Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Im going for the Seattle Seahawks because they have a red-tailed hawk as their mascot and sometimes fly him at home games. Technically I would have thought an osprey was closer to their logo and the fact that they hunt at you know, sea but Ive never seen a tame osprey. So they went with redtailed hawk, so in honor of all the hawks, I went to check out some crazy raptor action in NY and the Meadowlands. Kicking it off in Central Park was this off-season Baltimore Oriole, #75. Followed by a winter safety, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, #76. I made a Hail Mary for the LEO just before half-time, but was over ruled by the referee. Heading out to Jersey, there were two peregrines (41) and two adult bald eagles at the rest stop along I95. The peregrines were flanking the road and the eagles were in a tall tree out in the wetlands. Im guessing these are the same birds that nest along route 46. They seemed to be at a detente, sort of letting each other know that the other was nesting nearby. Regardless, it was quite the half-time show. However, I didnt start the second half so great. The windy, poor conditions are not easy to navigate and WAZE seemed to think my car could float. Anyway, after some careful play-calling I was within field-goal range. To my amazement there were 2 Northern Harriers (74) and two Short-eared Owls #77, scrumming it up along the ridge! Short-ears are also a lifer for me. I watched their graceful routes as they moved from various perches. It was clear they had two different offensive styles. The harriers layup and then go in feet first. The SEO's like to wind around and then go into the endzone head-first! They are very beautiful in flight but the frigid temps made long looks impossible. Heading out, I checked the bleachers and found this guy lurking in the lower decks. Not my best Cooper's pic, but its a full adult with red eye so Im counting him as #78. Sadly I didnt get any love on the rough-legged hawks, but after following an agitated red-tailed hawk in a nearby field and I found this beauty high atop the stadium lights! My first Snowy of 2014 and #79. As an extra point Im counting black-capped chickadee at #80 cuz I already have carolina chickadee from Cape May. All the birds were great sports and the best thing about it...no commercials!