Friday, April 20, 2012
RBS was first to announce the hatch at the Cathedral. Today I witnessed two feedings, one at 9am the other at 1230pm. Here's the early sequence... After what seemed to be 2 feedings, the female flew off with a stripped squab carcass and deposited it over St. Luke's Hospital. She soon returned...
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Seems there's a young male Great Horned Owl in Central Park. I was able to get over to where it was this afternoon. The bird was high up in a shaded and branchy oak tree. It was hard to get a clear shot, but I managed to find the least blocked shot. Quite a crowd gathered when the Owl became very alert and switched branches. Seems his Paleness was not thrilled with this squatter, Occupying his territory. PM put on his threat display and let out his beautiful keeyar. Then he flew up to where the Owl was. Landing on a nearby branch. Thus commenced the staring game. Eventually after much bluffing, Pale Male flew off and then circled overhead. Eventually he head off West, and the Owl settled in. Wish I could've made flyout.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Y Black over 9 Green loves 8 Black over X Green. She's from Atlantic City. He's from Massachusetts. How they met, how they choose this spot, we will never know. But having the tags at least provides a glimpse of the wide range of these mysterious birds. Last but not least, I found this crow's nest in Cadman Plaza. A great sign that West Nile is absent due to a parched Spring.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
This territory has endured much tragedy. Frounce, car accidents and rat poison have taken their toll on the birds that call Harlem their home. Despite these continual setbacks, can hawks thrive in this territory? History has shown that it is possible, but recently our interference and plain old bad luck have cast the viability of this area in doubt. From my roof I can see hawks over the campus daily, but it hasnt been since June 2011 (when one adult and 2 young died) that Ive looked in the nest and seen hawks. It vies with the NYU nest for most trashiest. Here it is today from street level, even more built up with plastic. Seeing this much human debris in a nest always makes me nervous because chicks can easily get tangled or trapped in it. As I scanned out over Hamilton Heights, I spotted two Turkey Vultures riding the wind. Suddenly a hawk flew out from behind Shepard Hall and warded it off. This hawk seemed to be guarding the nest area although I never observed it directly on this part of the building. It could be that they are using an nest very nearby. As I walked around the building, I found a very creative sparrow nest. Along 138th St. a large hawk swooped in from Randolph High School. This apparently banded female was hunting intently, its shadow passing over me repeatedly. The resident male kestrel came out to investigate. Let's hope they have better luck this year!
Friday, April 13, 2012
Riverside Peregrines during a prey exchange. Prey items found were pigeon, starling, blue jay, flicker, robin and surprisingly this snipe. Perhaps the best scene of the day was when a quartet of black backed gulls got too close to the scrape. The female tore out after one and plummeted after it. Eventually it caught the gull by the rump and they tumbled for over 100' before the falcon let go. Unfortunately the action happened directly between me and the sun so my camera blew the shots. Was totally awesome none the less.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Friday, April 06, 2012
One of the mysteries surrounding this nesting season is what happened to the 55 Water St. peregrines? Having successfully nested for a dozen or so years, they have been absent from that scrape this year. Based a tip from ebirdsnyc, I traveled to the Brooklyn Bridge to see if the pair had relocated just a few blocks North to a scrape location on the Brooklyn Bridge. After waiting for a a very somber Good Friday procession to pass, I hung out at the West Tower for a good 30 minutes before a Peregrine streaked in just above the crowd! She landed in the cavity and called loudly. I scanned the skies overhead and spotted the male. Just as I turned to check back to the female, she tore out between the cables of the Bridge. I lost sight of both Peregrines over Brooklyn Bridge Park. I then traveled to the East Tower where I discovered a much more white-washed scrape. It could be that they are nesting here and use the West nook as a prey transfer location. I then walked to BB Park where I saw the female with prey land just near the West Tower. Not sure if the male gave it to her or if she caught it, but she sat there for a good 30 minutes eating it. On the West tower there was lots of evidence they are using the Bridge as at least a hunting spot. But the way they used the Bridge reminded me alot of the Broadway Bridge pair. If it is, its great news for birders as I was getting some awesomely close looks. Pix on the other hand are difficult due to the no tripod rule on the Bridge. Also watching out for crazy bikers, French tourists and everyone else makes tracking these birds through the spans very challenging. Keep your head on a swivel if you do make it out to this very scenic spot!