Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nest Raiders

Broadway Papa with lunch. BwayPeregrine Broadway Mama coming out to receive the prey. BwayPeregrines Riverside Momma coming in with a baby pigeon. RiversideFeeding The Riverside kestrel beneath the scrape, looking for more nestlings on the Church's lower floors. AmericanKestrel As soon as the Riverside Papa showed up, he high tailed it out of there. AmericanKestrel Defending against all comers! RiversideDad

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Some of the best birds that pass through New York go on to nest in upstate New York. Two of my favorites: the hooded warbler HoodedWarbler and the cerulean warbler, call this place home. CeruleanWarbler It is also the nesting place for indigo buntings, IndigoBunting philadelphia vireo, PhiladelphiaVireo yellow warblers, redstarts and the odd black throated green warbler. At the water sources one can find great blue herons, HeyWader red-winged blackbirds, grackles, orioles, tanagers, great crested flycatchers and bluebirds. Bluebird Moving through the valley are a number of raptors such as red-shouldered hawks, Coopers, redtailed hawks, black and turkey vultures and this 2nd spring male harrier. UnknownAccipiter Aside from birds it is also home to a great variety of snakes. On this trip I saw a garter snake, black rat snake, this water snake NorthernWatersnake I also came across a gnarly water moccasin but it got off before I had my camera ready. Last but not least, here's a video/audio recording of the great multitude of birdsong along 1st June Cemetary. How many birds/engines can you name?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Peregrine Flyby

A protective papa sizes me up from a window. PapaPeregrine PapaPeregrine PapaPeregrine Video of the flyby.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Against All Odds

Many of the RTH nests in the City have experienced the death of at least one adult in the past year. The nest at CCNY has actually fared even worse, loosing a parent and two chicks last summer to frounce and falls. Despite this, the remaining adult female has reconstituted her territory and it seems that they are in fact nesting again on the same dangerous ledge. I found the male pulling guard duty on the flag pole atop Shepard Hall. CCNYRTH The banded female then showed up and landed in the nest. CCNYRTHnest CCNYRTHnest I couldnt really tell what she was doing in there, but she soon flew out. CCNYRTH2 Notice her wet and dirty tail...evidence of nest sittings. The male then joined her, wheeling above St. Nicholas Park. CCNYRTH CCNYRTH2 CCNYRTH2 She then perched atop Shepard Hall, trying to blend in with the finials. A poppa Robin was aware of her watching him, waiting for him to bring this fat bunch of worms to the nest so she could then raid it (more evidence of chicks). MommaRobin This dove also laid low till the hawk flew off. MorningDove I found her on the other side of Shepard Hall, trying to ambush some squirrels. As soon as she noticed me, she flew out. CCNYRTH2 Good luck guys, Ill be watching and hoping for the best.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cathedral Baby

Due to the conditions in the nest, the babies dont become visible for some time after hatching. Despite numerous feedings, I hadnt caught a glimpse of the apparently two chicks. RBS confirmed their presence with a shot the other day, but from the past its been shown that this nest usually produces a 3rd runt chick which doesnt always survive. Here's one of the fluff balls in the morning light. Mom&Baby Mom flying out to the chimney above St. Luke's. Mom&Baby I found Dad looming over Central Park, searching for nests to raid. These crows immediately responded and mounted a defense. DadvsCrows There were 4 in total and seemed to come from the pines on the west side of the Blockhouse. Including this gnarly one missing a few tail feathers. DadvsCrows Eventually they ganged up and drove the Hawk out over the Park. DadvsCrows DadvsCrows A successful crow murder! DadvsCrows

Friday, May 11, 2012

Beautiful Blackburnian

I learned a new song yesterday. It was of the male Blackburnian Warbler. Blackburnian Blackburnian A beautiful song to go with a beautiful bird. In fact, many birds were chirping their little blood pumpers out, including this gorgeous and gregarious Northern Parula. NParula So great to be in the Park with just the sounds of these amazing animals!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Hatch at Riverside?

Sure seems like it, although no babies are visible. Here's Mom deep in the scrape, guarding something. PeregrineScrape Dad pursuing some of the stoopid pigeons that nest on the 10th floor. PeregrineScrape Mom out for a spin! PeregrineScrape Displaying in front of the scrape and calling repeatedly. PeregrineScrape Falcon Power! PeregrineScrape

Friday, May 04, 2012

Warbler Migration

Great birds do not necessarily make for great pictures. Either way, just experiencing the woods buzzing, chirping and whistling with hundreds of these colorful travelers is enough to make one realize the incredible miracle of spring migration. BlackthroatedGreen BlackandWhite YRW ChestnutSided BayBreasted Maggie BlueWinged Last but definitely not least, this pluckly little dude. Hummer Good luck and always remember to steer clear of transmission towers.