Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to Square One

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T. S. Eliot HisPaleness Mr Handsome If he can keep on going, so should we all!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Return to Long Beach

As the summer winds down, I returned to LB, LI to checkup on the shorebirds. There were lots of peeps foraging in the sand. SemiPalmatedPlovers Close up of a semipalmated plover: SemipalmatedPlover A family of oystercatchers had nested on the beach and I found them doing well. AmericanOystercatcher Their young can now hunt on their own. JuvyAmericanOystercatcher Speaking of hunting, the ospreys were continually making fresh catches. OspreywFish

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Double Rescue

Had a bit of a crazy day with raptors in need of rescue. First off was report of a bird collision on Lexington Ave. and 58th St. Turns out a juvy redtailed hawk had collided with the glass exterior of the Bloomberg Building Floral display and was sitting dazed on a 6th floor terrace. I arrived just to see the bird compose itself and fly off towards 59th st. I was able to track the bird and gained entry to the exposed staircase it had perched, 1 block away. sickhawk Carefully approaching from the rear, my plan was grab both legs simultaneosly. Amazingly the hawk gave up without a fight. gotcha! It was clearly very emaciated and possibly suffering from frounce. I bundled her up in a box and jumped in a cab towards AMC and let the Horvaths know they had a new charge. Later that day word of a young kestrel on Madison and 95th st came in. I hoofed it over there and sure enough a not-quite-flighted kestrel was in a playground on 95th st. A concerned woman had called around and eventually gotten the Audubon Society, who contacted me. During the time of waiting, she said a strange man tried to take the bird, but they warded him off. She also said that she had spoke to the Wild Bird Fund who told her to just leave it be and that it would be ok. While I can understand why they may have said this to someone totally unfamiliar with handling birds, it is actually false. Due to the presence of 1)strange people 2)feral cats 3)off-leash dogs and 4)rats, unflighted birds really dont have much of a chance if left on the ground in an urban environment. I explained this to the concerned group and set about catching the little guy. babykestrel Basically I laid on my stomach and slowly, with an outstreched hand, caught the kestrels legs between my fingers. He was not at all happy about it and let out his sharp cry. Upon hearing that, some of the park goes reported hearing that same call throughout the day nearby. I put the kestrel in a box and set out to find the scrape. I had guessed that two previous kestrels from this area were also part of the same nest, but I was unable to find any definitive markings of a nest. The building right across from the park that was undergoing renovations seemed the most likely candidate, but I will have to return to the site to be sure...who knows there may be another one in there! Till then both are receiving the best care possible...hopefully they will be releasable in a few weeks.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Close Kestrels

I went out this morning is search of hawks or peregrines. Instead I found a juvenile female and male kestrel tearing up Morningside Park. A male and juvy female were in the same tree. Female Kestrel Hunt She lit out after some house finches, Female Kestrel Hunt and he as well. Male Kestrel Hunt I watched them pursue some goldfinches and waxwings too, sending the desparate birds out of the Park. I lost sight of them near the Cathedral. After some time, I tried to find the juvy hawks, but had no luck. Instead, I re-found the kestrels...hunting in the very same Close as the hawks! Female Kestrel Hunt Here the female goes after some sparrows in the bushes. Female Kestrel Hunt Female Kestrel Hunt Female Kestrel Hunt After a few minutes of relative calm, the male kestrel showed up. He was focusing on the sounds of the cicadas all around us. He then zeroed in on one and dove in. Male Kestrel Hunt He then returned to his perch and consumed his prey. It was a great fun! But sadly, no sign of the hawks at all. One interesting note is that I found a dead skunk on the 125th Street Exit of the WSH.