Archive for the 'Fieldnotes' Category

Oak

Quercus rubraI’ve noticed these grapefruit/softball-sized growths on the side of this big old Red Oak (Quercus rubra) before. But on my most recent pass, there was a new one.Quercus rubra

Japanese Maple 3

Acer palmatumJapanese Maple (Acer palmatum) in Green-Wood. (All three of these pictures were taken on the same day within a few moments of each other, under the same overcast light. No filtering or fiddling.)

Japanese Maple 2

Acer palmatumJapanese Maple (Acer palmatum) in Green-Wood. (All three of these pictures were taken on the same day within a few moments of each other, under the same overcast light. No filtering or fiddling.)

Japanese Maple 1

Acer palmatumJapanese Maple (Acer palmatum) in Green-Wood Cemetery. This is the first of three photos of separate trees located next to each other. All three pictures were taken on the same day within a few moments of each other, under the same overcast light. No filtering or fiddling.

Sassafras

Sassafras albidumThese two giants surprised me in Green-Wood recently. They’re Sassafrass (Sassafras albidum), usually seen as a rather smaller tree. Sassafras albidumI did a double-take or three. But there they were, the distinctive three leaf-shapes. And check out this bark, characteristic of old specimens: it is deeply, deeply furrowed, like the Southwestern canyon-lands.

Return of the Green-Wood Merlin

Falco columbariusI said recently that Merlins (Falco columbarius) were comparable in size to Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata). Ummmm, well…. That’s a Merlin on the upper left. The other birds are Jays. Up to seven were in the tree recently on a very gray day, harrying the falcon until it flew off. Falco columbariusWheeler’s Raptors of Eastern North America has these figures for Merlin dimensions: male length head-to-tail 9″-11″, wingspan 21″-23″; female length 11″-12″, wingspan 24″-27″. (Female raptors are always larger than the males.)Cyanocitta cristataSide by side comparison. Actually, the Jay is closer to the camera by maybe two feet. The Jays were making some cat-like sounds in the tree as they maneuvered around the falcon, mostly underneath it, and flew in and out of the tree. There were a few strafing passes launched at the falcon, the Jays doing so making a very unusual buzzing sound. Interestingly, the Jays even chased each other a few times here while they were working cooperatively to chase off the raptor.

Can’t Get Enough Kestrel?

Falco sparveriusA week after spotting an American Kestrel male perching in Green-Wood I found another not so very far away. Or is this the very same bird? Mayhaps: they don’t have huge territories Falco sparveriusCheck out the bird’s under and over grip on the tippy-top of the tree. And those false eye-spots on the back of the head! I don’t suppose you could ask for a better illustration of what optical enhancement — binoculars or telephoto, as the case here — can do for your bird-watching enjoyment.


Share

Bookmark and Share

Join 313 other followers

Twitter

  • Did you get that thing at the store today that you'll throw out soon? 45 minutes ago
Nature Blog Network

Archives


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 313 other followers