Like a boxer waiting patiently for the right angle to strike, the kestrel stalks its quarry until the perfect moment.





RIP juvy magnolia warbler.