Monday, June 25, 2012
On Sunday I took an early morning walk around Harlem to survey as many nesting birds as possible. At CCNY, I found the adult RTH pair atop Shepard Hall. Looks like its the Momma with the bad eye. Dad was nearby, and got chased out by the adult male kestrel. After some searching, I found out why. Looks like there's at least 3 young from his 135th St. nest. Walking North, I found this just fledged crow at 145th and Broadway. In Riverside Park, I found the daddy Monk Parakeet with the missing toes guarding his nest. Didnt see youngsters, but they were very skittish so I left them in peace. Working back south again, I found this adult Black-backed Gull with a bunker. Finally, at Riverside Church, the young falcons practice their flight skills with a game of tag.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Not to close yet not too far, Long Beach has a great blend of convenience and wildness. Coming in on the train, I spotted 3 glossy ibis in the marshes and an adult peregrine with a juvenile atop the Long Beach water tower. By the time I got there, they had flown off, but I did find Rescue Ink. On the bay side was an american oyster catcher, a lone fish crow, a kingfisher and this gull billed tern. Across the bay, on the small islands, I spotted juvenile osprey. One of the parents showed up with food and then appeared 3 youngsters. Back out to feed the hungry brood. Walking inland, there was a green heron flyby, waxwings and this juvenile mockingbird. Doing the mockingbird dance. I found these barn swallows gathering nest materials. Sunning on a dock. Finally, near sunset, this group of about 12 egrets and 5 blue herons gathered in the marshes.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
On Thursday, everyone was in the nest at sunset. On Friday, not one baby was to be found there. It didnt take long for me to spot all three of them swooping around the Church as well as the ICC. An ever watchful Dad dove down just past me! And brought a meal to his ravenous brood. After mealtime it was flight training time! Here the unbanded male teaches a youngster about the fine art of mid-air prey snatching!
Friday, June 15, 2012
I found this adult redtailed hawk cowering next to an air conditioning unit on 123rd St. From the ground a bulging white shroud over its right eye was visible. A close up. I thought it might be a gouge or something, but when I looked at the pictures of the kestrel attack, it was clear the bird could open the eye. It seems to be the dreaded frounce, which decimated the CCNY hawk nest last year. Both the adult kestrels joined in an attack and drove the bird off into Morningside Park at 120th St. I could not relocate it, but will try in the morning. RBS has posted some shots of both Cathedral parents and they seem ok. Perhaps it is a CCNY adult. Here's a gratuitous shot of one of the Cathedral youngsters.
There was a report of a hawk on 27th St. As it was nearby to a client, I went to check it out. Turns out it was a very young female kestrel, barely flighted, but still it did well enough to make it to the top of a low brick building. I could not locate the scrape in this dense and blocked area. Here's a video of the little gal going from the hotel to the side, then the top of a a roof.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
More than any other NYC nest, Broadway Bridge is the most hazardous come fledge time. Its really a pick your poison kind of place: Deadly currents, a moving bridge, not one but two different trains (the 1 train and MetroNorth), plus a very hazardous road-deck. Today I was very relieved to see one of the two youngsters safely out of the nest and fairly well flighted. Great as that was, watching the parents hunt from the El was breathtaking. Here the parent goes inverted as it rolls down on some pigeons. The youngster settles in, but his sibling seemed ready to go. Good luck guys, Ill be watching as best I can.